This is, perhaps, one of my very favorite pictures. It captures my life in this season so well. There are holes in pants, stitched just for Adam, that need to be patched. Those holes speak of his ability to crawl…which surpasses the understanding of all who meet him for the first time. Those vibrant colors are toys, mismatched and unorganized, flowing out of the bucket. They speak of the fun had by all the littles in this mismatched home. There are little muscles, flexed and attentive to some toy hidden beneath his little round head, again a miracle of many sorts. And then there is a hand print…like a cherry on top of all the goodness therein. Just when the description of all that is beneath reaches my definition of glory…a little, middle, brother runs thru the room, past the mess, and pastes his hand on top. And there are lines from the grooves of his little hand print. Those grooves that are only Elliots. Those are grooves engraved in Heaven by a Creator God who saw fit to create this wild man.
He is the same Creator God who placed that wild man into my, once firm, belly and saw fit to stretch me out, wild and free, to grow a man. And that Creator God is still growing and changing that Elliot Justice and making him into a brave boy with a courageous heart and lots of mischief in between.
Our Abba God…that divine Creator…He had placed Adam in our family, by His sovereign hand, just a year and 4 days before.
But God wanted to create a brotherhood wrapped in grace. A brotherhood that has challenges but that pulsed of divine Love that overcomes. A Love that overcomes what we think is an “ideal childhood” for our children. A Love that overcomes our misconceptions that we need to preserve our children from pain and inconveniences.
A Love that disturbs my plans of what a life FOR Him looks like and creates a life that LOOKS LIKE HIM.
Although Elliot walked at 9 months old, he still likes to get down and crawl with Adam. Although Elliot has his own bike he gets off and comes back to help teach Adam how to ring his bicycle bell. Although Elliot sees lots of “normal eyes” everyday…he told me the other day (his first time using the word ‘beautiful’) that “Adams eyes buuuuteeful”. I remember fearing at times how their relationship would be.
And I think a lot of us fear adoption bc we don’t want to hurt the children born biologically into our family. At least I have heard that a lot. But when Abba gives us eyes to see that BOTH are our children whether thru birth or adoption…it changes everything.
And when we invite our kids into hard painful places (like other children’s pain whether emotional scars or a disability or whatever it my be) we allow our children to see Jesus make all things new. Our children will see pain and hard places eventually because this world is hard and painful. So, why not be parents who can teach them how to walk into those hard places and trust that Jesus is a God who is not unaquainted with hard. Goodness gracious, He overcame all the hard we could ever imagine. He defeated it and then came to dwell in us, in order to help us overcome hard. Why not be parents who display this Gospel reality to our little ones? Why not be parents that lead our children to know, first hand, that our God is not distressed or unaccustomed to difficulty. Why not walk with them to places of brokenness, so that can see the One who makes all things new? Because, they will see broken in their lives and they need to know that He is in those places. If we lead them and tell them NOW, they will remember THEN. Why not be parents that help our children sift thru hard questions, because if we don’t, someone else will.
Elliot sees Adam as his big brother and that is normal to him. What a gift Adams adoption into our family has been for him…and to imagine all the beauty to come!
Dear ones, don’t be afraid of hard places for yourselves or your children. Let us trust that Jesus will meet us there and walk boldly into it.
For our family it looks like adoption, with a dose of disability. However, it will look so different for all of us, for we are all called to different things as His body. But, in Him, we are called and equipped to walk it out.
For our God is not concerned for our comfort for HE IS OUR COMFORT. He turns comfort upside down and brings down His Kingdom and gives us Himself as the only lasting Comfort.
And, often times, I believe the journey He calls us to is far from predictable and convenient…and we may even think we have misunderstood and He has forgotten us in our pain…but then we hear His voice calling and we are reminded that it is Him behind us and before us.
Entrust your children, dear ones, to the only Comfort that will endure through all the ages.