Monday, October 3, 2011

An Adopted Child's Perspective on Adoption: Sasha

From Susan:

Brian and I have seen that each of our children -- regardless of how God gave them  to us -- become most fully that person they were created to be, when they are walking with the confidence that they belong to their heavenly Father.  Our son Sasha, adopted at age 14 from Russia, wrote this description of His heavenly Father. 

Heavenly Father

by Sasha Hillis

Written at age 20, six years after adoption

Everyone has a personal story to tell. The story I will share is a story of my life. I am not the main character in it, but God is. All of us also have parents, most of the time we have amazing parents but sometimes parents aren’t so great. Over the course of my life I have learned something very important: God surpasses our earthly parents by so much, and He is the best parent and friend you could ever have. 
My name is Sasha Hillis. I was born in a small Russian village September 29th, 1985. For the most part I had a pretty good childhood. A negative aspect about my childhood was that my parents were alcoholics. They weren’t always alcoholic, but some circumstances led them into it. They drank often, and when they did, it became crazy at home. When alcohol wasn’t around, we had a pretty normal family life.    
           One day, when I was about six or seven years old, my mom got in trouble and was sent to jail. My dad had to take care of us three kids all by himself, which he wasn’t used to doing. For a little while he was able to take care of us, but then he couldn’t handle it anymore. He made a decision to send us to an orphanage. We were first sent to the hospital for a check-up. We stayed there for about two or three weeks. Our dad came to visit us once, and that was the last time we ever saw him. When he left, my memory of him disappeared almost instantly, and did not come back for long time. In the same way I didn’t remember my mom. I just lived in the present. My mind didn’t bother to remember about the past. It was if all the memories of my home, and my parents were erased. I had started a new journey without them.                                                                     
           After staying at the hospital, my little sister and I were sent to the orphanage. My one year old brother could not come with us because he was too young. My sister Katya and I were sent to the orphanage, which was called Svirstroy, a big building with about one hundred fifty orphans occupying it. We lived there with group number five, the group where the youngest kids lived. Living there was a pretty easy life for me for a while. Then I turned eight years old and was ready to go to school. I and several other people from my group were placed in a new group. Then things completely changed. I went to school and started on the road of growing up. School for the first three years was a big struggle for me, and I didn’t enjoy it very much. I started to improve, later on, which helped me to finally enjoy it. Being in the orphanage or in school gave me an opportunity to do what I really enjoyed the most, which was
One day on my way back from school, I was called back because someone was asking for me. I looked at the person and then remembered that it was my mom. It probably had been five years that I had not seen her. She visited me several times again, and I even got to go home over breaks. I didn’t see her for while because she got in trouble by drinking again. After I had met my mom again, I really wanted to leave the orphanage and live in a family. An orphanage is the kind of a place where kids often desire to live in a family even though it often felt like home, but that soon changed. My mom wanted to get us out of the orphanage, but her bad habit kept her from it. In the year of 2000, we were adopted by a family that I wasn’t exactly expecting. We were adopted into an American family, by parents who loved their kids, and most importantly, God. They introduced us to a God who always looked after us, and took care of us. He was always around for the good times and the bad times.                                                                                                                          
            My first parents might not have been able to be the good parents for me and my sister and my brother, but there is a God who always watched over us and loved us. He made sure that we got an education, and care. He also provided a family for us that led us to Christ, and accepting Him as our Savior. He will never leave us or forsake us. Part of the reason why God gave me an American Christian family is so that I would know Him and about Him. He is a father who loves, cares and provides for His children, and He will still do that and He will always be a faithful father to us, and never leave us. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10) That is the promise that He left in the Bible for us to remember and be comforted by it.                                  
           God is not only my father, but He is also a God of everlasting love. God is a father of nations. He could be a father to all the fatherless, and not just to a few. His great love can expand to everyone. No matter how we might mess-up or even try to walk away from God’s love, He will always be there loving us and waiting on us to return to Him. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!” 
          Our Heavenly Father well never fail us, and He also has great plans for us, “For I know plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)We can always trust and depend on Him. God has created and chose us all for good reasons. All the abilities and gifts that our Heavenly Father put in us are not there just for random reasons. The reason is so that His will be done and His name be glorified.  

Sculpture 2008 by Sasha Hillis, an art major in college: The Good Shepherd

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