“You are such special people to do this--you must be angels.” How many times have Mark & I heard this and thought “Ha--If they only knew us!” People are usually referring to our recent adoption of Guan Pu–-now known as David Michael Lucas (aka Mikey). Mikey was born with complete bilateral tibial hemimelia. This is a big fancy word for his legs were pretty messed up below the knees. Below his knees it was just a little pouch of flesh where his tibia should be and two very disfigured feet. He had 2 toes on each foot (they were the cutest toes I've ever seen) and walked on his knees. I first saw his file in January or February of 2008. My initial thought was; "Wow, that little guy is going to need a really special family.” In April of 2009 his file landed on my desk again. He was still waiting for that “special family” to come and get him. Little did I know--that special family was us.
When Jesus called the 12 disciples, he chose 12 of the most ordinary, uneducated and despised individuals in the land. Among them were tax collectors, political activists, failed fishermen, and skeptics. Now, I would not say that Mark and I are “uneducated and despised”, but we are ordinary. There is nothing special about us that would tag us as the ultimate adoptive family or super star parents. In fact, if you knew us ten years ago--you would have met two self-centered people who couldn’t see much farther than themselves. We adopted our twins Valerie and Vanessa seven years ago in 2002. Our daughter Zoe was born to us 10 months after we brought them home. We had 3 beautiful daughters and we thought our home was complete. Our flesh was selfish and we had built a comfort wall around our home. We didn’t want to have to tear down that wall. But we knew that God was asking us to step up to the plate again and raise another child for Him. What if we said no? I could have easily dismissed it as a hormonal girl/mom thing and gone about my work and continued to advocate for him. After all, this kid was 6 years old and would need to have both legs amputated. I’m sure there is a much better family for him than us. Everything in our lives would be changed. Do we really want to do this? Is this fair to the girls? Where would we get the money? We had reached a crisis of belief. The crisis of belief is a turning point where you must make a decision. You must decide what you believe about God. How you respond will determine whether you go on to be involved in something God-sized that only He can do, or whether you will continue to go your own way and miss what God has purposed for your life. There is a misconception among many Christians that God will never give you more than you can handle. Yes, He will. But He also has made a promise that he will always be with you and guide your path. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16
We accepted God’s invitation. Mikey came home in January of this year and had major surgery in May. He is no longer that sad little boy I saw two years ago. He is the son God chose for us before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4). We have front row seats to watch God’s glory unfold in the lives of each of the children He set aside for us as well as the incredible responsibility to raise them as He intended. And, like the twelve men who followed Jesus Christ, we also have constant failings, struggles, and doubts. Would we have chosen this path for ourselves?--Probably not. Would we have it any other way?--Never!
Adoption is only one of the many, many ways that God will use someone to fulfill His purpose. What is God calling you to do and how will you respond to your next crisis of belief?
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; - Jeremiah 1:5
International Adoption Specialist