welcome to our world

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm reminded again this week how much sadness Christmas contains for people. A little girl we know passed away this past week. Such an unexpected tragedy, especially at a time when everyone else in the world seems to be celebrating, is pain that I cannot even comprehend. One of the little boys in Ben's class is 'celebrating' Christmas by having to spend it with a mother who abandoned him and his brother, but still wants Christmas visitation. Some little girls from our church are celebrating their first Christmas without their dad...he committed suicide a few months ago. A couple of my best friends are celebrating yet another Christmas where they are not pregnant. Even the smaller tragedies, such a cousin without enough sleep because of a fussy newborn or a family member whose feelings were hurt by someone they love...even those things bring tarnish to what is presented as such a shiny, happy holiday.

All this sadness in the lives of people we know reminds me of what God sent that tiny little baby to do...enter this broken, hurting world - bringing hope and healing to people who are walking in the darkness. This is what I am called to do as well. My calling to follow Jesus means a calling to the darkness. To the hurting and lonely people, to the messy situations, to the ugliest of places.

For some reason, it's easy for me to do this when I think about bringing another child into our family. Adoption, even when we're talking about a child that may come with special needs and bring a little more disruption and pain to our family, seems a little easier to do than things in other areas in my life. I confess to finding myself a little annoyed when I can never be at home with "just my family". I am tempted when we feel the pressure from friends and extended family to change our priorities. Not only because they're pressuring me, but also because it makes me feel validated when I choose selfishly. Why can't we arrange all other responsibilities so that we can spend more time with just our family? Why shouldn't we take a break from the areas where we are called to minister? It's the holiday season after all...people should be with their actual families right? Why should we have to share every evening, every event, every meal with "other" people? Where is my quiet time? Where is my relaxation time? Where is my family time? But what it boils down to is MY time. And just like my possessions, my money, and even my family, my time is not my own. It does not belong to me.

I do feel overwhelmed when I think about the people that God has called us to be with. I get overwhelmed when I consider that the path we are on gives us only 1 free night a week for the next 3 months. I confess to being tempted to choose the safer, family-first path that so many people tout. I have difficulty remembering sometimes that we are called to a Christ-first path - not a family-first path, not a me-first path, but a JESUS-first path. That Jesus path may take me to places I don't want to go, it may put me in contact with people I'd rather not be around, and it definitely will take away some of my time.

But then, my mother's voice is there...gently, gently, yet unrelentingly reminding me (and my sisters) to 'Enlarge your tents, girls. Enlarge your tents.' I think about the path that Jesus himself chose. A path that took him to this broken, hurting, ugly world. A path that would ultimately lead him to a broken, hurting, and ugly death. Should I do less than that? Given the cross, given the sacrifice, CAN I do less than that?

Holy Child, welcome to this world...let me hear from You, fill me, save me, make me holy.

Tears are falling
hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised
we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child

Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world

Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God

Perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world
(lyrics by Chris Rice)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My hope is that this blog will adequately chronicle our journey through adoption, but I'm wondering how I can possibly be eloquent enough or passionate enough or even honest enough to make this blog work. I have so much stored up that I feel inadequate to put it all into words, and I'm not even sure that I want to share all that's there anyway. I'm scared to share the dreams that have been so close to my heart for so many years; I'm afraid they will be trampled on, discouraged...pearls before swine and all that. One thing I am sure of, however, and that is that I want my children to someday know what I feel now. I want them to know what their father and I went through, agonized over, prayed about, rejoiced in...what we hoped for.

Hope has been the theme of my musings and meditations for the past few months. I have so much hope for the future right now. I feel like Wendell and I are finally living wide awake (thanks Erwin McManus) and fully alive. We've spent all this time waiting. Consoling ourselves with what seems to be excuses at this point. All of those times we've told ourselves that we want to be able to follow God's calling anywhere, but we want to make sure that we've done everything ahead of time to make ourselves available. At this point, I think God's telling us that we've been waiting in fear. There is no point at which we will be 'ready'. There is no bad time to move ahead with God's calling. Not when the calling is NOW.

So we move ahead. We're not choosing the safest place or way to live our lives and raise our family. We definitely haven't chosen a conventional path, but we feel like God has called us to this upside-down, risky, beautiful sort of life. Growing up in the church, we have both been taught that the Christian life means that your priorities are different than that of the "world". However, I feel like the church has failed a lot of my generation by teaching us priorities that are patterned after other Christians rather than after Jesus. We want to live like Jesus lived, act like he acted, hurt the way he hurt, love how he loved... Hopefully this blog will as much a chronicle of our journey to follow Jesus more closely as it is a record of our adoption journey.

We don't get to experience the joy of sharing a pregnancy with everyone around us; I don't have a big tummy (as Maggie would say), but we are expecting nevertheless. Expecting a new member of the family, expecting change, adventure, risk, and pain, but in the end, expecting love to win, peace to reign, and hope to pull us through.
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