I have been thinking about the adoption process a lot lately, thinking about my kids, myself, and just adoption in general. I’ve been thinking bout what adoption means, in a more spiritual sense, and in the physical as well. I’ve been thinking about the blessing, inheritance, and curse that is adoption. There is a curse, for to be adopted something went wrong somewhere, the parents died, were taken away, or abandoned the child, basically the enemy destroyed the intent, the “good” the “first”. But then there is a blessing that follows in adoption, as the child is removed from that curse and returned to justice, returned to family. My kids have inherited what the enemy stole from them through AIDS, at least that is what we have assumed took their mother away from them.
We recently discovered that our children are at least 2nd generation orphans. Their mother was an orphan, and I believe their adopted grandmother was an orphan as well. I hope to get more details on the family history when we return to Ethiopia. Their mother had no contact with their fathers, but 4 years ago she got “sick” and that eventually put her in permanent bed rest. They couldn’t afford medical care, and at that point the ARV drugs weren’t available to most in Ethiopia (If I have the drugs wrong please forgive me) After laying in bed for a year, and slowly slipping away she passed away a little under 3 years ago leaving the kids in the care of her adoptive mother, an 89 year old woman with no income.
Although this story is specific to my children, it’s global to us all as well.
This was the state of our hearts, collectively as humans. We had inherited the curse of the orphan, our father had been ripped away from us when Eve and Adam ate the pomegranate (I’m not Catholic, just like that version of the story better than the apple) For generation after generation we kept passing the curse down to the next generation, as our hearts cried out for our Father. Then 2000 years ago the price was met, the adoption was completed, the curse was broken, the relationship with our Father restored. Do we look like our adoptive Father? Do we act like Him? We try, but we fall short in so many ways, but he still lavishes his love on us and in many ways I believe He finds our attempts endearing. As we grow and mature we become more and more like our Father, but we know that on this side of eternity we will never be completely like our Father. It frustrates us many times, but then we push in even harder and continue to run the good race to please our Father. How many times have we heard the adopted child point our all the ways they are similar to their adopted parent? My kids were born and raised in Ethiopia, but they love the fact that they like music like their mom and dad. Yosef takes markers and draws tattoos on his arms to be like his dad. He doesn’t know that I have never watched a pro soccer game in my life, but he loves the fact that we both pull for the Arsenals, I pull because it’s his favorite team. They cherish the small gifts we have given them, in the orphanage they wear the clothes we have given them every day. When Yosef discovered I carried a Bible with me in my backpack he wanted one, honestly the kid is probably better at being more diligent at reading his Bible every day than I am. For them family has been restored. God has brought back what the enemy stole from them, and blessed them even further with the father they never had.
Adoption has opened my eyes to a lot, made the love story of the Bible even clearer than it was before. It’s opened my heart in new ways and made me a better man than I was before. Many say that we saved our childrens lives in adopting them, but for as much of a blessing as this has been to them, I have been blessed more. This leg of the journey has finally come to a close, and the journey has been long and arduous, but it has been fruitful as well.
I was lost, but now am found
I was blind, but now I see
I was orphaned, but God’s justice rescued me
Thank you my Father, for giving me this journey so that I may see the astounding love You have had for me.