Monday, August 18, 2008

Adoption Thoughts

I've thought a lot about what Heather and I (Robert and Sean as well) are doing FOR Stephen. We've all, collectively, decided to something bigger than the sum of its parts. We choose to put this amazing little boy first and foremost. For Heather, she's in some way - lost a child. No one would be saying such cruel things, if Stephen had gone to live with our Lord. I am by no means, saying that my home is Heaven... or so Godly that His presence is here. OH, wait... but it is. It's a heaven for Stephen and Robert and I... and God's presence is here.

I've been studying some books, trying to learn how better to pray... and how to be a better Woman of Faith... and I find that they all say the same thing. Your relationship with God, is just that; a relationship... between you and God and everyone needs to butt out. Think about this - Jesus prayed... in the Garden of Gethsemane...

""everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine"" [Mark 14:36a] Christ understood that God is always after the highest good.

In my suffering to have a child... God blessed Robert and me with three children... and blessed us by taking those children to live with Him. I have struggled with insurmountable amounts of pain, chemotherapy, treatments, and prescriptions and yet, I, as a woman, felt incomplete. I didn't have the opportunity to be what I wanted most; a mother, someone's mom, someone's Heaven.

""Rejoice, O childless woman! Break forth into loud and joyful song, even though you never gave birth to a child. For the woman who could bear no children now has more than all the other women!"" [Isaiah 54:1]

""Ask, and it will be given to you"" [Luke 11:9]

And so, I asked. It was given. The instrument of giving was Heather. God knew, through all the suffering she faced, with her first husband and the trials of being a single mom to three children, going to school, working that she was so strong, that she could do ... so much more. That even though, she looked away from God for a time, and I did too... that we still were in His care, His love, His ever watchful eye and yes, He had a plan for us. I do not believe that God would have brought a sweet, amazingly loving child, such as Stephen, into being from such suffering, as Heather went through at the hands of Donald, without good reason. The reason was, God knew there were TWO mothers who had the ability to love this little boy so much, they'd do anything. One mother, would give him up, knowing that while it would hurt, and she would miss him in the day to day, he would have no doubts as to her love for him, because she gave him the opportunity to be the one and only child. Another mother would move Heaven and Hell itself to do anything to keep this little boy from harm.

We've made sure that has no doubt as to how much he's loved and much of a blessing he is to both of our families. He's enlarged my family, by taking us from being 'just two' to being 'three'. By his being here, he's allowed Heather more time to focus on preparing her older three boys for the world they are about to come into, and to give her and Sean's baby all the love she can.
I have no doubts that Heather loves Stephen. Nor does he doubt it. When asked his answer is simple and profound, as children tend to be... we had this conversation a few days ago.

"Heather loved me and you a lot, didn't she mom?"
'Yeah. She really does. Why?'
"She knew you needed me and dad needed a son and she had a lot, so God told her to share. It's a good thing to share"
'Yeah, it is. I share with Heather too you know...'
'My mom and dad and me. We kinda adopted Heather when she and I first met. She almost married my brother. She became part of our family. It's why I call her Sisi. I don't have a sister, but she's become my sister in my heart and through God, she's my sister.'
"Like at church, we're all brothers and sisters. But your mom is Heather's mom... like you're my mom."
'Exactly. My mom adopted me. My mom knew she could love some little kid, that she didn't give birth to, so much that it didn't matter whose tummy I came out of. Just like you, it doesn't matter that you came out of Heather's tummy, it just means I get to love you more.'

We talked quite a bit more about things. He really does get it. It's scary and amazing that a seven year old can get that God is the one in the one in charge... that He knew that I could love... just like God loves. We are not his children by blood, genetics or anything more than mercy. We are His children by adoption. Adoption goes beyond the world. It is greater than the world, and it's before the world in the plan of God, and it will outlast the world, as we know it. It's greater than the "universe" and is rooted in God’s own nature. Adoption is "from him"—from God.
""In love he predestined us for adoption."" [Ephesians 1:5]

So adoption was part of God’s plan. It was his idea, his purpose. It was not an afterthought. He didn’t discover one day that against his plan humans had orphaned themselves in the world, and then come up with the idea of adopting them into his family. Paul says, he predestined adoption. God planned it.

God adopted us for the praise of the glory of his grace. Therefore we adopt for the praise of the glory of his grace. The questions you ask as you ponder adopting a child who needs a family are not first questions of feasibility or affordability. The questions you ask first are: Is my heart fixed on glorifying the grace of God? Is my aim in this to make the grace of God look glorious? Is Christ the center and goal of this decision? We adopt a child not for our own glory but for the glory of God’s grace.

Our aim is to take a child who by nature makes himself the center of the universe and show him that he was made to put God at the center of the universe and to get joy, not from seeing his own tiny worth, but from knowing Christ who is of infinite worth. We adopt to lead a child to the everlasting joy of making much of the glory of the grace of God. We model mercy because we freely choose to love this child, no matter what. Many adoptions happen sight unseen. He passes no test. He is loved freely without meeting conditions. We don’t base our choice on what we see. We love because we have been loved. This is mercy. This is love.

I feel sorry for anyone who can look at what Heather and I have done and see evil. I only see God's work, God's love and God's mercy.


At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie, AMEN SISTER! What you all have done, it is a blessing! And well, you should believe that! BTW, I personally think that 'cruel person' is crazy and a nut worth ignoring! ;)

Keep up doing what you are, and being a FAITHFUL woman of faith! GOD BLESSED YOU!


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