Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Going After Their Hearts....Going After God's

My baby boy turned six years old today.  It’s been five years since we’ve had him.  We were signed up for older child adoption but God plopped a 13 month old boy right into our laps.  He was and is such a blessing to us.  For at least two years it felt like Christmas morning every day…..I’d wake up and he’d be the first thing I thought about.  He is delightful in every way and him becoming my son is one way that I know that God really likes me!

Fast forward five years later, and we’ve added six more children to the mix….they are ages 14, 12, 11, 11, 10, and 7. (We also have 5 adult kids!) Each one is unique and beautiful and special, but none were as easy to adapt to as our baby was.  Of course not.  We knew they wouldn’t be when we got into older child adoption.  They already have their personalities formed and you're not going to change that—all you can do is learn to blend and bend and adapt to one another…..and to keep improving—both you and them—little by little.  By the grace of God.  Learning humility.  And when you are learning it and moving in it yourself, it’s a lot easier to teach it to your children.

My husband and I met a couple the other day and we got to talking about our kids, and they were amazed that we had adopted seven children.  I have so many adoptive Facebook friends that I forget that to most people we are unusual.  They asked us what made us decide to adopt so many children.  We told them that we are Christians—adopted by God…..and that this is his heart.  We told them we feel it is a mockery of God that there are 2 billion Christians in the world while 20 million orphans sit legally free to be adopted.  We told them that these children are the Church’s responsibility.  The couple is Muslim. 

Then they said something that we hear All. The. Time.  They said, “Wow, you must really have a lot of patience to be able to do this.  WE don't have that kind of patience.”  I told them the truth….No, it’s not that we HAVE patience naturally...we don't!  But we do want to have patience, and I guess nothing will develop that better than putting yourself in a position where you have to get along with other humans who come with all types of issues…..behavior, personality, or learning, etc.

This adoption road has been challenging.  For sure, more challenging than if we had had seven children biologically.  The love and bonding don't just come naturally, like with birth.  It takes cultivating and purposefully going after it.  It’s sort of like going after God.  Like when you WANT to love God more, and you WANT to be close to him, but your natural man just wants to watch the fun shows on TV and read the novels and do the online surfing, etc.  But then you take the time.  You put down the remote and you close the computer and you read his Word, which seems really dull and dry right now.  But you know that you must go after God.  You aren’t hungry for him but you WANT to be hungry for him, so you start feeding your spirit with the stuff that will nourish it, and then, lo and behold, this passion, this fire, starts burning within you and you are falling desperately, deeply in love with your Father.  This wonderful thing has happened to me.  I’m so madly in love with my God….zeal burns within me for his Name and for his Word. 
And this feels similar to the cultivating I’m trying to do with my relationships with my children.  Sometimes I just want to say about a particular one—“This one and I just won’t get along.  Our personalities are too different.”  And maybe in the end it won’t turn out all lovey dovey between us.  But, it’s not an option to give up.  I must go after this bonding just as I go after God.  And as I go after their hearts, I’m at the same time going after the heart of God.  Because he LOVES people.  People whom we find annoying or rude or draining….he loves them.  So as we purpose to love them, we are loving him.  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-11

The Spirit of God is all over adoption.  This is his heart.  Norman and I never adopted in order to get a pat on the back from God or any person.  We did it because we knew this is the right thing to do and that no matter how hard it would be, God would be in our midst and he would bless it.  And he has.  Bringing these children into our lives has made us fall more and more in love with Jesus!  Sometimes, when I have a moment’s peace, or when I’m lying in bed, I just tell him how crazy in love with him I am.  And what amazes me is that I see this same passion for God and his truth in several of our kids—our three recently adopted Bulgarian boys included.  They love to pray—they pray with boldness and fervor. They love to sing and worship and study his Word.  They are his beloved.

So I just want to thank my Lord for the gift of my little King David, and for all twelve of our children.  He was the beginning of this long, hard, beautiful journey that Norman and I are privileged enough to walk together...... hand in hand with the One who first loved and adopted us.

Reader Comments

Sorry to all who have left comments on my pages over the last few years. Once I moved my site from Bandzoogle to Blogger, I lost all of them! Please feel free to leave a new comment above!