Amharic for "family" (phonetic spelling). We have been talking a lot about that lately at our house. Without giving too much away that is particular to our son, Tony, we have had to revisit what it means to be a part of a family recently. As we have been preparing for the arrival of Baby 'S', he has been dealing with his own heart. Because of his own adoption story, he has faced some pretty big questions lately; like where is his place after this baby comes? Will he still have a place?
As heartbreaking as it is to think that he still struggles with these things, I try to remain calm and imagine what the Father would say. How many times have I acted like I wasn't sure that I was a "family girl", forever etched on God's heart, a part of His Kingdom, His family! How many times have I looked around and wondered if I was good enough. It takes us all a while to really "act" like and then "know that we know" we are one of His! We have been using that term "family boy" (I didn't come up with this, lest you think that I am clever, but read a good book) with Tony a lot. I think he understands it now. When he seeks out the "family-like" closeness from someone other than Chris and I, we pull him aside and say "you're not really being a family boy right now, do you want to try again?" He understands that whatever he was doing, now needs to be directed towards us or needs to originate from us and not from someone outside of us; like sitting in someone else's lap, or wanting to play with other random Dad's at parks.
Now, Tony has adjusted so well to life with us, but the changes that this baby will bring, I think, are making him question his place. We will continue to work. And it has inspired me to examine my heart. When do I not exhibit "family girl" behavior with the King of Kings? I can't say enough how much I have learned about God's love and His plan of redemption through Jesus by being both a foster and adoptive parent. Some things are just little personal treasures, and some things I feel I must share. We have all had different views in life and the view from Adoptive mother is one that I can share.
I really try not to be preachy, but several times I have had people say to me (well meaning) that if you don't bond with a child in the first year, you never will. Poppy-cock!! It is harder and you have to keep working and being a good listener to their little hearts (even after 3 years), but it works! And God is such a big God! He is the God of second chances. He is the Redeemer of time. He turns Beauty for Ashes. Can we only truly become His child if we are saved as children? Will we never truly be "bonded" to Him if it doesn't happen in the infancy of our lives here? I doubt that anyone would answer "no" to that. Adoption is a mirror to our adoption into the Kingdom. Our parenting should be a reflection of His. Our families a copy of the Kingdom. One song that I have been singing all week. I love this song, so will add it here. I am sure many of you know it, but if not, please listen to it.
"Child of God"
Father you're all I need, my soul's sufficiency......
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
One of the families from our adoption agency posted on her blog a few days ago about their experinces while at Hannah's Hope, Ethiopia.(Thanks Katie!) She was describing her arrival at the orphanage and being led into the office area. While waiting for the director of the orphanage to come in (and bear in mind she hasn't met her child, yet) she is glancing around and notices a shelf. On that shelf are folders with childrens names on them. All of the children in the orphanage that already have families chosen for them had a file with heir first name and their soon-to-be last name. She tells how that really moved her. And reading it, myself, I was moved. Knowing that we will be waiting another 2 plus months to meet my child and another month or two after that to bring her home is sure hard. But knowing that she has already been named "ours" is astonishing. In an orphanage on the other side of the world is a folder with our last name on it. That folder means that the little girl working hard to grow in the next room is ours forever, whether she realizes it or not. She has been "placed" in a family. That is exciting!
But, there are so many more children all over this world that don't have a folder with their new last name sitting on a shelf. They go to bed dreaming of having a family, a home, a mother and a father. I can't help but think of those without. Our daughter's destiny has been sealed. The King of Kings has "placed" her in a family. How many more can He do this for?