“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”DEUTERONOMY 10:17-19
In the fall of 2003 I was in a season of exploring how I related to the Lord. I had no doubt about who He was, but I had observed how He spoke to so many people in my life and I struggled with feeling like I had never known Him in that way. During this time my husband and I were praying about making a decision to move into a bigger home. I never imagined that God would use a relatively practical prayer like this to reveal His heart to us but that's exactly what He did!
As I sat praying about buying a new house I felt the Lord say to me, "Not a house for you, but a home for a child." In that moment I knew with absolute certainty that I had truly heard the voice of the Lord. He had answered my heart's desire to hear Him and know His voice and He had planted a seed in my heart that would change our family, and our understanding of Him, forever.
At the time, I had what I considered to be the perfect family: a wonderful husband, a son, a daughter...and two dogs. When the Lord spoke to me I knew that our family would be growing. I told my husband Jeff about what the Lord had said and that I believed He wanted us to adopt a child. This was a lot to spring on someone but Jeff's response was gracious and wise; he believed that I had heard from the Lord and said that we needed to pray and understand what that would look like for us. Over the course of just a few days the Lord repeatedly confirmed His word to each of us in a number of different ways and within a week Jeff told me that he knew that our family had more Love to share and that we would do that by adopting a child.
The process of adopting our daughter went very smoothly and every step of the way the Lord continued to reveal His heart to us. Adoption is the perfect example of how God's Love works. When our daughter came to us she was so frail. At 1 year old she weighed just 14 pounds. She was dirty, undernourished, and terrified. She did not understand who we were or that we already Loved her deeply. As she grew she became stronger. Her fears gave way to joy and seeing her begin to smile at us as we talked to her filled our family with some much elation that we could not imagine how we had ever lived without her.
This is how God relates to us. We come to him broken, dirty, frail and scared. We don't understand how He could choose us because we don't understand what His true Love is. As we learn to trust him, our fears dissolve and He takes great joy in seeing us respond to His voice.
Our daughter is no longer an orphaned infant in China; she is Ellie Taylor - a beloved daughter and the Love of our family's life.
She was not a victim that we "rescued." She was precious gift, specifically chosen by God and placed in a family to make it complete. This is what God does with each one of us.
This is what Love is.