Today has been a day, for me, filled with the joy (and pain) of adoption.
My Moms in Prayer praying partner also adopted her children… and our prayer needs are very similar.
But then again, I think most parents with pre-teens have similar prayers to mine.
These things always cause me to pause and reflect on three adoptions… those of my two oldest children… and my own.
Two years ago last May, my husband and I adopted two children out of the foster care system. We’d had each of them for a number of years before the adoptions finalized the role we’d already claimed in their lives… mother and father.
We stood before a judge.
We swore an oath… to love them, to give them full rights as legal heirs, to be their mommy and daddy.
They swore an oath of agreement… my then eleven year-old and nine year-old.
They were given new names.
A new birth certificate.
My name. Their dad’s name. Their names. As though it had happened this way at birth.
Had always been this way.
I remember the tears in the judges eyes… as she stamped her approval. Her seal. Making it all official.
The other four days of her work week look a lot different… dealing with parents who have lost their children, aren’t fulfilling the “simple” tasks being requested of them, seeing families fall apart.
One day a week she brings them together.
It was final! No more having to ask permission to leave the city! No more needing court permission to get certain medical needs met! No more being forced to do things that we felt were against their best interest… just because the system had deemed it so for everyone. No more wondering if we would give up on them too… send them on their way, kick them out of our family. Our commitment to be their forever parents.
A blessing and a challenge.
These two kids have radically changed my life… have brought about the maturity I lacked as a person. They’ve brought me to my knees, desperate for the guidance of Jesus, on so many occasions. They’ve made me laugh, cry… put to test everything I’ve learned as a Counselor.
They’ve been gracious with me… merciful even, as I’ve learned to parents older children. My imperfections… so evident… are handled with love and care.
And then I stop.
And remember the day.
That I stood before my dad.
And swore an oath.
To be his child forever. To let him by my daddy always.
And my name was changed.
My certificate renewed.
Tears in eyes.
Security. Knowing I’d never be alone again. Left out again. Out-casted again.
I have a forever-home.
And oh! How I must make him laugh, cry, and… if he has any grey hairs, how I must have contributed to them! He’s been so patient, consistent, loving, gracious, merciful, tender….
And never ever gone back on his oath.
Removed the seal.
Called me by my former name.
Even when I have failed miserably. He smiles, picks me up. and helps me with the next step.
Oh that I could be that same kind of adoptive parent! To smile, pick up, and help. Instead of criticize, judge, and modify. To set aside my self and simply be about them. And who they are. And who they are going to be. And not how it makes me feel or inconveniences my moment.
Even now that I am a parent… my dad still continues to be my greatest lesson… my greatest example of how to love all, regardless of blood or “good behavior” or what is deserved or not.
To open my arms wide to all who need a forever home, a forever heart, a forever love.
To be a shelter for the lost, food for the hungry, a comfort to the down-trodden and beaten.
To aid the orphans in their distress.
As he has come to the aid of this orphan in distress.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.