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Friday, January 20, 2012

Truly blessed beyond mearsure!

This morning, I am overwhelmed by God’s willingness to allow me to be involved with some of the most incredible families as they walk this life-long journey called adoption.  Since God’s call to “coordinate the adoption of deaf orphans in the world” in March of 2008, God has been revealing Himself to me through some of the most amazing adoption stories.   These stories of unconditional love mirror God’s ultimate adoption story for each of us.  Sometimes, however, these adoption stories include pain and suffering.  Interestingly enough, so does God's.  This is one of those areas where God is teaching me His perspective, His plan, for His children through pain and suffering.   And more specifically through the pain and suffering God allows His children to experience because they obey Him in His call to adopt.

As I think what some of these families are enduring this very day because they have obeyed God, tears come to my eyes.  My heart goes out to them as they face another day ONLY by His grace! 

His grace…a topic for another day!


God has lead 9 families (7 since the end of July) to connect with me, through Signs for Hope, as they progress through their adoptions of deaf or hard-of-hearing children.   Prior to that, God has allowed me to be connected to some other precious families and their adoption journeys, as well.  The ways that God prepares us and equips us to do what He calls us to do, is mind-boggling.  I have always quoted that to others, but I can now see, in my own life, how accurate that statement really is.  I challenge each of you to stop and reflect on your own life and how God has prepared you for what you are facing today.  This will give you encouragement to persevere whatever you are facing.


As I look back at the ways in which God prepared me and continues to prepare me, for this ministry…I am in awe!  Does that mean I have the ability to do everything perfectly without any error?   Of course not!  But I can see how He has orchestrated so many different things—some positive and some negative—to give me the ability, the background, the foundation, that He wants to see infiltrate this ministry called Signs for Hope.  HOPE is His goal!

I have not always had this ability to reflect with certainty at how He has prepared me for the task at hand.  In the beginning, He had to confirm to me over and over again that He had not made a mistake when He called me to do this.  Others could see this clearly before I could.  I knew there were many others who were better prepared and equipped to do this.  From my perspective it just did not make sense that He called me and not someone else. 


Charles and I have never adopted and we have never felt God leading us to adopt.  It was a topic that came up in conversation, several times through the years, but the paradigm we had of adoption was not a fairy tale one with a ‘happily ever after ending.’  In fact, God had placed within our realm of friends several families that had experienced some heart-wrenching and life-changing experiences because they had followed God’s leading to foster and/or adopt children.   We would always end our conversations with…that would not be best for our family.  We really never felt God leading us to adopt.  Why would He think I could head up a ministry of adoption, if I had never adopted myself?  


As I have researched adoption over the past three years I have come to realize that adoption is rarely ‘happily ever after’.  Yes adoption can be rewarding and give boundless joy, but it is not easy helping little ones deal with some of the horrible things they have had to endure because they were rejected for whatever reason.  Often these children cannot accept the fact that someone suddenly loves them and helping them realize that fact is challenging…to say the least.  

We can compare the earthly adoption of a child with the adoption of our heavenly Father for each of us.  There are those who completely reject His perfect love for them.  Then there are those of us who accept that love, but then struggle in the development of that father-son or father-daughter relationship not willing to surrender our will to His.  Will we truly accept all the love He wants to give us or not?  Will we show Him that we love Him in return by our obedience.  The same is often true for those children who are adopted and so loved by their earthly parents.


I have to believe it is through those families and their sufferings they endured that God has placed within me, an undeniable urgency to provide pre-adoptive resources and training to better equip those who adopt Deaf/HOH children before they bring them home.  Resources available today were not available when some of our friends were adopting/fostering years ago.  I have had friends tell me they wonder if things had turned out differently had they had the present-day resources now available for adoptive families.

No, adoption is not easy!  But when He calls us to do something He will equip us to do it and He uses all of us to do this.  His plan is not for us to walk this life alone, but rather to depend on each other to gain the encouragement to persevere to the end. 

If God has not called you to adopt, He has called you to 'care for the fatherless'.  Will you commit to pray for a family that is called to adopt?  Your life will be changed and blessed beyond measure as you pray for those who adopt and foster. 

There are many ways you can obey God's call to 'care for the fatherless'. 

Will you ask God to show you how you, personally, are to fulfill His command to ‘care for the fatherless’?
 
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For me, many of these verses were overlooked for most of my Christian life.  Oh I read them, but their meaning was limited.  Their meaning now, so rich and challenging!  Allow the Holy Spirit to wrap your mind in their full meaning.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."  Romans 8:14-16

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Galatians 4:4-6

You are the helper of the fatherless. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more. Psalms 10:14,17-18

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  Isaiah 1:17

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.  James 1:27

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