if I could write a miracle…

 

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If I were God that I may write

A miracle, one late night

A babe I’d craft inside my hand

With extra stuff, you understand.

This miracle I’d gently place inside

A place where people seem to die.

A place where most of them don’t live

to see the daylight privilege.

I’d place this babe inside this spot

and hide his extra special lot.

Until he’s born and then I’d watch

him placed into another spot.

Picked up by strangers just to lie

inside a crib, but he won’t die;

My miracles I sprinkle, grow

They get to earth, have seeds to sow.

And from his crib, his almond eyes

take in this world with small surprise.

His growth is slow, his steps are late,

Eyes radiate joy, and never hate.

And one sweet day, heart parents come

to collect their miracle child of one.

Across the sunset line they fly,

Arrow straight, they heard his cry

For lifelong love, a family he

Will join them all eternally.

This miracle boy with extra stuff

Has things to share with all of us.

Courage to love when all seems lost

Hugs to give, without cost.

Lessons taught by one so small

Nary taught by intellects tall.

Watches your face, always in tune

For when you’re sad, he’ll leave the room

Bring tissues, hugs, whatever helps.

Thinks of others, not himself.

Yes, if I could write a miracle child

And place him in the world a while

This is the story I would write,

If dark be overcome with light.

Treasures, most times, are hard to find

And what is valued by mankind?

Wealth and status, brains, power

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Of quiet innocence, simplicity

Sweet life without toxicity.

Search high or low for power to wipe

Your tears, or comfort bleakest nights.

Yes, if I could write a miracle, this

Is the pattern I’d insist.

And if you have this miracle, you

Are highly blessed, through and through.

I tell you this that joy befalls

Those who answer miracle’s calls.

Miracles are both far and few

Answer the call. You’ll find what’s true.

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Written for our little miracle boy, Lian Alexander Driver, by his Mama, Cady Driver. Lian, a miracle from start to finish…from his extra 21st chromosome to the fact that God brought him into our lives through adoption, and the blessings, joy, laugher, and love that He has poured out upon us is immeasurable.

In celebration of ALL of the miracles who are rocking the extra 21st chromosome.

One can only hope that you all find such a miracle.

 

the ripple of yes….

Somehow, somewhere, you find yourself standing in a place where yes doesn’t quite makes sense. It’s a blind spot in the crossroads of your life. Something pulls in one direction, but rational sense points fiercely in another.

God, why? God, how? God, where? God, now?

The refrain patterns over and over again in the travelers who walk this particular uncertain road. We struggle with this yes, for it’s an uncomfortable one. It’s the yes that doesn’t fit the framework of long held dreams.

Bossy prudence says don’t. Don’t sacrifice yourself to this yes. It’ll cost you. Friends and family warn you. Is this a yes for the betterment of you? Your family? Your future?

But then, like a sweet spring rain, God waters a yes into the soil of your soul with the purpose of planting His desires with yours.

Just like that, up sprouts a tentative yes.

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These are the families of “yes”. With uncertain steps, most didn’t know where their yes might lead or what this yes really means.

Nevertheless, the families say yes, and in taking that first blind step of faith found a road that is so incredibly less travelled that opportunities abound to shout from the mountaintops the worth of the blessed few who walk this earth while carrying a piece of God’s heart in theirs.

The unfolding patterns of “yes” look slightly different in each narrative. The call occurred in one spouse’s heart and leapt to the other’s. A few knew their yes calling for years, but for most, this yes was never the anticipated oasis on any life horizon.

But….God.

God ever-so-gently placed the yes into each family, and while the it was heralded by uncertainty, it was answered with brave.

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And we, the families of this extraordinary yes, declare that where there is life, there are people who say yes to it. Where there is hope, we shout yes. Where families are needed, we whisper yes, in the dead of night, even in our uncertainty.

We toss our tiny pebble of yes into the waters of faith, and the resulting ripples rock the heart boats of the fearful tarrying yeses. The skeptical yeses. The timid yeses.

