(Michelle and her daughter Faith)
Our family was in the market for an RV. With as many small children as we have, we decided the best way to vacation would be to do it via our own “mobile hotel room”. We entered the main office of our local RV dealership ready to make a deal. As my husband spoke with the salesman on RV specifics, I walked around the office, keeping our four children entertained. It turned out that the dealership did not sell an RV with the layout we were looking for, but before we left, the dealer asked if he could speak to both of us and called me into his cubical.
I sat down next to my husband in a seat across from the salesman thinking he was about to give us an elaborate sale’s pitch to try to talk us into buying a model we weren’t interested it. Instead, he looked at each of us and said, “I want you to know that what you have done for that little girl is amazing. I admire you. She is so lucky to have you.”
While I appreciate the sentiment and I admit, the verbal pat on the back feels very good sometimes, what we did in adopting our youngest child doesn’t compare to what she has done for us. Stacy Manning put it correctly when she said, “Adoption doesn’t make a child lucky. It makes him loved and part of a family, but it also makes him touched by a deep loss and that is not lucky.”
Our adopted daughter, Faith, was abandoned by her birthparents hours after being born and spent the first three years of her life in an orphanage in Zhoukou, China. We don’t know much about those first three years, other than what her hospital records tell us, but her doctors here think most of those years were spent in a crib with little interaction. She was handed over to us with brittle and course hair chopped short and intestinal parasites literally eating her from the inside out. She couldn’t walk, feared men, toys and abandonment. She was also very malnourished. She had turned 3 days before we met her, yet she was the size and weight of a 6 - 9 months old baby. She couldn’t walk, didn’t talk, and could not even feed herself. Upon seeing her pediatrician here at home, she was diagnosed with “failure to thrive”. On top of all of that, one day we came along and forced her to leave the only home she had ever known, her country and her culture. None of this sounds “lucky” to me.
In the following year, we watched as an infant grew in fast forward. She learned English, gained 11 pounds and 4 inches, she began walking a month after coming home and then relearned to walk after successive casting and heel cord release surgery to correct her clubbed feet. Instead of spending her days in the confines of a crib, she spends them surrounded by siblings, a mommy and a daddy. Most of all she has a light from within that shines in her eyes because she knows that she is wanted, cherished and loved forever. God took a little life that was abandoned hours after her birth, had no family and was literally dying and has truly redeemed her life! In Joes 2:25 the Lord promises, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” and we have seen that promised redemption lived out in our little Faith.The most amazing part of all of this is that we were chosen to have a front seat to it all! We truly are the lucky ones to be able to witness the miraculous power of love first hand. She endured difficulties beyond imagination while we received a pure blessing – her as a part of our family. Faith has taught us so much and is an inspiration to so many. If we had not opened our hearts to adoption we would have missed it all!
Adoption isn’t about being an amazingly compassionate or perfect person. If it were, no one would be qualified to adopt. Adoption also isn’t about getting a lucky break in being chosen by a family. Adoption is about opening your heart to love- whether you are the adopter or the adoptee. It is about being able to provide a loving environment that encourages spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. The miracle of adoption is that a stranger from as far as a world away suddenly and completely becomes family. Thank you, Mr. RV Dealer, but you got it all wrong. We are not amazing, she is the amazing one and we are the “lucky” ones to have been given the honor to raise this precious girl and to be able to witness the true miracle of adoption.
Here is the link to Michelle's blog http://foretastesofglory.blogspot.com/
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