Day Fifteen – Soothing the Heart

My husband and I know several people in the adoption process or considering adoption right now. One of those couples is very dear to us. Recently they’ve been experiencing what every adoptive family experiences: unsolicited negative opinions from people they thought were ‘safe’. This is a common part of the adoption journey. It’s painful…it usually comes from family, friends, or church members. That’s what makes it so hurtful; these are the people who are supposed to be excited with us, and joyful for us. “You don’t know what you’re going to get; this child could have AIDS!” or “Why aren’t you having ‘your own’?” or even, “I hope you bring home a white one.” These are some of the things that were said to us, and all by people we were close to…people we thought were supportive of our journey. It’s not uncommon. In fairness, these people think they’re protecting us.

Something beautiful happened. These treasured and precious friends went to God’s word. They took comfort in Him. He is, after all, the author of their journey and the finisher of their faith. They are safe in His will, no matter how vulnerable they may feel at the hands of others. He gave them Romans 12:14-21.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Because of this, we can be gracious to those who say ignorant and insensitive things. We have the ability, in Christ, to extend grace in the midst of our pain and anger. Sometimes that means biting our tongue until it bleeds! Sometimes it means a truthful and loving response (like, “Well, this child may have AIDS…that is possible. But if we conceived a child we would have no guarantee of good health either.”) We CAN respond in grace and love in the face of the most atrocious comments from those who prompt a feeling of betrayal. As we do, we educate and God changes hearts. Those who say the most insensitive things will change their thinking. And WE will grow in grace and our children will watch it happening and they will also grow in grace, understanding how to respond to the foolishness of others in a way that pleases the Lord. Our precious friends are already doing it. Their hearts are being soothed by God and His word and their actions will project grace on all they come in contact with. This is adoption. This is God at work.


don't pray in the rain if you don't pray when the sun shines... Satchel Paige

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