From Susan:We do not see who we are raising. Those little feet pitter pattering around the house. The giggling jokes. The challenging moods. The surprising fits. We cannot wee and we do not know! But God knows and we give Him THANKS for Who He is Raising in our Homes--including US!
I am becoming increasingly thankful as I am seeing increasingly the treasures our children are becoming as they enter young adulthood. For years I devoured every Amy Carmichael book I could get my hands on. I was delighted when Elizabeth Elliott wrote her biography, A Chance to Die. Yet I had one nagging question, "How did all those children Amy loved during her years in India as a missionary turn out?" I felt the same way when I would read all those George Mueller biographies. I wondered, "What happened in the lives of the kids he loved so well on those dreary London streets?'' It is a question that we see answered in David Wilkinson's The Cross and the Switchblade, as we know the answer to what happened in the life of Nikki Cruz, one of the notorious New York City gang leaders who was transformed by the love of God. We also know some of the answer to our similar question on a much more superficial level, when we read Cheaper by the Dozen, that non-fiction account (YES, it IS non-fiction!) of a family with 12 kids. The epilogue to one of the editions of the book actually explains how each of the 12 turned out!
So today I want to give you a thanksgiving-glimpse into how one of our kids, our oldest daughter Cristi, "turned out." Just yesterday I received an email from a dear believer who I met in Thailand a month ago, asking me, "Didn't you worry that your biologic kids would not have enough of your love when you adopted all those other kids?" It is an honest and good question. What we see is that God is an expert in multiplication--in multiplying love. In His mathematical models it becomes clear that love does not have to be divided nor subtracted. What we see is that, yes, each of our children had to learn to share and extend love as God brought more kids into our home and hearts. But I think one of the wonderful blessings for me, now, is to see how the call of God upon our family into this adoption life ultimately was a transformational gift for each of us.
We learned sacrifice.
We learned simplicity.
We learned meaning.
We learned to love.
We received reward.
We learned and relearned and are still learning forgiveness and acceptance.
We learned thanks-giving.
In fact, so much so that every night after supper we always shared one thing we were thankful for about the day. And we still do!
So...back to my story. Last night our daughter Cristi posted this little animation she did about her work on her facebook page. Who would have known that little girl we were raising would grow up to have a job as a young adult that allows her to help thousands of children receive loving families in their own countries? Watch this. Then ask the Lord to give you great joy and thanksgiving in anticipating who you may be raising.
And realize, your best help in this wonderful and challenging parenting road right now, as you cannot see the final destination for you or for them, is to live in intimacy with your own heavenly Father. As Paul writes in Ephesians 5:1,8
Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for you, a fragrant offering [like perfume!].....LET THERE BE THANKSGIVING!....Now....NOW....you ARE light in the Lord.Thank you Lord that today, now, we are light in You, in our homes, before our husbands and children. We thank you for the privilege of raising these treasures. We just want to be children who walk, copying You.Thank you that in Your Word we come to see and know you as you are. Make us like You. Thank you that You fill us with Your love. Thank-Full. We are thankful. Amen.