Once the yes has a sweet face attached to it, it’s that much easier for the neighbor’s yes, the friend’s yes, the teacher’s yes to mirror yours….turning doubts into families found, lives restored, healing for the oft abandoned lingering hearts.

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Just imagine, that somewhere in the depths of your mother’s womb, the division of your life cells was amiss. Because of that mathematical anomaly, your life path now denied you family, home, country, dignity, education, every aspect of what humanity demands for a life of yes.

What does a small soul of destitution have to do for the large souls of plenty to say yes to the simple grace of love? Family? Life?

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This is the Extraordinary yes of Down syndrome adoption. It’s the road less travelled, the path not taken, the yes of faith over fear.

It’s the best yes, the scariest yes, the most exhilarating yes. It’s a yes that will both drive you to your knees in the darkest hours, and radiantly illuminate your previous dimly lit worldview.

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Would you join us by celebrating this ExtraOrdinary yes?

The brave yeses of small lives, who defy great odds to tell the world that their yes is brimming with eternal value, overflowing with joy.

Fall in love with the these 13 families of yes in Extraordinary Adoption. Book royalties go towards the “Say Yes” grants through Open Hearts For Orphans  to directly help more families adopt children with Down syndrome.

#Extraordinaryadoption

Order here: www.extraordinaryadoption.com

Follow us on facebook Open Hearts For Orphans

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5 quick and easy reasons to not adopt

Adoption isn’t for everyone. This is such an oft repeated statement that we should, really, get t-shirts made of it. I mean, seriously. They would sell like hot cakes. You know how crazy adoption peeps are about the t-shirts!

For everyone’s convenience, here is a conveniently compiled list of the top 5 reasons that adoption is not for everyone. This is a great list to have handy when challenged by those crazy people who adopt, making one feel all squirmy with those shocking photos, inconvenient statistics, and, for Pete’s sake, stop with the t-shirts sales, people!

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5. FROM ANY ANGLE, ADOPTION IS A CHALLENGE

If you’re a person who strives for a life paved with smooth, sparkly stones and peaceful vistas, adoption is probably something best to be avoided at all costs. For most, the challenge of running a 5K or working out in the gym should definitely be satisfying enough. Why put yourself through the equivalent of a lifelong marathon when a weekend marathon can satisfy the challenge itch? Plus, with adoption, there’s no visible finish line, no cheering crowds, and not one single shiny trophy in sight as far as the eye can see.

What attraction is there in the thankless, broken, lifelong marathon of adoption?

Although, I HAVE heard rumors that the adoption marathon could bring enormous, yet quietly celebrated victories that cannot be measured by earthly standards….but those are just rumors and who can trust those?

4. ADOPTION WILL BREAK ONE

Adoption will break the hardest of hearts in all the most tender places. This is definitely NOT good for your physical health, mental state, and definitely puts the blood pressure into digits only recommended for elephants. For example, once you’ve walked through that room, lined with silent cribs occupied by glassy eyed children, your heart will feel like it has been through a shredder and it’s a much larger shredder than the cheese one.

No longer can you enjoy a simple sunset or a cozy Christmas without being gouged by the double edged sword of happiness laced with remembrances of those who aren’t experiencing your current blessings. There is an undeniable shattering of the heart when you weep as your adopted child weeps, as they mourn their loss, as they rage against the life change, clawing through the trauma of a brief but scarred life.

A broken heart is something to avoid at all costs in life.

Although rumor has it that a tenderized heart expands in capacity and endurance, and didn’t Jesus Himself weep over the lost?….. but I could be wrong on that one.

3. ADOPTION WILL GREATLY AGGRAVATE ONE’S FLAWS

If you are like me and you work on an orderly existence with possessions that haven’t been repaired with duck tape and spit, then adoption definitely isn’t for you. If testing the absolute limits of your patience and tolerance isn’t a goal in life, definitely don’t attempt this.

In cautiously avoiding any and all situations that will challenge the assorted fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, self-control, etc…), you can be sure to never embarrass your Christian testimony in front of others, your faith quota will always be a lavish overflowing waterfall, and you can rest assure that your spotless reputation will stay  solidly intact.

