Tuesday, April 14, 2009


[what's brewing: 3 kid-size hot chocolates, extra marshmallows, not too hot]

Nearly 3 months ago we received word that 3 of the little boys in our Children’s Home were being adopted. While joy was undoubtedly surging in the hearts of their new parents in a far away land, my heart was breaking. I don’t think I was aware of the depth of love and motherly concern that I have for the children in our care until we received this news.

I felt possessive over these little darlings who brought so much joy into our daily lives – a protective possession, like a mama bear looking after her cubs. While I had no doubt that the parents who were coming to get them were wonderful individuals who would give anything for the needs of these little boys, they were a foreign entity to me that I couldn’t extend my trust to right away. I cried daily for several weeks at the thought of handing these boys over to families who would take them away, never again to be privy to their daily needs or developments.

The experience of introducing them to their new parents was one of the most intimate moments I’ve ever been allowed to observe in someone else’s life.

The gradual process of spending time together over the coming days eventually culminated in our final goodbyes as we waved and watched them drive off in the back seat of a taxi, waving out the rear window as the dust billowed up between us. I stood there for a moment, knowing that this would be my lasting memory of this experience.

The boys would spend 2 more weeks in country with their families, finalizing paperwork and preparing for the journey home, but that was goodbye for us. I have cried in bed several nights since then, wondering what the boys were thinking and feeling. I said bedtime prayers for them, asking God to give their hearts a sure sense of their new belonging in their new families and to remove any fears and doubts related to their past experiences.

This weekend Jason and I ventured down into the city center for an afternoon walk. I noticed Jason’s eyes were lighting up and I looked ahead to see one of the little boys coming down the street with his new family. He was facing the other way, hanging onto his mother like a little monkey – arms around her neck and legs around her waist. As his parents recognized us and stopped to greet us, he looked curiously at us, smiled and said hello. As Jason managed the conversation, I was captivated by the way the little boy from our Home stayed completely focused on his new mother. He smiled at us, but did not reach out for us. His eyes lit up and he laughed as we spoke with him, but he never once loosened his grip on his mother’s neck.

We eventually went our separate ways and my vision was blurred with tears.

Jason wrapped his arm around me and offered his support, “I know it’s hard to see him and know he’s leaving us.”

He was right, but that wasn’t the true source of my tears. I found my voice enough to express my overwhelming shock at how attached this dear little boy was to his new family already. Sure the future would hold many more adjustments as far as attachment was concerned, but I couldn’t believe how confident he was in the arms of his new mother.

Our meeting on that sidewalk was a gift from God, specially chosen in response to my worries and prayers for the boys as they were leaving us. Had I not been given the opportunity to see that, I know I would have wondered and worried about them for many months to come. But now my heart was at peace, and the lasting image in my mind has been replaced with his smiling face in the arms of his mother.

This experience, coupled with the triumphant message of Easter, has created a beautiful image in my mind of the implications of our adoption as sons and daughters of the King. We have been adopted into God’s family – we are no longer orphans, but sons and daughters. Our identity has been changed and secured in light of this event, and we are loved unconditionally. Truly, this is the message and the power of the cross.

Oh Lord, may we be as confident in our new identity as your children as this little one, clinging to his mother’s neck, never reaching out for the securities we knew before you.


MoziEsmé said...

What a bittersweet experience - I'm so glad he is happy.

kimom said...

I love that imagery - an adopted son clinging and confidently attached to his new parent. Our family just went through some re-attachment therapy after some trauma our eldest experienced and is doing so much better.

So I will add: Isn't it wonderful that if we let go of that strong neck of our Lord's, He still holds on, and we can tighten our grip again?! 'Oh no! You never let go!' - that great song, by ??

Grammy said...

Your post is timely for me right now. Tomorrow we leave Costa Rica which has been our home for the last year. We will be saying good-byes to gringo friends from school but also our church family. We are delighted to finally be moving on to Ecuador but sad to leave here.
It was also a year ago that our children brought home our adopted grandaughter. She will turn 4 in June. She is happy enjoys life and is loved by everyone. She was featured on my xanga 2 posts ago.

Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras said...

What a great experience and joy that the children can be adopted out. I know in many countries, where we live being one of them, where adoption is impossible. What a blessing that this possibility exists for these children. Bendiciones!

Becky Aguirre said...

We don't always plant a garden, but when we do, it's mainly just for fun. :) Right now, we have a garden spot that DH and kiddos have been working on...hopefully we can get something to grow there this summer!

So neat that God gave you the chance to see that all is well with that little guy! And what a precious picture of our adoption as well...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and so bittersweet. Thanks for sharing your heart; it's a beautiful picture.

jpierce said...

How gracious God was to you. It doesn't take away the pain, but it does allow you to let go and have peace. Beautiful!
Jan Pierce
One Handful of Rice

Julie said...

I love that we are adopted by God. I'm so grateful that these boys have new families and although the pain of their leaving is very real, God gave you a unique glimpse of his protection of them in this new chapter. He goes with them and will guide them in their new surroundings. Just like He does with us when we become His own.

Bradpetehoops said...

God speed the right. Have a nice day.

Bradpetehoops said...

awesome blog. Have a nice day.


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