For 14 years we talked about adoption. Off and on, here and there.
And then it got personal. Some friends adopted. Just ordinary people–Some with children, some without. It got our attention, and we decided that maybe we could actually adopt, not just talk about it. It was contagious! There would be work, distress, waiting and then…joy! We wanted it all. And so, we began, one paper at a time.
Nine months, two weeks and a stack of paperwork about 2 feet high found us leaving for China where we met our one year old daughter, Mei Mei. But We were hooked, so without so much as a conversation, we knew we wanted to go back and do it again. Another eighteen months later, which included anew the work, the distress the waiting and the joy, we were back in China meeting our 2 ½ year old daughter Liza.
That’s the short version of an adoption story–Our adoption story.
What is your version? You might be surprised to realize that you have an adoption story already. So many people were part of our adoption story, and thus have their own story. And I truly believe that they are part of God’s plan for our girls just as much as we are. As Corinthians 12:4-7 tells us: ‘Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.’
Take heart! Adoption is a great example of the people of God using the gifts and services and activities they have been given to care for orphans. We completed the paperwork and underwent government scrutiny. Family members gave us money and cared for our other children while we were gone. Friends made us dinner and carted our kids around. One friend even kept our big old dog for two weeks! These are not small things. Each one of them was a huge support to us in the moment and truly made it possible for us to do our part in the story. Truly.
Next time you are listening to someone talk about adoption, don’t feel guilty if you haven’t adopted a child. Think of the ways you have helped someone who has, and then do it again!
Every little bit helps. And that is the truth. A fellow ADOC family recently adopted and when I went to their Go-Fund-Me page I scrolled through, amazed at all the gifts there. Some were large, but most were not. Each small gift together raised a huge sum of money in mere days. You know what God can do with a few fish and some bread! Watch him do it again and again through His people. Just talk to anyone who has adopted and they will have crazy stories of how the money and the physical support were there when they needed it. Our family had many people support us in our adoptions, but one stands out. An old man who I did not know knocked on my door one day while we were working on our second adoption. Part of me did not want to answer the door as I saw him coming up the sidewalk, but I opened the door. He asked if I was Mrs. Edgar and handed me an envelope, he said someone had asked him to give it to me. He walked away. It had $1000 in it.
I know that God loves adoption. And it is a tangible reminder of how we are adopted as sons and daughters into the family of the God of the Universe. My poor heart’s attempts at fiercely and tenderly loving my adopted girls is a mere hint at what our perfect, loving God feels toward us, his adopted children. And that is unfathomable to me.
Let it be contagious!
Beth Edgar worships at the Cathedral Church of the Apostles, Columbia, SC where her husband Chip Edgar serves as the Dean.
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