March 27, 2007 started like any other day in our house. I gathered up my kids – back then I only had two, what did I do with my time?!?! – and headed to the library for story time and a huge stack of books destined to be lost under couch cushions and bunk beds. My day was all planned out – library time, home for lunch, do a little math and reading with Ross, make an early dinner, then head to church for a women’s meeting on time management. We had a great time listening to stories, doing some finger plays, visiting with some moms and their kids from church and picking out a pile of books to borrow.
I got into the van and checked my cellphone, saw two voice mail messages and clicked “call”. Sometimes the simplest little things like voice mail and phone calls can change your life forever and you have no idea it’s even coming, the blessing or the tragedy. Both messages were from licensing workers from social services. Now before you get the wrong idea about me, they weren’t calling because of my kids, they were calling because we were foster parents and on that day, we were being invited to become parents again. The first voice mail was about a newborn girl being released from the hospital that afternoon. And the second message was about a little two year old girl ready to be placed the next day. My hands shook with excitement and anxiousness as I dialed the number to the social services office and talked to the worker about the details of each little girl.
My plans for the day went right out the window and I spent the next three hours rushing from home to Target to the hospital, hurrying to prepare for the arrival of the girls. I could hardly wait to meet them and hug them and give them the love they desperately needed. At 4 pm, I walked out of the hospital carrying baby Amber and a new diaper bag stuffed to the gills with every little freebie the nurses could find for her. I was home just long enough to change her into something cute, grab the stroller and head to church. I wasn’t about to miss the women’s meeting – going from two to four children in 24 hours was definitely going to require some time management! Michael met me in the parking lot and there I introduced him to this precious little bundle with a headful of dark brown hair. And he fell in love. You can imagine the surprise of the moms that night – “Weren’t you just at the library this afternoon? I didn’t know you would have a baby by tonight!” Well neither did I! Such is life as a foster parent.
The next day was another flurry of preparation for the arrival of Trisha while also trying to adjust to life with a newborn again. For the next fourteen months, we loved these girls like our own. We said goodbye when Trisha was placed with her aunt. But with Amber, we prayed goodbye would never come. We waited and hoped and pleaded with God, trying to be patient and have open hands, wanting Him to be glorified above all else, but having hearts full of love for her that we knew would break in two if she were to leave us. And on May 16, 2008 we got another life changing phone call – she was ours, not just for now, but forever. We had a huge party to celebrate her officially coming into our family, but to us, she had always been ours, always been loved. Now we just had a document that made it legal and binding and real to the rest of the world.
Have you ever pictured God like that, an eager adoptive parent waiting in joyful anticipation for the day you would be his? Can you see him reaching out to you over and over again, slowly drawing you closer to him, loving you even before you really belonged to him? And the celebration in heaven when you finally became his child, finally accepted his gift of salvation and allowed him to be Father God in your life – wow, I bet God throws a terrific party when his children come to him.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6
Sometimes I feel like God is stuck with me, wishing I would straighten up and finally get this Christian living thing right. I imagine him thinking, “Oh no not her again, is she still doing that?!?!” But just like adoptive parents here in earthly relationships, God is eager to bring us into his family. He doesn’t do it begrudgingly! He can’t wait to be your Daddy.
Adopted children hardly ever come in perfect packages. Most of them are available for adoption because of the brokenness of their parents, which most times leads to brokenness in themselves. Adoptive parents take on all the hurt and neglect and junk heaped on a child prior to their adoption and they love that child through it. In the same way, God comes into broken down, messed up, rejected hearts full of hurt and distrust and bad behaviors that stem from all those things. He doesn’t send us away, doesn’t deem us unworthy and amazingly, He isn’t disgusted by our filth. Why? Because when he looks at us, he sees the righteousness of Christ – his perfection, his sacrifice on our behalf – and it’s enough to bring us straight to Abba Father, to Daddy God where we can lay our battered and broken hearts at his feet.
As always, comments make my day! I would love to hear your adoption stories, or any other adventures you’ve had.