Coming Before the King

It’s been eleven years since we adopted three siblings and added them to our family of five. Watching our children struggle to find their place in our family and in the world has been so heart-wrenching for me.  I never imagined the range of emotions I would feel, and some of them outright surprised me.

I expected the difficulty our adopted children felt in trying to find their spot in our family and the difficult behaviors associated with doing this. I expected our adopted children to struggle to bond with us but to eventually find their place in the fold. I imagined this would take a few years and then we would find our way back to our old normal.

I never expected to feel so hurt when one of our adopted children hurt one of our biological children.  When our biological children were judged harshly by outsiders or extended family while our adopted children were offered sympathy for similar behaviors, I struggled.  When our family values were offended time and time again because hurting children find it hard to trust, tell the truth and keep from stealing another’s belongings, I faltered.  I never expected to struggle to bond with these children, myself, because of so much anger flung at me day after day after day.

Esther’s story inspires me with the most important thing that I have learned along this journey: everything begins with prayer, courage follows, and the results are up to God.

Esther found herself in the middle of a new situation, perhaps not to her liking, shaken out of her expected life and forced to rise as queen of a foreign nation.  As if that were not enough, she was asked to stand up and risk her life to save her own people from annihilation.

Sometimes I feel like that!  I have been called to lead these children, to keep them from being harmed, and from harming one another and to do so I must stand before the King to beg for our salvation.  For Esther this was harder to do than it is for me, because my King places no barriers between us: I can come before Him anytime I am in need.

Even if helping hurting souls to heal is harder and takes longer than expected, our King stands by ready and waiting for our requests on their behalf (and our own). Like Esther, we have found favor with our King and he extends his hand to us, ready to hear our requests.  Unlike Esther’s king, who offers her up to half of his kingdom, our King has given us the entire kingdom and he is at our disposal whenever we seek Him.

Being an adoptive parent is hard, gut-wrenching, painful work at times, so we can’t do it alone. And the best part is that in spending time in the presence of the King gives me courage to face the next step toward my Goliath-like problems.

Are you facing giants today? Bow in the presence of your King and ask him for the strength you need. Then just rest.

Resting in Alexandria

We’re sitting gazing at the Mediterranean Sea and enjoying some rest and relaxation and just being together.   Yet I can’t help feeling so amazed: the Mediterranean Sea! This American never would have imagined I could be living in this country, so close to such wonders (sitting not too far from the Pharos-though not the original still one of the seven). We’re so privileged to be here, on this planet, in this place, hopefully our lives bringing glory to God.

Mephibosheth

“Don’t be afraid”, David said to him, “for I will sure show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

While we knew that growing into a blended family and even that healing traumatized children would take time, this has been a heartbreaking journey at times. Until this year, eleven years post-adoption, we have seen healing only incrementally, but it seems our Red Sea miracle is on the horizon. Yet healing is often a road filled with switchbacks, frustrating obstacles, and untimely delays. Continue reading