This isn’t an entry about adoption.
Of course, now having said that you are all thinking, “I bet this entry is going to be about adoption.”
But no, it really isn’t.
Although I have thought about it much in the past. To be honest, it always scared me a little bit. Not the act of adopting or taking care of child who isn’t biologically my own. No, I was always a little bit afraid that I wouldn’t be able to love the little boy or girl with every fiber of my existence, the way he or she should be loved. I just didn’t know.
You look at animals and the entire birthing process and you realize that while genetically things are quite similar, everything else is unique. Many mammals have to be up and running in minutes in the wild after birth, mother and offspring. But humans have a much slower process don’t we? 9 months carrying for instance. During that time, if the coming child isn’t the number 1 thing on your mind, it is certainly the 2nd or 3rd. There is a proverb of sorts that reads, “A woman becomes a mother when the child is conceived, but a man becomes a father when the child is born.” There is probably some truth in this, but both mother and father are somewhat mentally and emotionally prepared when the child finally does come.
My apprehension was that if I didn’t daily see the child growing in the womb of my wife, I might not feel like he or she was my very own. But this past week, some of the things I saw changed the way I see and feel about this. I spent the past few days volunteering with an organization called ‘Lighthouse Family Retreat’. Families afflicted with childhood cancer were present, and one family in particular made a continuous, profound impact on me.
With a Brady Bunch size the 7 children had either been born from the married couple or from a separate marriage. Some had dark hair, some dusty brown, and some blond! But even before I was told they were one family, I saw and felt a nearly tangible family bond. In a day where bigotry and racial tension still run high, I absolutely loved seeing this family of different colors loving one another. I was caught off guard how quickly I viewed them as my own family! I realized that this was a small snapshot of God’s family, one that I am a part of. He has put his name on all of us and we are all equally loved before him. Through this family, and other bi-racial and single-race families at the retreat, I realized again what I already knew deep down; that people are people and through Christ I just love loving them all.
Some of you know this about me, but sometimes I even forget that I am Black! Or African American, or whatever you would call me. No, I never forget where I come from or the struggle my people have to deal with in this world, but God has really given me a desire to see people as just that, people. There were times this past week where I would look down and see the brown skin on my hands and arms and think, ” Oh yeah, this is how others see me!”, then smile and not think about it again for another couple of days. That is a fruit of having my identity in Christ. I am not defined by my skin, or background, or what society and culture say that I am. Jesus defines me; again and again and again he reminds me of who I am.
See? I told you. Not so much about adoption. But it’s in there.
But if I ever do get the chance to adopt(and I think I will?) and/or have kids naturally, I look forward to loving them because I just love them, and because Jesus loved me first.
Yep. That about says it.
Enjoy the pictures!