On Sunday night Jeremy talked briefly about his families story of adoption. Adoption is a metaphor the Bible uses to describe our acceptance into the family of God and our changed identities as His children. But it’s not simply a metaphor. Adoption is a missional response the spiritual reality of our adoption in Christ. With that said it’s not an easy calling. Here Jeremy shares about some of the trials he and Julianne have experienced over the past year in adopting two children from Honduras.
You can follow their story here.
The year 2012 was a year of change for the Dager’s – a new city, new job, new house, and a new church. But one thing that didn’t change was our adoption process. To be it lightly…it went nowhere!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated. Lying through my teeth, really. It feels like we could have just ignored the conviction we had back in 2010 to adopt, gone on with our lives, skipped all this mess of paperwork, fundraising, and waiting waiting waiting, and we would be in pretty much the same situation that we’re in now.
Currently, we are waiting on a document to be authenticated by the state of North Carolina so that we can send it, along with 6 other documents that we had to redo, back to Honduras so they can add them to our pile of papers before their final review and before they officially place us on the wait list. We’re also waiting on a second fingerprint appointment with US Immigration because that approval has expired.
The really awesome thing about all this rework is that we’re most likely going to get to do it again in another 18 months because everything will expire again.
I realize that this all savors strongly of bitterness (name that movie) and I’m not being a very good advocate for adoption. But nobody ever said this would be easy. I think if I’m honest with myself, I kind of thought it would be. I thought, “Yeah, we’ll do this. We’ll start this process and in 8-12 months we’ll be done with it. And I’ll blog about it and encourage others and it’s just going to be a really sweet time.” I wish I could say my naivete was endearing.
Adoption is hard. The paperwork is stressful, the waiting is frustrating, the whole thing is expensive and, not that I can speak from experience, but bringing these kiddos home isn’t going to be a walk in the park either. So there are many times lately where I do feel bitter and jaded and, dare I say it, callous toward those we are trying to love.
But then I’m reminded of a story. Of One who was perfect and didn’t need anything, including children. But He so loved us that He set out to make us His own. To be a Father to us. To comfort us. To teach us and give to us. But it was hard. We pushed Him away. We chased after money to give to ourselves, drugs, alcohol and sex to comfort ourselves, and power to rule over ourselves and others. We stepped on and exploited the weak and vulnerable by stealing their fair wages for their forced labor, refusing to defend those that are abused, and repeatedly ignoring their voices until they were without one. We didn’t want a Father. We wanted a genie who would take care of us and our families when we were sick and give us lots of money and things, but leave us alone otherwise.
But despite our resistance, He didn’t stop loving us. When we gave up everything in order to gain more power, money or pleasure, leaving us slaves, He didn’t stop pursuing us. Instead of becoming callous towards us, He bought us back out of that slavery. He paid for us with His own life. And he made us His children.
It was hard. It was expensive. And it’s still not a walk in the park. But I thank God, my Father, that He did not stop pursuing me because of those things. He went to the cross to bring me home.
And when I remember that, I don’t feel bitter or jaded. I only feel love for my Jesus and longing for my children. And while I know that this coming year probably will not see us bringing home our children, I can rest in the truth that the God who loves these children more than I ever could is good and will make this happen at just the right time.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9