Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Decision

A.D.O.P.T.I.O.N. Close your eyes and let the word conjure up an image. Do you see an animal shelter? For a small fee you can become a pet owner. You can adopt! Perhaps you see a handbook of policies that have been adopted by your boss to improve the overall profitability of your company? Do you see neighborhood children spending time in your home, in your yard, in your kitchen? They feel like a part of the family. In your mind, you have adopted them! Some of you have adopted habits. Some of you see a pregnant teenager, hopeless, questioning the future for herself and her unborn child. Maybe you see heartache in the eyes of an adult adoptee longing to know his/her birthparents...longing for connection. Do you see an Asian child with a Caucasian mommy? Do you see orphans?, yellow, black, and white in every corner of the world yearning for a loving family. Perhaps you see your own baptism? On that day you went from being a cosmic orphan (desperate, lonely, hungry, thirsty, dirty, and lost) to being a child of the King (hopeful, loved, accepted, forgiven, clean, and rich). This was your own "GOTCHA DAY" when you received your inheritance at the foot of the cross.

ADOPTION...a word with many interpretations.

ADOPT, by definition:
1. To take into one's family through legal matters and raise as one's own child
2. To take and follow by choice; adopt a new technique
3. To take up and make one's own; adopt a new idea
4. Take on or assume; adopt an air of importance
5. Vote to accept; adopt a resolution
6. To choose as a standard; to adopt a policy

This is where The Story of Thunder and Lightning begins, with one word, A.D.O.P.T.I.O.N. We were a middle-aged couple, preparing to celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary, making a living, homeschooling, and parenting three beautiful biological children. Our oldest, fourteen; our youngest six; one sandwiched in the middle...all school-aged; all independent; all growing up. By all accounts we were living a blessed life attending a mission-minded church, continuing to grow a thriving business, serving the needy in our local community, vacationing, entertaining family and friends on the weekends, and putting money aside into retirement and savings accounts. We were well on our way to fulfilling the American dream, BUT God intervened with His dream.

James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Soon the kids would be in college. We would retire and buy an RV. We would travel the countryside, BUT God intervened with His command.

Isaiah 1:17 says, "Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."

God has always been the author of our story and it was clear that one chapter was ending and another was beginning. It started with a simple reminiscing of the good ole days when the kids were younger, then it grew into a desire for more. More diapers, more bottles, more lullabies, more bikes with training wheels, more t-ball teams, more tooth fairies, more pillow fights, more birthday parties, more chairs around he dinner table, more hugs, more kisses, more CHILDREN! But this time they would not be born of my body, He would write their names upon our hearts and they would grow there. God had penned The Story of Thunder and Lightning. The title of the next chapter in our lives was Adoption and the pages began to turn with each step of obedience.

Isaiah 6:8 says, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here am I. Send me!"

God had filled us to overflowing and now he was asking us to empty our vessels on the orphans. There are millions of children in the world who are lost, born into poverty, lacking any material possessions, deprived of all human affection. He was calling us, whom He saved by grace, to "GO!" be His hands and feet. He was asking us to bring His children into our home. We would give them a heritage. We would teach them about their Heavenly Father, His love, and His gift of salvation. We would guide them in the discovery of His plan and purpose for their lives. We would clear a path and the Holy Spirit will lead them to the cross.

We wanted more...more children. And this is where our hearts collided with His purpose...our blessings with His mission. This is where our hearts collided with the orphan. This is the day we decided to adopt.

Our definition of adoption:
colorblind people jumping through hoops, cutting through red tape, opening their homes to evaluation, succumbing to bloodwork, telling their life story, sacrificing financially, traveling fearlessly to third world countries, completing insufferable mountains of paperwork, jet lagged and exhausted, coming home with a child that they will forever call "theirs"

God's definition of adoption:
the Gospel, found in the New Testament Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

On January 31, 2011, we committed to Gladney's Honduran Adoption Program. At that time the agency had just been licensed to facilitate adoptions from this Central American country. We were labeled as 'a pioneer family'.

If your world has collided in any way with the plight of the orphan, you have been chosen to be a part of the mission. God has broken your heart for what breaks His. Move forward, in humility, one step at a time knowing that He has already written the story. May He be glorified and may you be richly blessed by the One whose voice thunders and directs the path of the lightning through the heavens.

No comments:

Post a Comment