I’m not even a grad student and this was so refreshing to me. I have a feeling some people need to hear this….
Let me clarify one thing before I continue. This is not “why you should adopt” or “why we must adopt” or anything like that. This is actually just a record of why I think it’s a good idea to adopt, why I want to adopt, and just a little note of encouragement to those blessed parents out there who have adopted or are seeking to adopt.
That being said, this is a topic that’s close to my heart. Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamt of having kids to love and teach and experience life with. As I grew, I realized parenting isn’t as easy as I always made it out to be. Imagine that, right? But the urge to have children to adore never left me.
I was a young teenager when I was first truly faced with the prospect of adoption, and it wasn’t until recently that I really saw the realities of it for me personally. Something about it touched my heart deeply. There was something inside me that connected with it. Giving a young, suffering child hope and a home….that was—is—beautiful. Hearing the stories of adopted children and adoptive parents and seeing the need all around the world, in both general and specific senses—those things made me want to do something special. I didn’t just want to hand over the change in my pocket. I wanted to wrest the money of the world and make a difference in a life. A tangible, forever difference. I didn’t just want to do some thing, I wanted to do—I don’t know—a crazy miraculous thing! I didn’t just want to help; I wanted to change.
And that dream stood with me. I have dreamt of changing lives for the better since I was very young. I would come up with crazy schemes and plans that were often unrealistic or even silly. But I still kept that dream.
So why did it take so long for me to understand?
You see, the real reason I want to adopt is because I want to find a poor, outcast, hurting little child and I want to look them in the eyes and say, “Hey. I’m choosing you. You’re mine.” I want to find that broken little girl and wrap her up in my arms and make sure that she never, ever hurts again. I want to wipe away their tears with my own hand and whisper: “I love you.” They didn’t choose me. I chose them. They didn’t find me. I found them. They had no power to get to me, but I had the means to get to them. And I could take them as my own, as if they came out of my very womb, heirs to all I have with my birth children, and make their life something more than just worth living. Because they are loved and accepted and believed in and they have a mother who will walk with them and listen to them and be there for them as much as I possibly can.
Don’t you see it?
This is the one way, the most obvious way, that I can be Jesus to someone. Not just take a flight, give little picture presentations of Christ, plop five dollars in their hands, and tell them, “Goodbye! Have fun with that!” Not that those things aren’t great things. They are. But I don’t want to stop there. I don’t want to leave them like everyone else in their life has. I want to turn back around and say, “…Or would you rather come with me. Back home. To stay.”
Because I was them once. No, I’ve never been poor. I’m an american. A white, middleclass, american girl. I’ve never tasted poverty. I’ve had riches beyond their wildest dreams. I have an air conditioned home and so much food it’s making me fat. Growing our food is something we can choose to do, not something we have to do, and I spend most of my day entertaining myself. But spiritually, I was dead! I was destitute, but God came to me, found me, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Hey. I choose you. You’re mine.” He wiped my tears away and grabbed me up in His arms and held me really tightly. He whispered, “It’s okay. I love you. We’re going home.” And though pain comes in the sojourn, He is going to take me home where He will make sure I never, ever hurt again. He wants the very best for me. He wants to enjoy life with me. I could never have gotten to Him on my own. I could never have found Him. And how could I choose Him? I didn’t even know Him! But I didn’t have to. He chose me. And the very best way I can come up with to thank Him is to replicate His example. To be Jesus to someone. I mean, how much closer can you get to really being Jesus to someone than adopting them like He did you? You are setting an example that they will never and can never forget. Their very identity is wrapped up in it, just like ours is in our adoption.
I was a poor, destitute, broken little girl who was adopted by the richest, most loving, most powerful being ever. And though I’ll never do as well as He did or be the perfect parent like He is or be all that He will always be, I can at least imitate His example and give hope to a dying world—one child at a time. 🙂
So, why adoption? I don’t have to tell you. You can see it in their faces. You can see it in His. ^~^
~~(Picture not my own)~~
People were His passion.
We crumble. Whether you sit in a prison cell searching for truth and regretting past decisions, or if you sit in your comfy home hiding secret sins and seriously stressing out, or if you just have been feeling restless lately and doubting our most precious promises, we all crumble at some point and come face-to-face with our misery and brokenness. It’s a brutal experience, but also a necessary one.
I want to help. I myself sat on my bed near midnight with the lightning flashing out my windows, weeping as the Lord did a work in my heart. I was restless and consumed with guilt and sorrow and confusion. I was travelling the internet at hyper speed, trying to ease the feelings deep inside. Finally, I stopped and typed the only words that would come to me into the search bar.
“God, i dont know what to do”
I was amazed at the encouragement I found. It was wonderfully fulfilling. I broke. Suddenly, a wave of words flowed freely from my lips as tears streamed freely from my eyes. For the first time in a long time, I truly communed with the Lord. I had words to speak instead of stony silence. I was able to put all my feelings and troubles into words to confess to the One who heard my groanings all along. I broke, and He restored me. It was incredibly freeing….
I want to share it with you.
Here is the primary article that prayed me through my feelings. Maybe it will help you too, when your heart is troubled….
(Picture from HERE)
My family has been going through the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series for family night. It’s been really fun, but more than that–it’s been very enlightening. And I’m not talking eastern mysticism. I mean truth. We recently finished the series, and this article is about a specific scene on the very last disc, so–I’ll only say this once–SPOILER ALERT!!!
