I stare into the box. So many beautiful confections. Temptation is thick, but Forrest Gump theology paralyzes me with indecision. Each one looks beautiful in its own way. But what if I choose unwisely? What if I tear into the one that catches my eye and find tangy orange marmalade inside instead of the sweet, sultry caramel I was hoping for?
Truth be told, this is precisely the kind of anxiety that prevented us from exploring the very real possibility of adoption in the first place.
In His sovereignty, or complete lapse in judgement :-), God blessed us with two carbon copies of our ourselves. One boy and one girl. Most assuredly, we are head over heals in love with our biological children. Their presence brings joy to our lives and indescribably undergirds our hearts on a daily basis. Their individual strengths and weaknesses can be directly attributed to the DNA God carefully wove together in the two of us.
Reese sports Scott’s handsome face and my British coloring. He has an intricately architectural mind like his Daddy and a propensity to lose things right under his nose like his Mommy. He is a leader.
Brynn’s freckles sparkle in the summer sun like her Mommy’s and her long, lean build is a metabolic blessing from her Daddy. Her tender heart is unmatched in either of us.
Come what may, we could “do” biological parenting. We could dig into the archives of the familiar and navigate this road with some, albeit false, sense of security.
The thing for which we couldn’t plan. The thing for which we couldn’t prepare. God’s heart. Implanted in each of us.
The soft rhythm of the Father’s heart, barely audible at first, began to grow in intensity as we sought His will for our family. For years, we operated under the misguided idea that if God truly wanted us to adopt, children would be placed in our care because of an unfortunate tragedy in our family or close circle of friends. I told God we were “open” if He took the first step. Flippantly, I told Him the ball was in his court.
And then He opened my eyes to a world of the fatherless. A world that didn’t need to arrive on my doorstep because it had already existed for generations. He gently wraped his arms around my heart and whispered the words, “143 million.” There are approximately 143 million orphans in the world today. There was no need to look further. No need to watch whistfully out the window for some mythical stork to appear. God’s children were out there. OUR children were out there.
And with that, we prayerfully opened the box of chocolates.
We continue to explore the sweet, complicated layers of our new family. Each person rich with the delectable taste of God’s unique fingerprint on his or her heart. Our world has expanded from black and white to Technicolor. The challenges are real, but the fruit from tilling this newfound soil is profoundly rich.
Kelel brings a deep and compassionate heart. His loyalty for family both here and abroad is fierce. He is a protector. An intelligent artist.
Senait contributes a mischievous twinkle in her eye to every relational encounter. Laughter flows freely from this well. Her hugs delight the most stoic of hearts.
I’m glad I couldn’t see the inside of these treats before taking a leap of faith. Had I been privy to this information, I may have erroneously dismissed this adventure for the comfort of the known. God has expanded my palate and uncovered a few less desirable layers of flavor that have existed in my own heart along the way. He invites me to begin tilling a very personal soil. This invitation beckons me to dig deeper and love wider than I ever have before. Only this time, He begs me not to go it alone. Through the power of the cross, His hand extends to mine. Fingers entwined, we uncover a new journey. One that explodes with culinary delights. “Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
“Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world. And every single day, it is worth it, because adoption is God’s heart.”
— Katie Davis, from her book Kisses from Katie
I suppose life is like a box of chocolates. Although you never know what you’re gonna get, Forrest forgot to mention there is One greater and He knows.
He’s just waiting for you to take that first bite.
Now about those chocolates…