May 9, 2008

Taking a Risk

Last week, I watched the movie Martian Child. Martian Child is the story of a widower who adopted a young boy who had lived 7 years in the foster care system. At one point, the widower (John Cusack) says, “I’m not talking about bringing another child into the world; I’m talking about loving one that’s already here.”

Now, when it comes to thinking about family relationships, I easily get lost. I have trouble remembering who’s related to whom, and for someone whose grandpa is the youngest of 13 siblings (and a twin), that’s not good. So, good luck reading the following story.

In January, I had the opportunity to lead worship and speak at a youth retreat in the mountains of Virginia. The best thing about singing and music is the people you get to meet. At Massanutten Ski Resort, I met Jeff and Emerson. Over Dr Pepper, fruit snacks, and pretzels, Jeff shared Emerson’s story.

Jeff and his wife, Robin, already had three biological children when God prompted them to start thinking about adopting. There were lots of questions. How could they afford to raise another child? How could they put another child through college? Slowly, God continued to work in their hearts, leading them to walk by faith.

They talked to their boys about the idea of adoption, helping them understand the concept and to get their honest feedback. They explained that there are situations in which a Mom and Dad can’t care for a child, and that this child needs a home and a family and love. They shared the story of their cousin/niece, Shaquanah, an African-American girl adopted by Robin’s sister.

At this point, the boys balked, “She’s adopted?!?” They were color-blind to Shaquanah’s darker hue.

Now, the whole family has started adopting. Jeff and Robin have adopted two children from Guatemala, Emerson (who is a riot and loves Sponge Bob) and Mira. Robin’s parents have adopted domestically two African-American girls from the foster care system. Robin’s sister has adopted two boys (with Down’s Syndrome) from Hong Kong, one girl from Liberia, and Shaquanah.

When the whole family gets together, the hues are a veritable rainbow.

Adoption stories also in the Scriptures. Moses was adopted by Pharoah’s daughter. Samuel was adopted by Eli. Jesus was adopted by Joseph. The Scriptures say that God chose to adopt us too, through Jesus.

Maybe those of us who follow Jesus need to start seriously considering what adoption means, and loving more kids that are already here.
Pictured above:
Standing from Left to Right- Blair, Ivan, Caeden, Fred, Shaquanah, Parsen, Toren, Emerson Front Row Sitting from L to R- Albertine, Zoe holding Mira, Caroline


Libzsonshine said...

Martin Child is already on my list of next movie to rent! So cool to hear it's gonna be worth the $$.

Families like you describe are just so beautiful! I have worked with a family that had 2 "bio-kids" and then adopted 6 children with a variety of special needs -- 3 of which are in wheelchairs!! It's not a calling for everyone, but I do believe that we the Church should be as supportive as possible when we can!

God Bless!

A Momma in Waiting... said...

I know part of that family in the photo...they are a beautiful family! And adoption has taught me personally what it means to really and truly love and be loved by my Father. My heart has changed eternally through the journey! We have 3 grown bio, 1 adopted from China, and 1 on the way from Haiti. Terry