In February, we received the long awaited call that we had a court date for the adoption of our daughter, Jemma.  March 27.  We were extremely excited!  And yet torn because this date clashed with a play that our oldest daughter had been working on all school year.  Her performance date was March 29.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  The court was in Uganda and we had planned to take our whole family. How was this going to work?  Probably sounds like a no-brainer from the outside, but to us as parents we knew a heart was going to be broken.  A school play is a big deal to a 6th grader, nerves and all, and they want their parents in the audience.  And how could she back out at the last minute?  What does that teach a young girl about commitment?  Plus, who wants to be left behind as the whole family meets the newest family member?  Questions swirling in our minds as we tried to create a plan of action.  Unfortunately, you don’t just call the courthouse in another country and say, “Hey, can we change our court date, something came up?”  So there we were with a decision to make…

Thankfully, an amazing family friend, Toussaint Goudeaux, agreed to escort Jadyn to Uganda after her school performance.  He ended up spending a week in-country with our family before traveling home for work.  What seemed like a scrambled, fumbled plan really turned out to be best.  Uganda touched the Borst family, for sure.  But without our date clash, Uganda wouldn’t have touched Toussaint.  At least not in April of 2012.  But it did.

Tous (as we call him) became part of the Borst family.  We went to Uganda to adopt our daughter and we ended up adding a daughter and an uncle to the family.  Two beautiful additions.  Now Toussaint is joining the Village to Village Intl. family as a board member.  Graduating from Princeton University and working as a consultant in Chicago serve well on his resume.  But even more so, his love for children and his ability to ask questions that move us beyond our box.  When asked, “What are you most passionate about when it comes to caring for vulnerable children?” He responded:

The smiles. In the midst of struggle, lack and pain a child can find the inkling of hope and mirth. Their grin, for a moment, pushes everything away for them and for anyone who catches a glimpse at it for the magical second. It’s a wish that those grins would be so much more frequent.