This post is sort of going to be a collection of things. Hopefully it won’t get too long. And we will shed some light on what has been going on, but this is not going to be the kind of raw details or information update that people might be looking for. It’s sort of more general and big picture. And while I hate to ramble on or upset the masses…here goes.
First, we got a SWEET apartment with wireless (rare in this city), a washing machine, a toaster, and it’s close to the city and to the baby house, so that is a major answer to prayer.
Second, we had a request for some background on why we chose the name Sam. His name is actually Samuel, but we like to call him Sam just because it’s awesome. We chose Samuel because Samuel was basically adopted and raised by Eli, who was not his father, and because of the man of God that Samuel was. We want to establish a legacy for our son, and we want him to know that he is part of something that is bigger than him. So Sam it is.
Third, these last few days have been incredibly hard. I won’t go into a lot of the details for a lot of reasons, but since we posted our last update we have been through some incredible ups and downs both personally and in our process. things are still good with Sam, so let me say that from the beginning. We had our third day of bonding with him today, and every day is better than the day before it. He is doing things everyday that he did not do the day before, and we can see some real personality coming out in him. You can really see him respond to love and attention.
In the middle we have had to struggle through some things in the process that have caused us to have to struggle through some very real issues personally. We are still walking through them, but we have had a lot of resolution in some ways, and we are doing much better. Some things that came about in our adoption stuff in the last day or two were really hard for us to handle, and that really brought us to basically emotional craziness. It’s been really, really tough trying to fogure some things out in this huge, freaking ridiculous decision. Who are we that someone swhould ask us or allow us to choose who gets parents and who doesn’t?
Dealing with some of these issues really brought some things to the surface in our own lives and hearts that we were neither ready for or even knew were there. These are ugly things that have really made us answer some hard questions and have some really hard and shockingly honest conversations. Having to do all of this in the midst of the whole bonding and adoption thing made it way tougher, but we never would have come to this place if we had not hit this wall in our process. And in the middle of it we can also see so much refining. The rub here is now that we have seen these hard things, what comes next? It’s one thing to see some ugliness and sin, but just seeing it doesn’t do much good. If we walk away and do nothing, we are fools. The hard part is laying all of those things on the table, open, naked, and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account, and letting him deal with them. It’s painful, and that is only beginning, but that is when things really start to get refined.
Last, dealing with all of this has caused us to really consider the gospel. And I don’t mean think about it or read about it. I mean this has caused us to really consider it, and honestly, I think we have had some faith-shaking moments in the last 2-3 days. The result of it is amazing gratitude, peace, and incredible worship mixed with extreme humbling and embarassment.
Who are we that God should love us? I think we all ask that question at times, or have at least asked it once, even though we probably already had a few answers we could give. We are stinking arrogant. I know I am arrogant. That’s sort of why this has all been so hard. I knew I was so prideful and arrogant, and still I am amazed at how deep it runs.
But really, who are we? Our adoption as sons and daughters is not based on how we look, how we behave, how smart we are, what we bring to the table, or what we can manage in ourselves. We are adopted as sons and daughters because Jesus chose us. He didn’t choose us because we were lovely or because we deserved it or earned it. He didn’t choose us because we were the pretty ones. He knew what we were: broken, ugly, filled with deceit and filth, death, and he chose us anyway. He doesn’t love us and didn’t adopt us because we won him over. He chose to love us. He chose to adopt us. He chose us.
This is absolutely the most real picture of the gospel I have ever seen, and I could not have seen it apart from going through all the things the last week has brought our way. And the question I have wrestled with is if the gospel has not completely revolutionized who we are, has it really changed us at all? And if it hasn’t, is it worth believing? Shouldn’t the real gospel change the way we love, the way we choose? Shouldn’t it change our ability to love and our willingness to choose to do so? Shouldn’t the gospel crush the old me? It should.
We treasure Sam. He delights us. We also treasure the gospel now more than we did. The gospel is rich, and if it is what we say it is, it motivates us to things that we would otherwise never touch.