Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Is A Life Worth To You?

They just left. 

Parents of two families who’ve adopted from overseas.

I love it.  And believe it or not, I don’t just love the look of a lot of kids from other cultures being under our roof.  I’m more in love with the stories.

When I looked at each one individually, I thought, “What would this child look like if they hadn’t been adopted?”

For two of them at least, one of them ours and the other from another family, I’m sure they would’ve been dead.  Sure of it.

“Oh, come on, Anthony,” you might say.  “How can you be so presumptuous?!”

I could be wrong and you could be right.  I’m often wrong.  I’ll tell you that off the bat.  I found out, though, that as the years passed when I was a hospice chaplain, I sort of had a sense when someone was bad off.  It wasn’t necessarily a supernatural thing.  It came with the job through experience, which is a good thing, since I was able to minister to patients and their families with more sensitivity when the time drew close.

I wonder how many of you out there in the blogosphere also adopted a child who was in a shocking condition.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard of families who got on a plane, thinking their child merely had a mild condition, but soon learned that they weren’t in Kansas anymore.  There was something more serious about their new child’s health condition than they were told.

For those of you who are considering adopting for the first time, and you’re intimidated at the thought of being surprised once you’re overseas, let not your hearts be troubled.

On behalf of countless families who have been-there-done-that, let me assure you, that God is with you.  THIS DOES NOT TAKE GOD BY SURPRISE.  God trusts you to step into the unknown.  How truly courageous you are for the Father’s kingdom!  You are stepping into the world of the humanly unknown, but the heavenly been-there-done-that!

God has been there and He has done that, before you’ve ever stepped foot onto a plane.  Take comfort in that, valiant warrior, for that is what you are. 

Just as God used that name to call out Gideon—valiant warrior—He calls you out.  And when He calls you out to step into the humanly unknown, receive His peace and His strength and His grace.  Even you and me—of the least tribe in the least clan and the least in the clan.

What you lack, He provides.  So get on that plane.  You just might save a life.  And what is that worth to you and to our loving Savior?

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

                                                     ~1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)


  1. Awesome post! I have heard many people say, "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle." But I disagree -- God gives you what you can't handle -- by yourself, without HIM. But if God Almighty is truly by your side, He equips you and supports you through every trial, every challenge that would cause our human nature to give in. As an adoptive parent and as a bio mom of a child with Down syndrome, I never realized what God was giving me...until the beautiful child was in my arms. It is WORTH the journey of faith!

  2. It's so true, Gwen. He gives us things we think we can't handle so that He can show His glory through us in it. We have to make the decision to embrace it or not.

    Great comment! Thank you for reading.

  3. We adopted a little boy with HIV and because his Tcells were good, we were super hopeful that he was doing well. While in country, he became very sick and then got even sicker on the plane home. We went straight to the hospital and his oxygen saturation levels were in the 70s. An undetectable viral load (the goal for all HIV patients) is 50 and his was 980,000. He was so sick and I think about how God had to have a hand in allowing him to come home when he did. Two years later, he is such a joy to everyone who meets him and I think that the world would be a much sadder place without him in it. The happiness and spark he brings would have been gone and the we wouldn't have even known how much poorer we are for it.

  4. Wow, Anonymous! This is an absolutely beautiful example of what I'm talking about. Thank you for inspiring so many readers with your words here!!

  5. I'm thankful that children's lives are saved through adoption every day! I'm even more grateful that God uses us mere humans to do it!

  6. Great post bro - you can class us in the group of folks who ended up in Kansas for a while - but found our way back! Braelyn's SN was a hemangioma - but at 18 months she couldn't crawl or roll over. Eventually we learned that it was simply the 'institutional delay' that happens form time to time - and with a year or so of love, care, food, attention, and just old fashion parenting, she's pretty much 'on par'.

    But she will always have an emotional wound that just surfaces from time to time.

    Over time we believe that 1) she'll learn to control that emotion and maybe even derive some inner strenght from it, and 2) that the strength of that feeling will fade.

    And we believe this because God is good - and does provide - and He hasn't let us down yet!

    Great post my friend!

    aus and co.

  7. "I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard of families who got on a plane, thinking their child merely had a mild condition, but soon learned that they weren’t in Kansas anymore. There was something more serious about their new child’s health condition than they were told."
    Anthony, on the very day you posted this my husband and I were in South Carolina meeting our new son for the first time. We knew he was HIV +, had severe developmental delays due to the awful neglect he suffered and that we'd have a long haul ahead of us, but seeing him,for me, was completely overwhelming and brought me to a very scary place... despair and hopelessness. Three days later we were driving to the airport to head home and a slip of paper fell out of placement paperwork with a link to this blogpost (but I already read Adeye's ALL THE TIME!) and I cried and cried reading this.
    Thank you to and Adeye for all that you do and say... yuo've helped our walk in this strange Not-Kansas land and I'm blessed everytime I read one of y'alls posts. But especially this one, because it came on a day when I honestly didn't want to get on that plane. But now he's home, he's getting loved on and he has a future and I have hope. God bless your family!


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