Sometimes people talk of the ministry of adoption. I however do not fall into that crowd at least not intentionally. I have always had what I thought of as selfish motives to adopt, but God has revealed how little I truly understand and how much He knows. I learn the best lessons through experiences. See I grew up dreaming of being a mom of a lot of kids. When I found out after AJ was born and I was 21 that I wouldn't be able to keep having children, I was devastated, no other life made sense to me, I had waited to grow up to have this family and now it seemed the door was closed. I almost immediately realized that I could make this family through adoption, Randy took a little longer to see this plan ;) See then I didn't have a personal relationship with Christ. The adoption was about my desire to be mom, about doing the one thing I was passionate about and loved. I could think of no better existence for me then changing diapers, wiping noses, singing songs, reading books and tucking in little ones. Then before we adopted I became a Christ follower and to be honest my desire was the same, I wanted to be a mom to a bunch. That was still my passion. Then we adopted Caley and Riley and then our Liberian trio and now Rosie..... I have had people talk about adoption being a mission, a way to care for the orphans, which by the nature of adoption does. But I always felt like a fraud when well meaning Christians spoke about our adoptions as some missionary endeavor from our obedience to Christ. I always adopted for the fact that I LOVE being a mom, I love the challenges, fun times and all that more then any other job I have tried and those who know me know I have had many many many random jobs. So I started thinking about this when I realized a crazy parallel to my relationship with Jesus. See its not that God wants an obedient soldier that he has forced to follow or love him. Although obedience is a wonderful thing! He wanted to create us because He wanted us, He wanted to be our father, He wanted to provide all we need, He wants us to rest in the knowledge that He can handle what we bring. I can relate to that, I want nothing more then my children to let their guard down, trust that I fully wanted them, that they are not a project to fix, but a piece of my heart. I want them to know whatever baggage was brought in from their past does not color how I see them now, if anything it pains me to see the hurt it caused them. I want them to find shelter in my wings. God LOVES taking care of His creation its what He is made for, we don't have to shoulder this life on our own, He is not looking to punish (although just like good parents we do need discipline). Here's the sad part, sometimes my kids have hidden things they don't think I can handle (or it will jade my view of them), sometimes they don't trust me due to other adults that have let them down, sometimes they are angry that I adopted them, sometimes they are angry at their situations, sometimes they have to overcome their past. They never have to carry this burden alone, sometimes they choose too, but if they could see my heart they would know that NOTHING would make them less lovable, valuable or desired by me. That's the heart of our Father, we often carry the burden we carry the shame when asking for Him to "adopt" us or asking for him to carry us. Nothing we bring makes us less valuable, wanted, cherished in His heart. Just like meeting Rosie, day one she wasn't sure she trusted the idea of adoption, giving up what she knows regardless of how much better it may be..learning a new language, culture way of doing things, mind set with the hope of something more then life will bring her. When asked do you want to be adopted she looked at me and said, I don't know.... After 4 days of spending time with me seeing I cared about her, hearing about what it was like, feeling a real hug and kiss, watching her "mom" sit in the audience of her show beaming with delight and taking her picture 1000 times, she looked and said, I want to be adopted!! We need to cry out to Jesus and tell him the truth, he can handle it.....we need to tell him I don't know if I want to give up what I know, follow His word, perhaps leave behind things that I find comfort in for the promise of something better. I promise though just like Rosie, the first time you do let yourself feel the Fathers love, lean on His strong arms, feel His presence in the room beaming as I was with Rosie, you will shout YES adopt me Lord, I am willing to take your name I am now a Christian.