Also, another benefit is that one will not ever have to rely or lean upon your church, friends, family, village, town, tribe, or even perfect strangers, and one’s fierce independence will stay firmly in place.

On second thought, I DO recall that a muscle that is exercised becomes stronger with use,  and the whole “not needing anyone” could possibly be a pride issue……but exercising is hard work, and sweating through these problems might ruin the hairdo or chip the nails….and independence is SO American…so let’s just go with that.

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2. ADOPTION WILL CHALLENGE ONE’S MARRIAGE

Long walks on the beach? Dinner and a movie? Gazing at each other minus the eye bags of extreme exhaustion…. If you just ADORE these romantic things, and they are what make your marriage tick, then I’d recommend continuing on with the comfortable journey you are currently traversing. You don’t need those pesky late night migraines of trying to figure out where the next adoption payment is coming from or which kidney you need to sell to make it happen. Not to mention that the therapies and sleeping at the hospital will DEFINITELY put you out of the loving mood and who wants that?

That sweaty hand in his as you ride that elevator up to meet your child for the first time, the mascara running down your face, those whispered prayers for sleep to come in the traumatized dark hours, the bleary mornings….definitely not.

Besides, who wants to get all sorts of creative with what a date night constitutes? A 15 minute ride in the car with the child who finally fell asleep and you can miraculously finish a sentence….it’s a hot date! Grocery shopping together, catching each other’s gaze over the mushrooms and diapers (hopefully not in the same section)

DATE!

Sitting through a church service for the first time in a year because your child will FINALLY stay in the nursery without exhibiting trauma-related behavior. It’s a DATE…and if you’re lucky, you may EVEN attend a church where you can hold hands or he can slip his arm around you. * helpful hint* Sit in the back. (Not sure if making out will be overlooked, though, unless it’s one of those super progressive churches where you have to feel your way to your seat in the dark.)

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Nah, long walks on the beach are DEFINITELY preferred….

the moment your eyes lock over the photo of that child, and both of your hearts leap with united Divine intent…

…that’s definitely not as glam. Stick with the beach thing.

And the number ONE REASON to NOT adopt is:

1. ADOPTION WILL CHALLENGE  EVERY SINGLE AREA OF ONE’S FAITH

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If you have a huge interest in questioning the goodness of God or why bad things happen to tiny, helpless humans, definitely adopt…..if you really don’t want to challenge your faith with these head scratching conundrums, then absolutely avoid adoption.

Is God good? Will He really, truly provide this Mt. Everest of cost? What is true worship? What does the Bible really say about laying down your life? Why are we commanded to do certain things? What is a soul for eternity worth?

Man, lots of questions like these can almost shove you out of the Christian kayak of belief and then where would you be? Floundering in the water? Getting eaten by a giant whale?

Yep.

Though, there IS some ancient text where a certain person (starting with “P” and ending with “TUR”) was commanded to step out of a boat willingly and if he kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on water. I could be mistaken though.

Who wants to step out of a satisfyingly safe kayak for a water stroll? Not everyone.

Let’s not get crazy here, folks. Safety is our top priority, right?

Although, I have heard whispers of if a believer wishes to save one’s life, one must lose it.

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These pesky, Bibically-laced whispers….always so inconvenient and they make one just want to turn up the Netflix binge and block things out.

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“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Luke 17:33

“But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16

if I were a shoe….

I’m a writer, so my mind works in mysterious and often strange ways. In the weird way that I commonly contemplate life, I was thinking the other day about shoes…and if shoes were friendships, what type of shoe would I be in a friendship?

After much imaginative deliberation, here’s what I’ve concluded.

 

It goes something like this…If I were a shoe, I think I’d liken myself to a pair of rain boots that sit on your back porch. Steady, dependable, waterproof, I get you through the floods of life. The deluges. The storms, mud and rain. In the spring, you take me out and I splash through the muddy puddles of life with you.

