I, Leala, have liked the idea of adoption since I was a teenager because it mirrors what Christ has done for us. Our friend David Gunderson has summarized it well: "We ourselves have experienced the grace of adoption, and on a much grander scale. We were slaves of sin, and are now children of God (Romans 8:15). We were dead, and are now alive (Ephesians 2: 1-7). God was our judge, and now He is our Father. We faced a foreboding future in hell, but now we anticipate an abundant inheritance in heaven. God is the Father of the fatherless, and He has made Himself that for us."
Several years ago while Tim was in law school, he used to listen to John Piper, a pastor from Minnesota, when he studied. Each year Piper preaches a sermon on the weekend closest to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade about the darkness of abortion, the need to compassionately love those that have been affected by abortion, God's passionate love even for the unborn, or a related topic. While listening to one of these sermons, Tim was weighted down with the concept that one of the most pro-life things he could do was to have room in his life for those that may not be wanted. To be always available to take a child that is not wanted. In short, he was convinced God had a place in our family for the neglected, the unwanted, the lowly, and that which the world had long given up on. Moreover, as believers of Christ that have been given a perfect love, why are we not the ones that are doing everything we can to provide homes for children that would have otherwise been aborted or neglected. In scripture we are called to take care of widows and orphans, so why are we not doing it? That sermon had a profound impact on Tim and his thoughts about adoption. Our conversations about adoption began after he heard that sermon.
In the Bible, children are referred to as a blessing but often they are not viewed that way. I enjoy my kids........ I love seeing the personalities the Lord gave them, the things they think are funny, the crazy things they say and do, the sweet little hugs they give, their childlike perspective on everything, and the joy they bring to our home! I also appreciate the very profound lessons that can be learned from having children! The Lord has used my children to open my eyes to areas that I was blinded to.........children are definitely a blessing that people sometimes just don't see. Adoption can be another facet of the joys and lessons that children bring. Our little ones have only been home about 7 weeks but I can clearly see how the Lord is using the adoption challenges and the enjoyment of added children to bring about great change in all of us!
Even as believers, I often feel like it is really easy for us to lose perspective on how we are called to live our lives, that is, to glorify the Lord in all we do. Sometimes we fall into living out the American dream with having a successful job, a happy marriage, a nice home, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. Adopting two little kids from Uganda and having four kids under the age of 5 doesn't fit into most people's idea of what is "normal," what is "smart," or what the "happy little American family" is! People often treat us as if we are doing something that is really crazy, really amazing, and something that normal people don't really do. Tim and I are normal people that the Lord gave a desire to open our hearts to a different picture of what our family would look like. I believe Tim and I have been obedient to follow the desire the Lord gave us and He has provided the grace we need for everything we encounter........so the only thing amazing about our family is God's plan and God' grace!