In early August Bart and I went to dinner with Dan and Terri Coley of "Show Hope" while we were in Nashville. It was awesome. They are awesome. And as part of our meal we heard their adoption story, complete with an 8 x 10 photo of their gorgeous family that was taken at the beach. There were many moments during the telling of their story where I got goosebumps because there so many "God moments" in their story. It was at that moment for the first time the words "sacred journey" popped into my mind.
As a couple Bart I have been part of eight adoptions involving twelve children. Every single moment of each of those adoptions was guided by God's hand, I am convinced of it. Each of those children, miraculously, was supposed to be ours. From all over the U.S. and even the country of Guatemala, God brought us together. It's a mystery, a very holy one. In our book, "Out of Many One Family: How Two Adults Claimed Twelve Children through Adoption" and it's an amazing one.
As a professional, I have been a part of over 650 adoptions. Each and every story has moments where God clearly shows himself. Every story has a sacred thread. It's what holds them in common. When you listen to someone's adoption story, you can see glimpses of God's hand throughout.
And it makes sense that it is a sacred journey, because it is based on the very heart of the gospel itself. Paul says in Ephesians 1:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (ASV)
Just as we, relying on God's guidance, chose our children, God chose us before the foundation of the world. He uses the word adoption to describe how we went from being strangers to His very own children... and this brings Him pleasure. Paul says it was to the "praise of the glory of His grace." When I read that it gives me chills.
So it is no wonder that God is at the center of every adoption -- He is wanting us to understand the "good pleasure" of His will. God's adoption of us gives Him pleasure -- and He knows that the only way we can share in that pleasure is to understand what it feels like to adopt someone as your own.
Others have said this more eloquently, I am certain, and I'm not writing this to recruit or to persuade. I'm simply making an observation. I understand the "good pleasure" that God experiences because of the sacred journey of adoption. Jody Landers said this: "A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me."
I would add another thought to that.... the awe that God chose to include me in the most sacred of journeys, one He Himself experienced, shakes me to my core. Regardless of everything we have been through, I would not choose anything else. This nuanced meaning permeating the choices we have made rocks my world every day.
Adoption. It is by far one of the most sacred of all journeys.