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On warm, summery days, you clickety-clack out the door with your swishing skirt, bedazzled throat, with your party-shoe friends on, all of you so strappy, thin, and sparkling. Your party-shoe friends make you look tall and beautiful, perfect for your selfies and party photos…and I sigh, sometimes, as I watch and wait, steady and dependable in my ordinary spot in the back steps.

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Some days, you bumpity-bump down the steps with your bulging luggage and your travel-shoe friends. You are all elated, rugged, and trendy, ready for all of the world’s adventures. They exude excitement, anticipating the journey and you’re so excited to be with them, for they will take to you to exotic places where your photos will look like paintings and you’ll bask in foreign suns.

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I flop to my side while you’re away, in the strong, evening breeze, flexible and sturdy. The milky stars appear one by one, distant and clear, brilliant and soft in all of their eternal glory.

And I wait.

Here or there, you flippety-flop out of the house with your shopping shoe friends, all chattery, lip gloss sparkling, earrings catching the light, phones at the ready to capture all of the laughter and fun for your girls’ day out.

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I know that later I’ll see the photos, hear the stories  of you adventures. I’ll laugh, listen, and wistfully agree that you had  great time….I watch the sky, and the seasons slide by, and I know that sunny days don’t last forever…and I stay because who will see you through when the floods come?

And I watch and wait.

And one morning, I see the storm clouds billowing in, hearing the distant thunderous announcements, and I know that, once again, I will be donned. You see, with my ridged soles and sturdy sides, I will wade you through the storms of your life, slow and steady, strong and resilient. When you’re slogging through the mud, you know I’ll be there…dependable and quiet, but always there. My thick soles will keep you from slipping on the rocks of troubles into the torrents of tearful despair. You lean into my tall sides against the onslaught and I can give you balance through the rushing rivers.

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On other days, when you need to pull the stubborn weeds that threaten your growth and mar your garden, I’ll be in the mud right there with you, keeping you clean and dry. If you’re mucking out stalls, working on the farm….well….I’m there to keep you from getting too stinky.

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You see, I don’t look good with party clothes, unless it’s to get you to the party through the rain….arriving, you quickly take me off to don your cheerful, brightly colored party-shoe friends…they’re so much fun at parties!…with their sparkly laughter and witty conversations. I’ll sit on the host’s porch and wait until you need to get home.

And you clomp home with me, depositing me unceremoniously by the back door while you go inside to nestle with your comfortable, evening, fireside slipper-friends. They are warm and cozy, agreeing with everything you have to say in their philosophical airs and theoretical opinions. You discuss great matters with them over coffee and I listen quietly from my home by your back door. I know I’m not educated enough to opine about world issues or understand the intricacies of the trendy, modern dialects.

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I listen and thoughtfully wait.

Honestly, I have tried to be a different kind of shoe friend. Oh, how I’ve tried! I didn’t want to be a rain boot friend! They aren’t fun or special….too serious. They aren’t pretty or popular…..to ordinary. Nobody says, “Just wait until you see this AWESOME pair of rain boots that I saved up for and got!”

No, I’m mostly bought in a pinch. “Oh no! It’s raining, quick! Grab that pair of rain boots, I need them right now!”

In my younger years, when I was just a little Croc, I tried to be a party-shoe friend, but I lacked the sophistication and sparkle. Parties are exhausting! I’ve tried to be the travel-shoe friend, adventurous and daring….ready to take on the world….but when I was along for the ride, I longed for home, and when I returned, I was happy…content to not be continually amazed. Besides, I wasn’t built to be worn for long periods of time…I’m not comfortable enough and you need thick socks with me.

For a brief period, I attempted being a dance-shoe friend…what a miserable time that was! The lights were too bright, the crowds too rambunctious, my cheeks would ache from the forced smile that never made it past my face to my heart.

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Then, could I be a  flip-flop friend? Bright, breezy, easily replaced every season…but no…that didn’t work either. I’m too long term. I don’t dispose of people easily and I do not like being disposed of.

And so, after much experimentation, I have decided that I am happy to be a rain boot-friend. I’ll be here if you need me and it’s ok that I’m not in your party photos or shiny-shoe friend selfies. Even if you don’t need me for a long time, I’ll just be waiting on your back porch where you left me, watching the clouds for the storms…glad to get you through until the sun shines and the puddles have dried.

