Sunday, September 2, 2012

Adoption: A Beginning, Not The End State

This morning at worship, our pastor asked how things were going with Big Sister and the overall transition.  I said things were going well, that transitions are of course stressful, and that it was amazing to be able to witness the healing taking place.  The brief dialogue made me reflect on the bigger picture of adoption, one that we might not think about during the hectic paper-chase stage, the painful stage of waiting for our child or children to come home, or the euphoric homecoming and honeymoon period.  In the bigger picture, the one which led us to adoption in the first place, we adopt...we choose love...because we were adopted and loved first.  Adoption is a story of redemption, of healing, of taking broken things and making them whole.  In short, adoption is the story of Christianity.  While the completion of an adoption might very well feel like crossing the finish line, the truth is that another race begins almost immediately.  

I hope you take some time to catch your breath at the finish line, re-hydrate, and prayerfully prepare for the marathon of redemption and healing that lies ahead, which you will take an active role in and in the process be transformed yourself.  It is a very painful journey, have no doubt, on in which you will cling to your Savior like never before, but also a journey in which you will actively witness and bear witness to God's healing and redemptive power in a broken world.  During this marathon of your new life, God may very well open your eyes to bigger and more painful issues.  At least, that is what happened to our family.  Those same issues and injustices that necessitated adoption are now painfully and joyfully interwoven into the fabric of our family.  As I have said before, I do not believe adoption is God's "Plan A" for children.  And while adoption may very well be a family's Plan A for adding children, praise God, the mere fact that children need to be adopted points to issues much larger than a child being placed into family.  While God's hand is certainly all over that entire matching process (as our house full of dynamic and unique personalities can attest),  I believe that God uses adoption to point our heart toward the underlying injustices, the abuses of position and power, and the way in which the church is or is not responding to the least of these.  Adoption is not an end state, it is a new beginning!  Not just for your child or children, but for every person involved in your own adoption journey.  

I pray that those words resonate in your heart and that you allow God to open to your eyes to whatever issues God chooses.  For those of us with adopted children at home, we understand that each child's brokenness is not the same.  Some have dealt with physical abuse, some with sexual abuse, others with neglect and abandonment, some with simply the absence of a loving and caring presence.  Others may have had all the love in the world but not enough resources to feed, clothe, and educate.  However, underneath all of these issues there is another layer.  Again, the injustices that are rampant in our world leave a fertile breeding ground for these superficial fleshy issues to take over.  And take over they do.  Whatever issues our child has faced or dealt with, I believe, are now the issues woven into our family.  How can I pretend I do not know?  I can't.  This truth has gloriously wrecked my life, praise God! 

The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 6:18 tells us, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."  Like an earthly father, our heavenly Father does not just give us new life and then depart.  What would happen to a newborn baby left at the hospital without loving care and subsistence?  Our God stays with us, guiding and correcting, teaching and growing us.  And so it is with adoption.  Just as our heavenly Father adopted each of us into his family, when we adopt a son or daughter into our family and assume all parental roles and responsibilities, God walks along side of us, using our flawed bodies and minds to bring healing and redemption to another human being.  God heals!  If you don't believe me, pop in any day of week and witness God's work in his children.  If you read their life stories, you would expect them to be broken beyond repair.  If you read their life stories through the eyes of God, you would understand that God has beautiful plans for all of his children.  However in a broken and unjust world, we cannot sit back and expect God to pour miracles from the sky.  We, brothers and sisters in Christ, ARE the miracles and are to be the miracles to others bringing God's story of hope and redemption to the world.  

As such, I hope that each of you along this wonderful and wonderfully challenging road, begin to see adoption not as an end state to be reached but as a lifelong journey.  While your homecoming day will certainly be remembered and celebrated for the rest of your lives, as it should be, I believe there is more to the story.  There is more to our story and there is more to yours. 

What else is God trying to teach us?  Where does God expect us to go from here?  How could God be using adoption to transform our own hearts...weeding out self-severing tendencies?  What does God want us to see?  What does God want us to do?

Those are just some questions bouncing around my mind.  How has God used your adoption journey to open your eyes to other issues?  
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing..this really spoke to my heart.. a lot.