Can’t You Just Adopt-a-Me, Mom?
It is hard to believe that we are 2 weeks into a new year already. This past Christmas break was so good for our family. It was the first time ever that all 3 of us took a break from school and work for the entire 2 weeks. Typically I don’t take many days completely off work. Even on Christmas Eve I will usually go see a couple of patients that morning. Five of the days this year, Jian had different appointments which took half the day.
That still left 11 days to be together playing, reading, snuggling, and spending time with friends and family. On Christmas day, Jian’s request was to stay home all day long and not change out of our pajamas. It was fabulous. That’s why I was so taken aback when she got into the car after going back to school last Monday.
She got in and said, “Mom, do you know about foster children?” I said, “Sure. Remember when we talked about this before? When sometimes kids aren’t safe or able to stay with their parents and they need a house to go to and someone to take care of them for a short time?” Her eyes became huge and she started shaking her head rapidly. “I don’t want to do that, mom!” I smiled and said, “I know. Now is not the right time for our family. But maybe one day we can help a child who needs a foster home.” As if she didn’t hear a word I said she exclaimed, “I don’t want to be foster! Can’t you just adopt-a-me, mom?”
What!?! This June will be 3 years since her adoption. She was there. In China. When we came to get her. She was there. She made her handprint on the paperwork. Her room looks like a Hallmark store threw up in it. Full of books and quotes about being chosen, having a forever family. She is our princess. Everything that we do now revolves around her. But deep inside her little heart is the reality that one day she was not chosen by her birth parents. And the fear that one day we will decide not to choose her anymore either.
But as with most experiences with Jian, I am able to relate this to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Time after time, I feel myself pleading with Him, “Can’t you just help? I can’t keep doing all of this by myself. The burden is heavy. I’m trying my best, but I could use just a little help.” Hello! Was I not there when He kept me safe during my childhood? When He gifted me with the ability to earn academic scholarships to help pay for a college education unprecedented in my family? When everything lined up for me to meet my husband who also has a love for “the least of these?” What about the time that I consistently prayed about wanting to move out of our home only to come home and find a note waiting in our mailbox that someone wanted to buy it? The house wasn’t on the market. I hadn’t told anyone else I wanted to move.
I just finished a quarter helping teach Jian’s Bible class at church. It was so refreshing to walk back through the account of Moses and the parallels that I can see in my life today. The Israelites were there. They saw the plagues that God delivered to Egypt. They saw when He parted the Red Sea to save them. But so quickly they would forget. Out there wandering in the wilderness. They thought God had changed His mind and had forgotten about them.
We are not God’s foster children. We have already been adopted and will receive the inheritance that He has planned for us. And it won’t compare to any Hallmark store bedroom here on this earth. So when I am walking through my own doubt and struggles, God uses an innocent 10 year old to reflect back to me how very silly I must sound when I get the bright idea to ask for a little help for a change. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. His hand is reaching out. I just have to remember to take it.