Zuko was an amazing character. He was really childish at first. I didn’t like him–he didn’t even look cool with that ridiculous ponytail making his scar stick out like a sore thumb. But as the series went on, I grew to appreciate his pain and struggle, because it was relatable. He was meant to represent the very essence of the struggle between light and darkness, between good and evil. And, honestly, I think the writer(s) did a pretty good job with that. There’s not always an easy answer or a clear path. And we all have scars from past wounds. Usually from someone with our last name….The madness and mental instability, the pain and struggle–that’s relateable. Now, this story was made for children, so we can scream out the obvious right answer from the sidelines (like he can really hear us) and think of him as an idiot for choosing darkness–AGAIN. But, when we take a look at our own lives, when it is us on stage with everyone else on the sidelines, we realize that it’s not so easy to see the big picture. All we can see is what’s right in front of us. Everything else gets lost in the moment. We choose the dark far more often than Zuko, honestly. We are far more dual than we care to admit….
I have acted in plays before. I can tell you that there’s this funny feeling I get when I’m up on stage. It’s like my mind goes completely blank, and it’s only because I’ve carved my lines into my mind that I can remember them at all. Everything feels kinda hazy–like I’m doing everything on-the-fly. No practice, no prep, it’s all me in my bare nakedness, just winging it and hoping I don’t ruin everything. I can sit back and laugh at that now, because I’m not standing on a stage. Or, rather, because I don’t see the stage I’m standing on. Yet aren’t I doing the same exact thing every day of my life? I’m just flailing around, trying to get my lines right, messing things up A LOT, and just hoping that, in the end, it’ll all come together and touch the audience somehow. The world is my stage, and I’m a character in this play whether I want to be or not. If you watched my life, you could sit back and yell at me from the sidelines about what an idiotic decision I’m making and how it’s so obvious I should be doing something else (and, believe me, you’d be doing that a lot), but, like Zuko, I get lost in it all and I’m just trying to make it, struggling between the darkness and the light, never really understanding which one is going to satisfy me, even though the answer is obvious. In the end, though, like Zuko, I choose the light. But not before a lot of scars are made and a lot of people are hurt….
Despite Zuko’s folly, I grew to love him as a character. Sure, he WAS pretty childish, but remember he was still basically a child. He was terribly sorry for all he had done, but there was nothing he could do to make it right. His suffering would not make it right. Good works would not make it right. Correct philosophy could not fix the damage. What does one do when they kneel before the one they’ve hurt and there is nothing–NOTHING–they can do to fix it?
The answer is only that mercy is necessary. Because vengeance, violence, suffering–these things will not heal. They will only worsen the pain. So, the answer is obvious. You are at the victim’s mercy. Literally. You must be at their mercy. They have to let go of the past and grow something new in its place….
And that moment, when Zuko knelt before his uncle, tears streaming down his face, begging Iroh to forgive him for all his foolishness–that moment as Iroh clutched Zuko tightly in his arms, tears streaming down his own face–that moment when Zuko was unworthy but found grace–it struck a chord with me. It resonated with my own heart. Because, there I was, kneeling before the One I had betrayed, the One who had loved me, cherished me, grown me, cared for me–I was kneeling before the One whom I had hurt the most, tears streaming down my face, begging for forgiveness–and I found grace. I could have wept. The moment was moving for me. It touched me deeply. This was no children’s tale. It is the story of every prodigal son who ever knelt before their Father figure and found grace. Countless lives, innumerable souls, all finding the same grace He extends freely to everyone who will take it. Because, like Uncle Iroh with Zuko, God loves us deeply and only wants what is best for us. He sits there by our side while we drive around madly on a wild goose chase, going a 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction, and He sighs, trying to steer us the other way. But we don’t listen. He stays with us as, time after time, we fail in our endeavors to bring satisfaction to our souls and honour to our name, and He tries to tell us the answer. But we don’t listen. He leaves us in silence as we fume and rage, trying to find our own way. He weeps with our weeping, rejoices for our small gains, and ever watches, heavily, as we choose darkness over and over again, betraying Him with our every step….And, after we have run our last mile, worn out all our efforts, and come to our wits’ end, He whispers to us softly the hard truth. It is then that the paths diverge….
Some of us, as Zuko did, will ultimately choose the light, and will come weeping before Him with all our shattered pieces, expecting all the well-deserved wrath to be poured out on us. But, instead, He wraps us up in His arms, weeping for our ultimate return to Him, cherishing our very being, though we’ve hurt Him more than we’ve hurt anyone else. He gives grace, and, ultimately, He will let us rule with Him in a new kingdom of prosperity and peace and love….
Yet others will be Azula, choosing the maddening darkness until their very last breath, and meeting the ultimate ruin of their own selves, because they would not heed the light. For all my lack of care for Azula throughout the series, in that last moment, when she is wailing and squalling like a small child, trapped and helpless, at her literal wits’ end, I had nothing but pity for her. I wanted to help her, but there was nothing left to help….
As for the Fire Lord, well….We know his end. His power will ultimately be taken away, to do no more harm to anyone ever again….
For now, I’m still on the stage. I’m still flailing and wandering. I’m still being clutched in my adoptive Father’s arms, still weeping because the pain is yet too near, the struggle yet too real. I am still often betraying Him, yet I find a neverending supply of grace. He has every right to be angry–to eliminate me–but He chooses to love and forgive me instead. And that brings healing. That brings redemption. Because of that, I am being made new. And this, my friend, is the greatest redemption story ever. 🙂
***DISCLAIMER: Images used in this article are not mine! They are strictly the porperty of their original poster….***