In three days I leave for Ethiopia. My heart and spirit have been pondering the reality of that in new ways as of late. The Lord is showing Himself, once again, through this miracle called adoption. He is revealing a new facet of Himself that my heart had previously been unable to fully grasp. As I look back, I realize He has done this with every adoption we have experienced...
With DJ, I learned of the tender Father-heart of God.
With Katie, I learned of the sweet mercy of God.
With Gracie, I experienced the sheer power of God.
With Drew, I learned that God is the ultimate Giver of Gifts, beyond all we can ask or imagine.
All four adoptions brought me to my knees at some point. All four children have obviously had the Lord's hand upon their lives. I have always struggled to put into words the beauty of the bond, the perfection of a family created by the Lord. It is a love that transcends blood-ties or racial similarities, that somehow makes common the uncommon, that makes a barren woman a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord. (Psalm 113:9)
With Little Sister, who for the sake of this blog will be given the name Mari, I have been given a glimpse into what lies in store for all of us who are followers of Jesus Christ...the redeeming love of God.
A three year old little girl is waiting for us,
just as we are waiting for the return of Jesus.
She has met us, is learning to trust us, and has been told that we have to go away "for a little while"
but that we will return for her.
Are you seeing the parallel?
She has been broken and grieving, yet she awaits the fulfillment of the promise.
She awaits the home we have been preparing for her.
She awaits a new name, a new family, and a new future...
because she has been adopted.
Do you see? This is your story as well. This is my story! WE have been adopted into the family of God!
But wait, it gets even better...
Katie and I will board a plane and fly across continents and oceans to bring Mari home. We will greet her with open arms and "I love you's". We will present her with new clothes (Just writing that makes me breathless. Imagine the moment when we are clothed in bright white linen before the throne of God!) and bathe her from head to toe. We will escort her across those same continents and oceans, and we will land on U.S. soil...where she will suddenly be a citizen of a new country. We will carry her tenderly through the gates and step out into a crowd of family and friends...her family and friends...who have prayed her home.
Friends, if you ever get the chance to witness an airport reunion or the reveal of a newly adopted child, that is the closest you will ever come to experiencing our Heavenly homecoming on this side of the veil. Those of us who have been blessed to walk the road of adoption get to live, in a very small way, this spiritual reality.
That is why I am so passionate about adoption.
That is why my heart breaks when someone allows fear or finances to squelch the calling of God.
If God has called you to this, it is a privilege. He funds what He favors, and adoption is no exception. It is an unbelievable experience. It is eye-opening and heart-wrenching. It is watching the broken become whole, and marveling at the thought that God could use one broken person to heal another.
Yes, there is fear. Believe me I have dealt with my share of it as we prepare to bring home a three year old who has never had boundaries. I have been on my face, praying for the Holy Spirit to speak to her heart when she is unable to understand my words. But if it was easy, there would be no need for God...nothing to bring glory to Him. He continually reminds me of the broken state I was in when He called my name. Oh how I praise Him that He did not expect me to get it together and get cleaned up before He would be willing to adopt me into His family. If He can change me, He can change anyone. If He can heal me and bring purity to a previously impure heart, then He most certainly can and will take a little girl and conform her to His image and knit her heart securely to her family.
See the parallels. Be willing. Let God use you in ways that you thought were impossible. Be the hands and feet of Jesus to the 147 million orphans who so desperately need the love of an earthly father and mother. If you have been called, start walking forward and don't look back.
And when Jesus returns, bask in the familiarity of the moment.
From the depths of my full heart,