16 May 2011
There are worse things in life than being poor. The Bible says what a tragedy it would be for a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul (Matthew 16:26). For Tim and I, adoption has never been solely about rescuing a poor orphan. It has not been about blessing a child with material wealth and physical happiness. Our motivation all along has been to obey God's call in our lives to adopt. It was not until we actually went through the process that we realized that earthly adoption is simply a picture of our heavenly adoption.
To some "heavenly adoption" makes no sense, so let me try to explain. Heavenly adoption is salvation through Jesus Christ. It is accepting the truth that Jesus Christ obeyed the heavenly Father and came to live on this filthy earth for the purpose of giving the message of hope and ultimately giving His life so that our sins would be forgiven. The message of hope is that we don't have to stay sinners, lost and destined for an eternity in Hell.
Earthly adoption parallels this. We left wonderful, beautiful America to travel to the poverty of Ukraine. While Tim and I are far from perfect, we did travel with a message of hope. However, for us, like Christ, we were rejected. Maxim did not want to give up his status as an orphan. He was happy the way he was, with his friends. Many people believe they are fine the way they are. They figure "I pay my taxes. I give to the poor. I'm a pretty good person." They figure they do not need a God or the Bible. When Maxim said he would rather be with his friends we wanted to shake him. Don't know what you are rejecting? You're rejecting a loving home, material blessing, family and friends that love you and hope for a future outside of the orphanage! Don't you know how much we love you??!! Likewise, when people reject Christ, they are rejecting what no eye has seen or mind could imagine (1 Cor. 2:9)!! To Maxim, it did not matter. He figured he was fine the way he was. For as much as rejection hurt us, how much more our heavenly Father hurts when humans reject Him.
What pained us more was the fact that his decision directly affected his little brother's life. What is so tragic was he not only rejected this hope for himself, but he also led his brother down the same path of hopelessness. When people reject Christ, they are also influencing their children, their friends and other family members to reject Christ.
Adoption in Christ is based upon the Father's love for the Son. It is not anything you and I have done. There is absolutely nothing our dear son, Brandon ever did to make us want to adopt him. We went out and searched for him. We loved him before we even knew him and before he even loved us. We went to him and offered him the chance to be adopted. All he did was accept that offer. In his wisdom beyond his years, he recognized that he was without hope of a future in Ukraine. And he gladly set aside everything to follow us.
We could not do anything to convince Maxim and Roman to be adopted. We could not force them to come to America. They saw no need to change the way they were or give up their status as orphans. It is because they did not see and understand the implications of what they were rejecting. Have you considered that may there is a life after death and not everyone is going to get into Heaven? Like Maxim and Roman, I cannot force you to believe in Christ. I cannot drag you into Heaven. Maxim and Roman may very well be fine now at the orphanage. But what happens in life after the orphanage? That's not something they considered. They are fine NOW.
It is my deepest heart's desire that all 4 of my children repent and trust Christ. Katie has already trusted Christ in her life. What a glorious day when one by one the other 3 first recognize that as precious as they are, they are lost sinners and they need to repent and turn to Christ as their only hope. I pray they each grow to love Him with all of their hearts, souls and minds. I pray you will consider trusting Christ if you have not already done so.
There is no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:4)