You see, you need all of these friends in your life and all of these friends serve a beautiful and cohesive purpose for you. Your party-shoe friends, your plucky travel-shoe friends, your dancing-shoe friends, fuzzy slipper-friends…and yes, even your rain boot friends.

Whatever type of shoe friend you are, just be the shoe that the Designer made you to be. I can never whittle down my sides and glue on some sparkles to become a party-shoe friend, nor am I good with travel…too bulky. I’ve learned the hard way that I’m happiest being what I am, what I was designed to be. I cannot force myself to be a  different shoe when my design was pre-planned.

So, wherever you are in life, even if you’ve needed me before and haven’t needed me since, I’ll still be there for you….waiting by the backdoor of your existence, watching the clouds and anticipating how I can ease you through your next rainy day.

I’m a happy pair of rain boots.

And I really only look good with a tutu if I’m worn on a three year old.

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screaming into the wind…

We can no longer exist in this state of soft and sleepy Christian denial, we must move forwards as the army of Christ and sacrifice everything we have for the cause of those who are lost. We want to stand confidently before God, look him in the face and say that we did all we possibly could to lead these small ones to Him.

 

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I’ll be straight up honest with you. In the church, I feel like I’m screaming into the wind, banging my head against a wall, yelling underwater…my voice is breaking.

And I keep screaming, even through the funny, uncomfortable looks or the rolled eyes or the “it’s not what God is calling us to do” statements…because there’s too much at stake here to simply let my voice take a permanent vacation.

You see, it’s not that there is an actual “no” being said. You can’t even get to the point where people actually make a yes or no decision. What always get me is the vast, unending silence and it relentlessly presses down upon my soul. It’s the total lack of interest, lack of questions, it’s the uncomfortable look people get when I start talking about the rows of cribs, the little faces, and how many children there are who wait.

It’s the endless excuses and statements of “Well, you can’t guilt people into adopting,” and “Adoption isn’t for everyone,” and “We just aren’t called to this.” And, honestly, I somewhat agree with every statement here…

You CAN’T guilt people into adopting, but you CAN challenge them to at least be honestly, wholeheartedly open to praying about it and being willing to accept the scary answer. Adoption ISN’T for everyone, I agree…but orphan care in some way, shape, or form IS. “We aren’t called to this” is the most frustrating one…because you ARE called, you ARE equipped, you ARE strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Now, I know that people look at adoptive families and think we are all a little crazy. And we are, in all the good ways. We are CRAZY about getting children into homes…we are CRAZY about lost souls for Christ…we are CRAZY about having completely open eyes to the reality of the crisis in this world…sometimes, we are just plain crazy from lack of sleep. 🙂

When you get to the bottom of the problem, it’s an idol of convenience and comfort that we, as American Christians, must battle. Never before in all of history have American believers been so rich, so comfortable, so healthy, so free, so crowded around a man made wealth/health/prosperity theology…and it weakens us greatly. For while we think we are so strong with our coffee/Bible instagram photos and our trendy worship services, these children are going to hell in a hand basket and we are fully, completely, undeniably responsible for our utter lack of interest in them.

I AM responsible. I fully know that ONE DAY, I, Cady Beth Driver, will stand before God and give an account for my life. For the time I have spent, the resources I have spent, the talents I have spent….and I am guilty in so many ways of unrelenting selfishness. I AM so spoiled, I fully admit that. I FIGHT these urges to just continue my life, that I’ve done enough, I’ve adopted one special needs child and isn’t that enough?

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Well?

I don’t know….I’m not calling for legalism, but, I beg of you, please stop making us shout into the wind. I’m imploring  you, as a church body, to HEAR our hearts, ask the hard questions, fully open your eyes to the reality of what is all around you. Just because you cannot see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Orphans are a hard and ugly reality.

It’s a slap-you-in-the face reality. We can no longer exist in this state of soft and sleepy Christian denial, we must move forwards as the army of Christ and sacrifice everything we have for the cause of those who are lost. We want to stand confidently before God, look him in the face and say that we did all we possibly could to lead these small ones to Him.

