I have another thing in common with my son. It just took a sermon to make me realize it.
Yesterday, after we took our seat in church, the title of the sermon flashed across the screen..."A Child Adopted." Oh my, I thought. Being adoptive parents, Keith and I automatically perked up and wondered how adoption would be woven in to the message.
The guest pastor was a young guy and, toward the end of his message, he spoke about orphans and how their lives are void of hope and a sense of belonging...how they must know that they belong to someone but the desire to be chosen is a constant emotion. He went on to to mention the conditions in most orphanages--a topic we're all too familiar with-- and I suddenly felt a lump appearing in my throat.
Having visited several orphanages during two separate trips to Russia in 2004, my heart still aches for the children "left behind." Keith and I both agree that if we were financially able, we would have adopted all 120-or so kids in that facility. There was the dark haired little boy with big brown eyes that sat next to Daniel and quietly sipped his soup...not quite sure what to make of the digital camera in our hands. Then there was "Vo-Vo," a friend of Daniel's that sat meekly on my lap...the caring touch of my hand seeming so foreign to him. Remembering the desperation of many of the kids with whom we came in contact, I had an urge to jump out of my chair and race to Daniel's Sunday school room and hold him.
The tie in was so apparent-- but yet, had been lost on me until that point:
Romans 8: 15......."You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father."
Before Daniel knew we had chosen him, he knew not the unconditional love that comes from having a parent. In his heart, I'm sure he knew he belonged to someone...all the while living life the best he knew how. In fact, I would venture to say that he really knew no different...never knew that there could be love without limits, boundaries created out of care and compassion and acceptance that knows no end.
My relationship with my God is much the same. Before I knew Him, I never knew that my mistakes were forgiven simply because I have faith in Him. In my heart, I knew there was something missing...something more...someone more... but I continued living my life the best way I knew how. And yes, I really never knew any different.
But, I now know that anyone who believes in God, and desires to have a relationship with Him, will experience that same limitless love, and Biblical boundaries and, of course, an acceptance that knows no end.
Yes, Daniel and I have a very special thing in common. I, too, am an adopted child... a very thankful one indeed.