"A Fresh Capacity to Love"

My sister Barb, her husband, Jim, and their two boys, Michael and Nathan, joined Sojourners 11 years ago, just as we were moving from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Their presence here has been a particular joy for me. Family and community have come together, and the relationship has been full of great blessings. Barb and Jim Tamialis are at the heart of our neighborhood ministry, and their family's leadership has been an anchor to our community life.

The boys are growing up and growing up well. Michael is now in junior high school with Nathan soon to be. With the experience of so many years of family and community life, Barb and Jim began to feel a desire to again expand the family circle. As Barb put it, they felt a "fresh capacity to love." Michael's adoption had proven to be such a joy that they decided to adopt again. The boys became very excited about the prospect of a little sister or brother.

They began the process. That was more than one-and-a-half years ago. Barb and Jim decided to adopt another biracial child, like Michael, and, feeling a real capability and eagerness to give, began to seek an older child with special problems.

The waiting began. They had great hopes, but the process soon became complicated and increasingly difficult. They began to wonder why it was so hard to adopt with so many children in need and with their own hearts so ready to receive one of those children. Despite high marks and recommendations from the home studies conducted by various agencies, the Tamialis family saw many months go by without hearing anything. The whole community began to enter into this special vigil with them.

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