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Posts Tagged ‘Abba’

adoptionTen years ago, we met our daughter-to-be through a wonderful organization called KidSave that provides summer opportunities for adoptable older children from around the world. Back then, the country of favor was Russia, but they have since closed their doors and their orphaned and abandoned children languish in bulging institutions. Since Liliana was already a young teen (13), she had a say in the matter. She had to choose.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship [The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture]. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ . . . [Romans 8:14-17a; NIV]

The choice Liliana made to permit us to proceed with our adoption was only months after another decision she had to make back in Russia. At that time, she was living in a teen crisis center and the director believed it would be to Lily’s best interest to legally sever her birth mother’s rights. As a result, Lily found herself in a courtroom, her birth mother sitting opposite from her, and the judge asking Lily if she wanted to go through with this legal procedure (this is after months and years of emotional trauma, drunkenness, and verbal abuse). She said yes, not so much to a cutting off from the parent, but that life, that life of sorrow and hopelessness.

You would think she would have jumped at the chance to be adopted here in American. But really, she would have to leave everything that was familiar to her. There would be no going back. She was unsure and afraid. She had no way to know that her new family would come with more than just two parents and two brothers, but would also come with a new history and a new future. She would inherit from us all that we had to give. She would be fully ours.

God does the same for his adopted children. When we turn away from the old life, the old “leadership,” we are children of God. We have legal rights in the family of God. We inherit all that God has for us. But we must choose.

 

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I know God is trying to get my attention: sometimes through people telling me of roadblocks ahead while other times through circumstances. But, like a bull in a china shop, I tend to charge right in. On occasion, the china escapes unscathed. But too often, there’s a great sound of shattering glass.

II Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

My independent streak started at a young age. My father died when I was only nine and I was a latch key kid for several years. My mother was a difficult woman who suffered from bipolar disorder (we only figured that out much later). She was unpredictable and ultimately, for me, unsafe. I told her as little as I could and I made many of my own decisions. These choices included getting married at eighteen (I was already a Junior in college), because I was sure I was ready to be out on my own, divorcing 5 years later, moving to New York City to be come “rich and famous.” These early years set up lots of walls.

It’s hard to hear or see warnings when a person is so doggone “capable.”

Somehow, I have allowed myself to believe that warnings are a negative thing. They are restrictions. They are penalties. But today, I have a new view.

God’s warnings are actually lighthouses. The beams of light give instruction and information: be careful, danger is nearby, be alert, watch! Everything is fine, just be on guard for challenges. Avoid unnecessary consequences. Change course if necessary. There is always another way to get there. I love you. I care about you.

As a parent, I have tried to be a lighthouse for my children. And don’t I do this out of my love for them? Would God do any less?

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