Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Tattoo

Every tattoo has a story and this is the story of mine. 

  1. Legally take another's child and bring it up as one's own.

So simple and so beautiful, it must come from God.
This whole adoption thing was God's idea in the first place, right?

God decided in advance 
to adopt us into his own family 
by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. 
This is what he wanted to do, 
and it gave him great pleasure. 
Ephesians 1:5

God sent [Jesus] to buy freedom for us 
who were slaves to the law, so that he could 
adopt us as his very own children.
Galatians 4:5

So you have not received a spirit 
that makes you fearful slaves. 
Instead, you received God's Spirit when 
he adopted you as his own children. 
Now we call him,
"Abba, Father."
Romans 8:15

And we could go on and on. 

God's desire for us to become his children is the message of the Good News. God desired a relationship with us and went to great lengths and great cost to have that relationship. 

And not just any relationship. He wanted us close. Kid close. 

Not like he wanted to just be the favorite uncle but he wanted us to live in his house, to crawl up in his lap, to spend every single day with him forever. 

Wonder of wonders that He chose us. He picked us.

Daddy God picked me.

Some of our seven children were given to us and we didn't have much say in the matter. They started growing in my belly and they were just always ours. We didn't have a lot of choice in the matter.

The nurse handed those wiggly babies to us, Here you go.

We love those kids with our whole hearts as parents crazily do. 

Then there are a few that Jon and I hand picked. 

We waited and looked and waited and searched for months and months. I looked at hundreds of kids on so many websites and read their stories and saw their pictures. And then one day I saw this darling little girl in this picture. We looked at those squishy little cheeks and read her little story and my husband and I, we picked our daughter.

We chose her. 

We want that one right there. She will be our daughter.

In our search for Eva and in finding her, in the hard work and sacrifice to get to her and bring her home, in the aching hearts and the dollars spent, I learned a lot more about my Daddy God. 

He didn't choose me because I was amazing or especially good. He chose me because he is amazing and especially good. 

God shows his great love for us in this way: 
Christ died for us while we were still sinners. 
Romans 5:8

In God's great fatherly heart, he picked me while I was still a sinner, living as his enemy. 

So my daughter and I have something in common: we have both been chosen as a daughter. We have been adopted.

During those years of waiting for our adoption to take place, my antenna were up. I was picking up every channel adoption related. You know what I'm talking about. When you were pregnant it was like every single pregnant lady in the tri-state area paraded her belly in front of you. When you were planning your wedding, suddenly every single magazine featured white cakes, and white dresses were on every mannequin you passed.

Adoption was everywhere, having a hay day on my emotions. Did you know there are approximately 3,400 songs that talk about adoption?

This one song completely did me in. 

Have you ever had a BOOM moment where things that you were feeling in your deepest heart come together in one profound moment of clarity?

I had such a moment too.

Third Day has a song "Children of God" and I discovered the music video.

Picture this: The band is playing on stage. 
Soon a family comes on the scene and takes a seat on a sofa, stage right. 
Then another appears and then another. 
In each of these families there are one or two kids wearing a white t-shirt with one word on them: adopted.

This is sweet, I think. Hmmm. I wonder how those kids feel about wearing those white shirts. Do they feel singled out? Awkward? Usually we try to make those kids feel a part not separate.

As the video plays on, the families smile and look at each other. And then on cue, they start to shift around on the sofa. Dad starts to unbutton his plaid shirt and mom takes off her cardigan and slips her scarf off. Big brothers and little sisters began shedding layers. And underneath the long sleeves are short sleeves. Underneath are the same white t-shirts with the same word on them: adopted.

The message is a big beautiful one: 
Because God first loved us, we can love in return. 
Because God first adopted us, we can adopt in return.

We are all adopted.

(To be continued)

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