I have really enjoyed watching Freedom 2 emerge and develop over the last few years. The passion the organisation shows in giving a voice to young girls who have, or who are at the risk of exploitation, is invaluable. So many of the younger generation have been lost to trafficking, abuse, trauma and neglect. I want to write today about how these same values that are held by Freedom 2 reflect my story.
I had a wonderful childhood with loving parents and a secure home. At the tender age of 23 I met the most beautiful woman, both inside and out. The adventure has lasted for 17 years, so far. They have been filled with ups and downs. One of the biggest disappointments we experienced came through miscarriage and infertility. It took us many years to fall pregnant, there were so many tears of joy, expectancy fulfilled. Yet on September 13th 2011 (our wedding anniversary), we miscarried, after twelve weeks. This day represented our life, the celebration of love mixed with the desperation of grief. Sometimes there are no words, and on this occasion no words could describe our pain.
We felt lost, without a voice, not knowing what to do. Over the next few years we felt compelled to look into adoption. When we started this process it was all about us and how it would make us feel. As we progressed we realised that it was all about the silent voices of children all over the country. The little ones who could not speak, experiencing pain, abuse and trauma. We are literally on the verge of receiving our son. When we heard his story it broke our hearts, that there was no one, for such a long time, who could speak up for him. Who could step in and rescue him. He experienced pain in silence, like so many vulnerable young people, all across the world. Unfortunately, for many, there is no such relief from their hardships.
When I hear him laugh and call me daddy I feel so full of love. I feel a little bit of justice being outworked in a world full of exploitation. He deserves to be held and loved, to be secure and brought up in an environment where he can thrive. There are so many young people living in fear and dread. We all have a responsibility to stand up for those people, wherever we can, in whatever way. I have often thought that what we are doing is so helpless in the sea of need. However, I was reminded about the story of the young boy and the starfish. This young lad was so upset when he saw thousands of starfish washed ashore. He ran, picked up one, and threw it back into the ocean. His father didn’t quite get it and asked his son what difference it would make. All the difference to that one, replied the son.
There is a beautifully redemptive part to our story. The child we miscarried had a due date of 31 March. This is our adoptive son’s birthday. When we read this, we lost a breath, another chance, a renewed hope for mummy, daddy and son. I believe there is so much to ‘buy back’ in our world. We have to find the ‘one’ or the cause to which we feel drawn. If everyone takes up their part, then I do believe we can make a huge difference to those disadvantaged, broken and vulnerable. The poor, the orphan and the widow. Thanks for reading.
Nigel is married to Nicky and lives in Woodford where they planted the Hub Movement a few years ago. After experiencing growth, Hub is now planting churches around London and beyond. Nigel works at Bible Society as Head of Church Relations. Nigel is on the Board of Westminster Theological Centre where he studied, he is passionate about God’s word and believes in the greater story of the Bible and how it connects with our stories today. Working and studying in these environments has helped shape his approach to mission and engaging the world and increased his understanding of the wider church. Nigel enjoys walking, reading and drinking coffee.