Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Greatest Joys

Joe and I started preparing for a panel discussion at church tonight that focuses on international adoption. With all the things going on in our lives, we decided we had to work via email, while Joe was at work. The positive side to this is it caused both of us to slow down, be quiet and really think about how we would address certain issues about our adoption.

The big challenge...describing the greatest joys. Even as I sit here now, I have to pause. Sometimes I get angry at God, especially after I talk to adoptive parents who are so happy and so joy filled and have told stories about how easy the adoption and bonding process was. I am not jealous or resentful of them, just angry at God for our situation.

I don't hear from too many parents who share how their child would strip off all his clothes when he was angry and then scream at the top of his lungs. I don't hear form those who say their child ripped apart his room, taking off sheets, comforter, and throwing every toy or game out the door. I don't hear stories about their child biting, spitting and pinching their siblings. I don't hear about an adopted child running away from home...many times over. Those stories just aren't out there.

But, for some reason, those are the stories of George. It frightened my home made kids to see George take off all his clothes and scream. We all would go to the other side of the house when George was tearing about his room. My kids have bruises and scars from the biting and pinching they have endured.

Why would a loving, caring God put THIS child into our home?

The answer is simple....God loves George!

God saw George every time he cried. God saw when George hid in the bush when men came into the village with guns. God saw George when he buried his father. God saw George when his mother walked him to an orphanage and left him behind. God saw George when he had to cry himself to sleep every night for a year in an orphanage. And God's heart broke for this child who He created in His own image!

I don't know why George's behavior is different than some other children who come home and wrap their arms around their new family and never look back. I do know that George has deep pain and great hurts. He deserves a family who will love him even when he runs around naked and screaming. He deserves a family who will forgive him when he pinches and bites us. How else will he ever know the love and forgiveness of God?

As I was looking back through the Bible verses that have ministered to me over the past year, I was drawn once again to Hosea. To be honest, that was one of the books of the Bible that I naively thought was of no use to me. I mean, I was pretty sure I was not in an adulterous relationship and I couldn't possibly reconcile what God was teaching ME in that book. (I say these things red-faced). When we brought George home, I DID find myself in an adulterous relationship, of sorts. Here I was being asked to love someone who was unlovable. What I love about this book is that God doesn't call us to love the unlovable and then leave it at that. There is a promise at the end of the book - a promise that will be fulfilled when we love with God's love! Let me share it with you again:

"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned way from them. I will be like the dew to Israel (George); he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon." (Hosea 14:5-7)

I read this and I see the promise coming even today....George's roots are growing deep and I am seeing his young shoots growing! He is growing more and more confident in our love each day and that in turn causes him to grow! There is a light in his eyes, a smile is on his face more often now. He is learning at an incredible rate - even his teachers are marveling! He hears God's word each morning and I trust it is doing a work in his heart.

So, what is my greatest joy, back to where I started this long post - ha! The joys come in all the little ways that George is growing and thriving. But, the greatest joy will come when George knows Jesus and decides to follow after him. Then, he will be a giant tree that flourishes, blossoms and provides shade for other. Oh, that day, when George blesses others, will be a day of great, great joy!

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