Beauty From the Broken

The Rhodes family
Courtesy of the Rhodes family

I have a pink plastic bag from Frankie's birth mother. As she was dying, she packed a few items for her week-old son. Clothes, baby powder, a brush and comb. There is also a bottle of used perfume, given so that Frankie would always know how his mother smelled. That perfume reminds me of the journey that brought Frankie into our lives. 

After our first daughter, Emma, was born, Dave and I battled infertility for three years. Finally, the doctors said they couldn't help us. The news, though devastating, gave me a strange peace because I knew that adopting a child was in our future. But in a shock to everyone, I found out I was pregnant with our second daughter, Izzie.

But our desire to adopt never disappeared. In 2008, I returned to Haiti, a country that had captured my heart years earlier on a missions trip. This time I fell in love with the orphan children. When I returned home, we started the adoption paperwork, and were soon matched with Frankie, a little boy I had met while touring the orphanage.

Adoptions from Haiti could take years to finalize. Knowing that it would be a long time before our son could physically be with us, we began creating space for Frankie in our lives through conversations and stories, pictures and prayer. We committed to visiting him twice a year. We also connected with others who would be taking trips near Frankie so they could bring him gifts and relay our love.

We were two years into the adoption process when a massive earthquake rocked Haiti. The U.S. government quickly granted humanitarian parole to Haitian children left without families. We were overjoyed to learn that we could now fly to Orlando to pick up Frankie.

I often wonder what Frankie's birth mother would think of the journey her son has been on. The earthquake focused the world's attention on the poverty, death and destruction, but it also brought to light the many missionaries and organizations that had been heroes long before the earthquake. Frankie's arrival under such tragic circumstances is a testimony to the reality of redemption – that beauty can be made out of what's broken.


Focus on the Family’s Wait No More program prepares hearts and homes for kids in foster care – whether for a season or a lifetime. Everyone who feels called to foster, adopt or support a foster/adoptive family can get involved through our nationwide events and resources. Every day, we help kids in foster care experience the love of family, no matter how long they’ve waited. Learn more at

This article first appeared in the November/December 2010 issue of Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. If you enjoyed this article, you can get the publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

© 2010 by Kim Rhodes. Used by permission.

Next in this Series: Grief and Joy