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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tribute

Today, November 4th, 2012 is Orphan Sunday.     All around the country, churches are promoting adoption and orphan care in one way or another.  Facebook is rife with adoptive families sharing first photos of their adopted children.  Scripture and touching video inundate my "inbox".

I love it!

It draws my mind back to our first adoption in 2005. We had two biological children, a boy and a girl, and had surgically sterilized ourselves to make sure that's all we ever had.
But our BIG God had a BIG plan . . . to shake us right out of our comfort zone and give us the indescribable gift of a beautiful almost-four-year-old little boy with hearing loss and developmental delays. . .

 He has grown into a sweet, thoughtful, AMAZING 11 year old who reads well, is achieving his goals in math and has the kind of servant's heart every parent dreams of!  Ky was the perfect first adoption, as God well knew.  He bonded quickly, drew every family member in with his adorable face and sweet ways and rarely, if ever, misbehaved.  He made us eager to adopt again!

And then came Lemuel . . .
At 8-years-old, Lem was a firecracker of a child! He had the energy of a dozen children and had been through several disrupted adoptions. Lem was wounded and he challenged us at every turn. We can now say, with full confidence, that God has healed our sweet boy and he is proving to be a trustworthy young man with a fierce sense of right and wrong.  He is a star athlete and yet so humble about the gifts he has been given in that department.  Whenever the phrase "it was worth it" comes up in a television show, casual conversation or something I'm reading, my mind goes to our precious Lem.  We waited a long, long time and went through many MANY trials before this child grafted into the family but here he is and yes . . . it was worth the wait!

Four years later, God gave us the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome. . .
This tiny "baby" was 2 1/2 years old when he found his way into our family and along with him, came the most remarkable changes in all of us!  Appreciation for the smallest gains, compassion for those who struggle with developmental disabilities, the kind of protective love for another person that makes you ready to spring into action at the slightest sideways glance . . . we have to temper this in our older children. We have to assure them that not everyone who looks at our Angel Baby in public is thinking something unkind.  But more than what he represents, we love who he IS.  He is shy with strangers, he loves to dance and "sing", he eats with great gusto and he can be as stubborn as any child I've ever met.  Watching him sleep is precious and holding him while he sleeps can still put tears in my eyes.  When we hear "God's ways are higher than our ways", we can agree with complete certainty.  We might not have pursued the adoption of this Angel had not the Lord pricked our hearts so clearly . . . but oh, what we might have missed!  He is as close to perfection as a human can be.
The irony of that statement might be lost on some but if you have a child like ours, you understand completely.

But Our Father was not finished stuffing this family full just yet. . .
Into my hands came the file of an almost 15 year old boy.  And I saw his picture. And I knew he was MINE . . . just as sure as I knew I was living and breathing, I knew this young man was destined for our family . . .
And he came- terrified and uncertain, having been so long in his caring center. Having built relationships that were real and strong with so many who raised him, hating to leave yet needing to move on at the same time.  But this young man had been prayed over. He had been committed to God many times by many Believers. And we have been blown away to have been chosen to step into his life at this juncture and be the ones to say "forever". . . that is a privilege we will never take for granted.  God could have chosen anyone, but He chose US.   Thank you, Father!

And our crew has grown so big and beautiful, I often can't believe they are mine . . .


So as Orphan Sunday draws to a close,  I pray that families around the world are prompted to open their hearts and homes to just one more child, or to give to a family going through the adoption process, or to pray for orphans in every country.

The knowledge that there are children with nobody to call "mommy" or "daddy" lays me low. I choose to focus on all the "found" children today, like my own sons, but I am keenly aware that many remain unclaimed, feel unwanted, feel "less than" and in this broken world, that will always be a bitter truth.   But my prayer for those priceless treasures is that YOU, my readers, my friends, will notice, and care, and pursue them, even to the point of tremendous personal sacrifice.

There is no child too disabled, no land too far and no price tag too high for our Father.
He pays for what He orders. He guides. He equips. He sustains.
Always.
On time.
And sometimes, he even says "keep the change". . .
Won't you ask Him what He wants of you on this Orphan Sunday?

"God places the lonely in families . . ."   Psalm 68:6








4 comments:

  1. Lovely and encouraging! We're still waiting (just shy of three months now) to see if our family will be blessed with a 15-year-old boy from the Philippines. ~Rose

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    1. At fifteen, the powers that be had better get on it! I will be in prayer for a QUICK approval!!! It is so extraordinary to be called in so late in a child's life - really a gift - for both of you!
      If you think of it, I'd love to hear when the decision is rendered.
      Praying,
      Nikki

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    2. Thank you; I would REALLY appreciate the prayers since the wait has been tough, especially since my new daughter keeps asking if we got his approval. They are very close in age, so she knows the implications of aging out. She mentioned to me the other day that he called her "Ate." Here's hoping to hear that again...soon! ~Rose

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