I KNOW that there are parents out there who adopt terminally ill children. I know that when they walk through those pearly gates, that that child will be flying into their arms. I know that there are parents who walk incredibly hard roads for the sake of these small souls for eternity, but what if we all did it?

What if every church service had the hiss of oxygen machines, the humming of special needs kids, the adorable off-key singing of children with Down syndrome?

What if we had to turn up the pastor’s voice just to hear him speak over the din of welcoming the least of these into our church bodies with open arms?

What if?

Why must we shout into the wind? Why???

Why must we beg and plead, why can’t we all be this giant crowd of believers running to the helpless?

I don’t have all the answers and yes, I AM fully crazy for this cause. Because I don’t want to close my eyes and pretend like these children do not exist or that they’re not worth every piece of paperwork, every penny, ever sleepless night, every mama’s broken heart…they are WORTH IT.

My heart’s cry is this…Ask questions of adoptive parents…ask them how many children are in their child’s orphanage. Ask them what you can do to help, how you can be involved, how can you pray, how can you support.

Asking is the first step in a journey of illumination and let me tell you, you’ll never want to go back to the time when you didn’t know the answers.

This will break you in all the right ways. All the God ways.

And you’ll join the crowd of adoptive families who are shouting to come and experience the good, the bad, the heartbreak, the triumphs that make up our topsy turvy worlds of adoption.

Come and shout with us. Join us and do hard things…

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it’ll destroy your life…

Don’t become a pastor! Wow. What are you thinking? I once knew a pastor who had a TON of people turn their backs on him, even though he was faithful in the ministry. His children rebelled, he had trouble paying his bills, it was a strain on his marriage. Really hard stuff! Eventually, his health declined from all the stress. Becoming a pastor is a bad idea, why would you do that to your family?

Said no one ever to a person who desires to become a pastor.

Don’t be a missionary! The potential for serious sickness in a foreign country is HUGE. Your kids could contract something or die from a treatable illness. The loneliness, the trials, the potential for persecution is SO much higher in other countries, plus, there’s, like, no Starbucks….how will you survive?

Said no one ever to a person who is called to missions.

Oooh, adoption or foster care….man, THOSE kids have issues. Not everyone is called to adopt, why do you have this passion? I once knew a family, who… (followed by some horror story) and it could ruin you. It’s expensive, difficult, and so heartbreaking.

Say many people all the time to those called to adopt.

Oh, amazing missionary that we all want to be like, in that you seem so much more spiritual because you sold all of your earthly goods and you live in a grass hut eating crickets AND not drinking Starbucks…please ENLIGHTEN us, how you do it? Tell us all your stories of hardship and sacrifice…we are all ears. And we sit and listen.

Oh, tired adoptive adoptive parents…..(awkward silence)  Sooooooo, what’s the weather like?

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Ugh, another adoption fundraiser…man, they just keep coming.

If they can’t afford to pay the fees, they shouldn’t be adopting.

That family hasn’t been to church in a LOOONG time after they came home from Africa with their child. (insert snort)

Well, it was THEIR choice! They brought this onto themselves.

We absolutely do NOT accept adopted, special needs children into our church school.

Adoption will ruin you, both mentally, physically and financially.

Adoption will ruin your biological kids, why would you do that to them?  You don’t want to saddle them with a special needs adult after you die, that’s not fair to them!

It’s a HUGE unknown. It’s scary, it’s hard, it’s…it’s…it’s….

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Why is it that adoption or foster care is the ONE ministry that people question and question HARD? Could it POSSIBLY be that it is the ONE area where, hands down, there will be a child who will be literally snatched from the gates of hell? Where a child who would have NEVER had the chance to hear about Jesus will NOW hear about Jesus.

What if adoption were pursued and held up in the church just like pastors, missionaries, famous Christian women bloggers, and performers?

This is NOT the case, and frankly, it NEEDS TO CHANGE.

