June 30, 2012
I Will Get to You (Adoption Thoughts)
One of the things I want to do for my internship is interview adoptive/foster families, so I started with my supervisor at the non-profit I’ve been interning with. At one point she said something that really struck me:
“I knew I had a child in China.”
I shared this with Adam and he said it struck him the same way it did me. We generally talk in impersonal terms like “there are thousands of kids who need parents,” which sounds so overwhelming and abstract and unreal. But to think that WE could have a one of OUR children in another country, waiting for us to come rescue them, pierces me in an entirely different way.
The first night after Berean was born, we stayed in the hospital and he slept in his bassinet at the food of my bed. I had ended up needing a c-section and had only been in recovery a few hours, so I was still pretty much immobile in bed. At some point during the night, Berean made a tiny sound that sounded a little like choking. Within an instant I was on my hands and knees on the foot of the bed, scooping him up and checking to make sure everything was okay. He was perfectly fine and I soon put him back down, and only then did I realize what I’d just done: I had been flat on my back with a major incision in my stomach, numb from pain killers and basically unable to use my abdominal muscles, tangled with 11 cords attached all over my body, yet the instant I’d thought my baby was in danger something had absolutely propelled me to his side. I couldn’t even lie back down again without Adam’s help, but somehow I had gotten to my baby when he needed me.
I realized right then that with Berean’s birth an incredible protective force had been born in my heart. Nothing—ever—was going to keep me away from my baby when he needed me.
This came to my mind today when Adam and I were talking about the possibility that we have a child in another country. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Berean was in an overwhelmed orphanage on the other side of the world, or being moved from foster home to foster home across the city, I would move heaven and earth to get to him. I would stop at nothing—-nothing—-that was in my power to get to him. I wouldn’t be stopped by money, or fear, or overwhelming amounts of paperwork, or how tiny our apartment is, or whether it seemed practical, or what other people thought about it. I would Get. To. My. Child. Period.
It’s admittedly a bit mind-boggling to think that one of our children might be in another country. But, if God calls us to adopt, that child is our child, regardless of race or country or biology, and He has known it all along. It just might take us a little longer to figure it out. When I think about it that way, from God’s perspective, and wonder if one of my children is somewhere else, separated from me, it lights a fire under me. If God is calling me to adopt, then I have a child far away who needs me and is waiting for me. And nothing—nothing-–is going to keep me away from them.
All this can’t help but make me think about what God has done for me. This fierce, passionate love and protectiveness in me for both the child in my arms and any children who are far away is a reflection of how He feels about us.
There’s a story in John, where Jesus is talking to the religious leaders of the Jews, who considered themselves the “true children” of God. Yet, here is Jesus, stunning them by calling them blind sinners. He starts telling a story about a flock of sheep, and how a hired hand will abandon the sheep when wolves come because he’s just an employee and doesn’t really care about the sheep. But, Jesus says, He loves the sheep because He is the good shepherd. In fact, He loves His sheep so passionately that He is going to give up his life for them.
Then He says an interesting thing: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me…. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (John 10: 1-18).
Those “other sheep” that Jesus is talking about, are US–all of us who aren’t born Jews. Even though we weren’t born into His own people group and family, Jesus considered us His children. And, rather than moving heaven and earth to get to us, He moved himself across heaven and earth to come to us. He “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
That same passage says that Jesus’ own people rejected Him; in fact, they would later kill him. But, to the people who did accept Him, “He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:2-14).
So, in reality, *I* am an adopted child. I wasn’t born into God’s family biologically, but He knew me and loved me and knew I would accept Him. He gave everything He had, right down to His very life, to rescue me. He didn’t let anything keep Him away from me, but came all the way into my world to save me and, eventually, will take me home with Him.
We don’t know what will happen with our family and adoption, but we are trusting God that, if one of our children has been or will be born in another country or across the city, He will get us to him or her, no matter what it takes. Will you pray with us?