My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

My Girl Portia

Portia is going home soon.  As many know, she has been going through the process of being adopted for close to two years now.  A beautiful couple that we love and are a part of our CORM family have been pursuing her adoption and we are so excited for the future that is ahead of our little Portia-girl.

But, it can also be a challenge to let go…

I think back to the time when we had to say goodbye to baby Princess, knowing that she was going to loving parents who would give her the best care.  It just isn’t easy when someone has grabbed your heart, to let them go, without pieces of your heart going with them.

I think that was what was going on with me this past week.  A case of assessing my heart.

I look at my girl-Portia and know that her life is going to be this beautiful picture of God’s love for her…giving her a family…choosing her…adoption.  Adoption is the story of redemption for us as believers in this crazy world.

And yet, I will miss that little ball of energy.

When I talked with Robin and Reid about it the other day, with tears in my eyes, Robin told me that the reason we feel so much for her leaving is because Portia has been loved so well.

And it’s true.  You can’t escape from Portia’s little grasp.  She forces her love on everyone, and it’s easy to reciprocate.

Her cuddles.  Her kisses.  Her hand holding.  The hours that I have sat with her when teachers couldn’t handle her wild energy in class.  The conversations that have made me laugh with her frank vocabulary.  Her quick sayings that express such character like “Put your hand in my armpitty”.

Her love is simply…unescapable.

And I suppose when you experience a love like that, you can’t help but mourn the loss of it. 

It isn’t as though I won’t ever see her again.  In fact, I’m planning on visiting her in Tennessee this New Year.  But distance is challenging.

And I do know all about distance and its effect on relationships.

So, while I mourn her leaving (though it is still awhile out), I am also taking advantage of all the hugs and kisses and hand holding and flying leaps into my arms.

Last night, she came to visit after dinner.  When it was time for her to go back to her house, I picked her up and held her close.  I tickled her tummy as I walked with her back to the house.  We talked about school the next day and getting a good night’s rest.  And then she asked for a hug and kisses.  And so we hugged and kissed and then hugged and kissed again.  And then Malvin, Edwin, and Joel wanted to join in the hugging and kissing, so they got their fair share too.

So sweet.  And yet, walking home, I felt the loss again.  A little bittersweet.  The sweet hope of the future for my girl, Portia.  The sadness of losing the everyday touch of one of my loved ones.


  1. Portia is such a sweetie. I miss her so much after just knowing her for a few months. That will be a hard good bye but definitely a happy one knowing she has wonderful, loving parents. That's great you'll get to visit her too! I can't wait to hear what that's like!

  2. Made me hurt for your heart Autumn. I love you because you do love so, so well. Oh, Portia, and so many others have been blessed because God weaved YOU into their lives. What a blessing you are!

  3. ok.... this needed a BIG WARNING- Kristin do not read while you are around other people. Ugly crying here! I have been praying from day one of this process for the hearts of you, JB, Stacy, Theresa, Joe, Auntie Portia, and all the kids and I won't stop! I am praying for that day that we walk through the airport gates. It won't be goodbye forever but it will never be the same for our family or yours. My heart will be rejoicing to have her HOME but I will be grieving with her and all the people I love who have fostered her heart SO well. She knows Jesus because of you all and there is NO greater gift we can give her. CORM will always be apart of our family. She will have pictures of you in her room to remind her and we will continue to talk about you. We will run with open arms when you come to us in December. I am praying for these last few weeks with her. That they would be rich and full of blessings. She does have so much Jesus to offer and she will change the world! She already has!

  4. Oh, Auntie Autumn! Kristin and I were talking just yesterday wondering when after Portia comes home will she grieve and miss her CORM family. And I weep with you as you prepare your heart to let her come home but am so thankful God has placed you with so many children to love and show HIS love. We will give her lots of hugs for you! God bless you!