Family of God

Joel and I are going into our fifth year as adoptive parents and we are still learning so much.  One of the things that we have both realized through this journey is how amazing God’s love is for us.   Of course, we have always known that God loves us, but now we see it through a different lens.  Everything that we go through now, as this new blended family, is seen differently now that we are seeing things from a new perspective.

When I was fifteen, my parents let me bring a two-year-old little girl home from the nutrition center that was in a town several hours from where we lived in Guatemala.  She became my little sister and I loved her (still do) on so many different levels.  I loved her before she was ever legally ours.  I knew nothing but love for her.  Because of the ease of this relationship, I think I assumed that all adoptive relationships would be easy.  

At the age of 42, God rocked my world by allowing us to adopt three siblings.  We already had three biological children, but God blessed us with the opportunity and the means to do it- so we did.  I remember their first visit in our home.  They spent a weekend with us and I knew it would be too expensive and difficult for us to go out to eat, so I cooked every single meal that we ate.  I was exhausted, but in a great way.  The kids were non-stop, circling through the house and pulling out every single toy from its appropriate hiding place.  But what I will truly always remember was overhearing one of the kids say, “I’m not calling her mom, she’s not MY mom.”  It was there very first day in our home and we had not asked them to address us as such, but this child was defending their stance to one of our children and I remember how it made me feel.  For a quick second, I had a thought of concern for their ability to settle in, but I reminded myself that it was the first day and chose not to be concerned.  A mere two hours later, we were watching a movie in the living room.  I was laying on a bean bag in the floor with my new toddler and the child who I overheard just a couple hours earlier, grabbed my hand and said, “I love you, Mom.”  It melted my heart.  I hadn’t asked for them to call me mom.  But this brand-new child of mine was already wrestling with their emotions of who I was to them and who they wanted me to be.

I wish I could say that it has all been easy since that time.  I wish I could tell you that our children are just so grateful to have this opportunity that they do everything that is asked of them with big smiles on their faces.  I wish I could tell you that the relationships all came naturally and we didn’t have to work at it at all.  Nope.  Not even. 

The fact is that there are times that I think how in the world do you not understand what I am telling you or how many times do I have to explain this to you.  I can get so frustrated with their lack of trust and understanding.  I can get so annoyed by their inability to listen and obey.  Here we are adopting them, grafting them into our family to be joint heirs with our other children, and they don’t even get it.  Whoa!  This is where it hits us.  How many times does God feel this same way about me?  How many times does He think how in the world do you not understand?  How many times do I have to explain this to you?  He could so easily get frustrated and annoyed with me because of my distrust and inability to listen and obey.  BUT…He doesn’t.  He loves me anyways, even when I make the same stupid mistakes.  He has chosen me.  He has grafted me in and I am joint heirs with Jesus!  This blows my mind. 

Tonight, I spent time with one of my children discussing their inability to complete their daily tasks.  Our conversation began out of frustration, but I realized the need to discuss our relationship.  I explained to my child that our relationship can’t be one sided in nature, we must both be a part.  If you know me, you know that I did not do just SOME of the talking, but really ALL of it.  But I thought the “conversation” went well.  I rounded out my “speech” with the importance of that same two-way street relationship with God and how He too desires to spend time with us.  I closed with how much I love this child of mine and how much God loves them too.  I reminded them that they are worthy, chosen, a masterpiece.  We hugged and my precious child began to do their daily chores.  Meanwhile, I began to think about how God must feel when one of us feels “less than.”  It must break His heart.  He wants us to feel loved, worthy, chosen.  He wants us to want to spend time with Him.  He wants us to converse with Him.  Oh, how it must hurt his heart when we say all the same silly excuses that my child just told me, “I forgot” or “I was busy” or (the one that frustrates me the most) “I don’t know!” 

Relationships can be hard and they take time.  What are we willing to invest in our relationship with God?  Are we willing to be vulnerable and lay it all out on the table?  Are we willing to put the time and effort into getting to know our Heavenly Father and listening to His voice as He speaks to us?  Are we willing to humble ourselves and say thank you God for being patient with my stupid self who keeps making the same mistake over and over?  What an awesome privilege it is to be chosen by God and to be His child.  I pray that I never take it for granted and that I will always take time to work on my relationship with Him.

I grew up listening to the Gaithers, so I can’t help but sing the song in my mind called “Family of God”.  Check out the words to the song below.

FAMILY OF GOD

I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.

You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here,
It’s because we’re a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I’m not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!

I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God!

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