Yesterday was an extraordinary day! We finalized our adoption and heard the judge declare a new name for our daughter – Maria Joy Born. It was not a grand ceremony, but having many of our friends and family surrounding us in the courtroom made it grand. Maria has been given so much more than just us. And really this whole process of her becoming part of our family is about so much more than just us.
First of all, it is about God’s sovereign hand moving to reveal his awesome power and accomplish his perfect will. Because her story was made public, many people saw and each one’s faith was strengthened. Personally, I experienced what Job declared at the end of his story that is told in the Bible. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5, NIV) “All eyes are on you God. All eyes are on you,” was my motto a year ago as I went to that first court hearing after Maria’s move was stopped. I think that God likes that kind of attention.
Second, it is about bringing this little girl into our lives and bringing us into hers. God has an extraordinary plan for Maria’s life – she is not a mistake and it’s not just chance that she ended up with us. God says this: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” (Jer. 1:5, NIV) He then goes on to declare his specific purpose to Jeremiah. While God’s specific purpose for Maria is a mystery, we certainly believe that she has been created for a reason and we will raise her with this declaration. We will raise all of our children to understand this more than anything else. I summed it up in part of a song that I wrote to her yesterday. The bridge states it this way:
You’re beautiful, and you should know
The One who formed your heart
He knew your name, and knew where you
Belonged right from the start
Whether or not my children come from my genes, regardless of when and how they come, I believe this with all of my heart. Certainly, we must look at all people through the lens of this profound truth, especially those that our society marginalizes – the unwanted pregnancy, the disabled child, the orphan, the widow, the homeless, the poor, the addict, the wounded and the prisoner. My home and family shall be a place where redemption through Jesus Christ is lived out loud – a bright light sounding a beauty that eclipses the darkness and breathes life where there once was death.
Lastly, I think I have discovered my purpose. Welcome to the family, Maria Joy Born! Lord, you’ve given me a wonderful wife and 2 extraordinary children. You’ve given me the best friends and family in the world. You’ve given me a great job that provides sufficiently for all of my needs and then some. You’ve given me 3 more empty seats in my car, and four around my table, and plenty more room in my house. I’m waiting for you to fill them. In the meantime, fill me with your Spirit. Let me overflow and may it be beautiful to you and to all who see it! Amen.