It is the middle of the night.
We are finishing our Sunday here, on this side of the world.
This Sabbath to remember orphans.
I am awake nursing our new little one.
Listening to the sweet pitches of his breathing and feeling his little body rise and fall in my lap.
Thankful for the warmth his body brings mine in the cool of these indian fall nights.
And I am thankful for the design of women’s bodies to nourish and feed little ones.
I am thankful for the love kindled between me and this son of mine thru his daily feedings.
At the same time, my heart aches a bit.
For my oldest son, our Adam, whose first days were quite different than our Eli’s.
Besides mine and Raja’s daily visits to the OB ward after Adam’s birth, he was alone with nursing staff.
He was fed thru a tube in a strict schedule by rotating assigned people.
He did not have the warmth of a mother’s breast and the nourishment of her milk in his first days.
When there was no room left for him in the infant warmer bed, due to a new twin delivery, I found him in a corner of the room in a box/basket/crate.
For the OB ward was set up for moms and babies to stay together.
There was no place for the babies left behind.
For the babies abandoned.
For the unwanted.
For the orphaned.
And a name was given which stated the Truth of this little one.
That even he, in his unformed body, was created in (Abba)’s image.
Just as the first Adam.
So is this Adam.
ANd though we do not understand why his physical body came as it did, we know,
“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to”
As David wrote.
Not just the formed, perfect bodies.
Are seen by their Divine Creator.
But the unformed ones too.
Their days were planned and ordained too.
Before one even came to be.
So even this rejection and orphaning
Was known before one day came to be.
And his divinely orchestrated family was set before the foundation of the world.
Just as the Blood that cleansed us was brought forth before the foundation of the world
As the Lamb was slain, before the foundation of the world.
Just as our adoption was set and finished.
And what glorious threads are being woven into a breathtaking tapestry called Adam.
Not only a mom and dad but an inheritance far deeper.
Grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so many more…
|Adam and paternal grandfather|
|Adam and maternal grandmother (after eye surgeries)|
|Adam and maternal grandfather|
|Adam with maternal aunts and uncles|
|Great aunt angie;)|
|Uncle James (pre surgeries)|
|Aunt Hope (pre surgeries)|
|Uncle Jennings (pre surgeries)|
Countless family members who loved and surrounded Adam and his life with celebration.
That were there to greet us on arrival and continue to faithfully love and rejoice over his life.
A family, an inheritance, that only 2 nail scarred hands could have written across
Blood spattered pages
After the price was paid
The curtain torn
So those once separated could enter into the presence of the Most Holy
So those once orphaned could enter into the Sonship
Could approach freely the throne of grace
the lap of a loving Father.
The baby who was once in a box on a floor of a small, rural hospital.
A story that may have seemed only bleak and hopeless.
Has stormed our lives with grace and mercy.
|A mouth that once was not, is now dimpled in laughter.|
|Not only a mom and dad, but a baby brother too;)|
|And, I believe, a best friend.|
|And now baby has a baby sitter;)|
|And dad has a reading buddy.|
|Only Divinity could have created such a sight.|
But on this Orphan Sunday, my heart still wonders of all the others.
All the others forgotten.
And I remember that this is not the heart of our Abba.
For His children.
For He interrupted our lives of pain and sin and death.
And He took our death and rejection and despair upon Himself.
So that we could become children of Abba.
But it does not stop there.
For He is the Abba who “places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy”
And He is the Abba who says “true religion is to look after orphans and widows in distress”
And who says “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed”
He left us the Word.
The same Word, who “became flesh and dwelt among us”
Is still among us in the written form.
And it is filled with words that should arouse us from our complacency
And fill us with holy fire to respond to the brokenness in our world.
Because, He responded to the brokenness in us.
And it is no longer us who even live, but Him who lives in us, as Paul scribed to the Galations.
So dear ones, on this Sabbath day.
Keep it holy.
And on this specific one, I encourage you to consider the orphans in our world.
And how you may be a part of their lives.
For it is not my idea.
Intercede on their behalf
Share stories of adoption with those around you
Consider supporting families in the process of expanding their own tents
Consider expanding yours.
I was listening to the words of Piper this morning.
A sermon on adoption.
And something deep within me was moved
By the powerful words of conviction and redemption that he spoke.
Firstly, that our own adoption is from Him:
“So adoption was part of a (ABba)’s plan. It was his idea, his purpose. It was not an afterthought. He didn’t discover one day that against his plan and foreknowledge humans had sinned and orphaned themselves in the world, and then come up with the idea of adopting them into his family. No, Paul says, he predestined adoption. He planned it.”
Then, the suffering and pain that comes thru raising children…adopted and biological
“We are adopted —through His suffering. I have letters from parents in my files describing the agony of adoptions that didn’t work or almost didn’t work. Cases of mental illness and profound physical disability and bizarre and inexplicable behavior. Of course this is not unique to adoption. It can happen—it does happen—with our biological children. The implication is this: we adopt with our eyes wide open. This will bring pain. And this may bring tragedy. We embraced it. And, if we are faithful, in the end, it will certainly bring joy.”
“The pain of adopting and rearing children is sure. It will come in one form or the other. Should that stop us from having children or adopting children? No. The self-centered world “cuts their losses” by having few or no children. (And there is way too much of that thinking in the church.) In one sense we may be very glad that such people don’t tend to have children or at least not many children. Because it means that breed of selfish person will die out more quickly since they don’t replace themselves. But on the other hand, we grieve, hoping that they will see that the grace of (Abba) is sufficient for every new day no matter how difficult, and that there is more true joy in walking with (Abba) through fire, than walking on beaches without him.”
Then, our adoption was not based on our attractiveness or ease in raising…
“We were not cute little orphans that God was attracted to; we enemies in rebellion against (Abba).
That is who (Abba) decided before the foundation of the world to adopt. “For while we were still weak, at the right time (He) died for the ungodly.” and “While we were enemies we were reconciled to (Abba) by the death of his Son.” So our adoption is not based on our being worthy or cute or attractive. It is based on the free and sovereign grace of (Abba) planned before the world and bought for us by the blood of Him
What power spoken there.
Dear ones, consider your own adoption today.
The depth of Love that was crossed in order to graft you in.
The blood that was spilt, the suffering experienced, to call you “son” or “daughter”
Then consider, in this present age, as we await our heavenly bodies, the many who do not know the love of a mother and father.
Consider whether your prayers, your giving, or even your expanding of your own tent…
May be where you are being led to.
For more reading, here are a few blogs of families and their hearts and journeys in adoption.
I deeply respect and am greatly moved by each of these women on a regular basis thru their powerful words and honest hearts.
What I love especially is that each of these families has been a part of a the adoption of a “special needs” child…whether that means older children, children with disabilities, HIV, etc.
Their writing will leave you in awe of our Abba Father and His depth of love
ANd bring you to your knees in worship.
Of Him, not them.
For adoption is for the praise of HIS GLORY.
Not for the glory of the child or the parents.
But the Abba Father who set it all in place, thru blood stained and nail pierced hands.