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Adoption is HARD and GOOD…. SCARY and EXHILARATING.  It takes you to the bottom so you have nowhere else to look but up. It’s Peter in the boat, Jesus feeding the 5,000, Joseph waiting in prison. It’s Moses winning the war, Jacob wrestling with God, Joshua marching around the walls….it’s David conquering Goliath, Miriam weeping on His feet, Jochebed placing her baby in the river.

It’s terrifying courage scattered with tiny seeds of faith.

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:24

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Are these children your friends?

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Do you see the little, tiny legs? Is SHE your friend? Are you willing to lay down your life, your finances, you sanity (some days!), your time, your energy for her?

Is she a soul for eternity? What is she worth to you?

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What is HE worth to God? Well, to God, he is priceless.

And so he should be to us. ALL of us….without all of the caveats and warnings. Without all of the “scary” adoption stories, and trust me, I know that there are a LOT of hard stories out there. Hear them, pray, and move forwards.

And no, not everyone is called to adopt, although I struggle with this thought process….hear me out…because if that child was left on your doorstep in the middle of the night and there was nobody to pick her up and take her in, no social services to call, would you? Or would you leave her there on your concrete porch with your $69.99 flower door wreath hanging above her head.

Would you? Would I? What did the early Christians do?

Now note well those who hold heretical opinions about the grace of Jesus Christ that came to us; note how contrary they are to the mind of God. They have no concern for love, none for the widow, none for the orphan, none for the oppressed, none for the prisoner or the one released, none for the hungry or thirsty (Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 6.2, A.D. 110).

It is the way of persecutors of the good, of those who hate truth, love a lie, do not know the reward of righteousness, do not adhere to what is good or to righteous judgment, who ignore the widow and the orphan…have no mercy for the poor, do not work on behalf of the oppressed, are reckless with slander, do not know the one who made them, are murderers of children…who turn away from someone in need…utterly sinful (Epistle of Barnabas 20.2, c. A.D. 100–130)

Let the hard become good in your life. Let the uncertainty fade away, for faith is not made up of such things. There is no uncertainty with God. All He orchestrates is good, both in your life and the lives of others.

I’ll leave you with this.

“Consider it all you, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

 

As a church body, let’s travel this journey together. ASK the hard questions, DO hard things, PRAY long, BELIEVE God, HAVE faith.

Because this, THIS is too precious for even ONE to fall by the wayside.

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accept the gift…

Rewriting the story of a child who has Down syndrome has indelibly etched its chapter on the soul. With fresh eyes, one sees the best and the worst of society…the least and the greatest…..the veil has been lifted and who we are as a people is illuminated through those we downwardly view through the pathetic lens of worldly “perfection”.

The flimsy jewel of intelligence, beauty, acceptability, and usefulness is smashed on the single altar of this…..the Giver’s unexpected gift….the unforeseeable gift. The gift that requires the seeker to really see, earnestly look for, faithfully uncover.

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In thoughtlessly tossing away the gift of a soul who doesn’t fit our presupposed notions…we slap the face of the Gift Giver, depriving ourselves of the opportunity to breathe in beautiful new vistas previously unknown.

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And while we rage at the Gift Creator for bestowing this uncertain path, our hearts are blinded from the things we have yet to experience. For how can we know the tomorrows in the today? How can the life path we expected be fully understood before it is traversed?

In our vast misunderstanding of the Giver, fears loom large…expectations for the life we firmly desire are indented with our fingertips. Muscles strain as with one hand we hurl back a heart that He knew would point us Light-ward, and with the other…we grip our own imagined, glimmering future… engorged with our heart’s desires.

Little can we grasp that what we eschew is the remedy. That sometimes our deepest fears transform into the One’s greatest individual stories.

For you.

For me.

For all.

What we beckon and encircle is what our souls become.

If only we tilt our ears towards heaven….and listen….we may hear the whisper of the child who might be….

“Don’t be afraid,” she lilts. “Take my hand,” the softness of his small fingers on your cheek.

His rosebud lips. Her almond eyes.

You didn’t choose the journey. The Chooser gifted this glorious journey to you.

 

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Accept the gift.