The Rest of the Story
by Amy Coleman
THE STORY – An Aside
For 2 solid years our Claire had been asking us to adopt. Before that she would ask me to "PLEASE" have her a baby brother or sister, but after meeting her adopted niece her focus changed. Now it was all about adopting.
Several times a month she would say, "Mom, Dad, we should adopt." Madeleine and Walker would chime in with support. "Yeah, mom and dad, that would be so cool. Let's adopt." They most definitely were ganging up on us.
Our response was usually the same thing. "Sweetie, not everyone is called to adopt."Her response: "When I get married I am adopting!"
We always encouraged that and told her how awesome it was that her heart was feeling called to adopt. We also were so thankful that my brother's family had now made adoption a part of our language. Unlike Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta and some of the other big cities where people are adopting like crazy, no one in our small town had adopted internationally. So, adoption wasn't a hot topic of conversation prior to their introducing it to us.
The funniest response we got from her was after telling her (for the 5,867th time) that God had not called us to adopt. She practically yelled, "MOM! DAD! God has called me to tell you that He is calling you to ADOPT!!!" Out of the mouth of babes, I know...
So, after sitting down one Saturday night and having the family meeting where we told the kids that we knew God was calling us to adopt, she wept. I mean really wept. This child of mine that doesn't cry. Ever. Not when she's hurt, not in movies, not when silly girls at school are mean. She simply doesn't cry. Her face crumpled up in agony. Her eyes filled with big, heavy tears. Her heart broke in two when Lee explained to the kids that there were three little ones who, that very same night, wouldn't have a mommy and daddy kissing them goodnight. Three little ones that knew no love. Three little ones that were waiting on us. She simply wept. We wept.
She told us after the fact that every time we told her we didn't feel called to adopt that she would pray in her room that night that God would change our hearts. Speechless...
So thankful that God gives us people to pray for us. Even if it is a baby Christian who is so young in her faith. A little one who had the eyes to see and the ears to hear that "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" James 1:27
The Story – Ongoing
The process of adoption was tedious and tiring. The time we spent in country with our adopted children was two of the hardest weeks of our entire life. Life since adoption hasn’t been perfect, easy, or smooth sailing, but it has been good. It has been a steady walk on the path that God is leading us down since we chose to answer yes to His call. Sometimes uphill and rocky, sometimes a peaceful downhill stroll, but always, always good.
Adoption is a beautiful thing, but it is also a sign of a broken world. I wish with all my heart that no child needed to be adopted. I wish that my littles hadn’t had to face being taken away from all that they knew. I wish they hadn’t had to know loneliness, hunger, and abandonment. But, I am so thankful that through all of the pain they were brought into our family.
God tells us we’ve been adopted in Ephesians 1 - In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
God tells us that we are heirs in Romans 8 - For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Both of these passages and the thought that we have been made heirs with Christ, adopted as God’s very own children, have a whole new meaning for my family and me. We might have never known this depth of meaning had we not answered God’s call to adopt.
God opening our eyes to adopting older children has also opened our eyes to the truth of the gospel. After all, God doesn’t only take me as his child if I’m pure, clean, and free of any messiness in my life. On the contrary, God steps in and tells us to bring Him our mess, bring Him our brokenness, our loneliness, our struggles. For those very things He gave His son, so that we might be a part of His family. Beautiful!
Our story is ongoing. I don’t know if it will get harder or easier. I do know that just as God has answered so many prayers up to this point, I have faith He will continue to do so. After all, we have the promise in Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
We are trusting God and His plans for the journey. God is writing our story, I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.