Dr. Statton’s adoptive son
When, Grace, our fourth child came along, I was certain we were done having kids.
Who wouldn’t be? Four is a full house.
While I saw full bedrooms, a full minivan, and an empty pantry, my wife saw room for one more.
The word “adoption” would occasionally get thrown around our conversations. To me it was an important topic.
One that all of us should be actively involved in. I felt my role was to “actively” watch everyone else do all of the work.
I still remember the first time she brought the idea up. I said no. Without hesitation. No.
But then just a few weeks later I learned to say yes.
One of my pastors, and one of my best friends, announced that he was leaving to plant a new church in his hometown of Cleveland. This was a hard decision for him.
He wanted to stay where he was. He had no desire to leave an established churched that he had worked hard to grow, to start over from scratch.
He was happy. He was content. Life was good. Why start a new story when the one he was living was good enough?
New didn’t seem better. It was only seemed harder.
As time went by, Tom couldn’t quiet the voice of God in his heart. He knew he had no choice. He had to go. He had to live this new, harder story.
In his last sermon before embarking on this adventure, he spoke on the idea of comfort. Our culture teaches us that the goal of life is to find a comfortable place and settle in. Financial comfort. Emotional comfort. Physical comfort.
But the best stories are the ones where we move out of comfort and into something difficult. When we do something that really matters. When we live our lives for the good of others. When we do a hard work at the expense of ourselves.
I realized at that moment the reasons I didn’t want to adopt all revolved around my desire to make my life easier.
I wanted early retirement instead of more college tuition payments. I wanted Sunday afternoon naps instead of sleepless nights. I wanted behaved older children instead of more dirty diapers to change.
God was using my friend to teach me to choose something better. Something less comfortable.
In the book The Lost Daughters of China, author Karin Evans describes returning home after adopting her daughter from China and experiencing the fullness of her love for her precious little girl.
“On a sunny, midwinter morning not long after our return from China, I was standing in the kitchen holding Kelly, when I was struck by one of those bolts of clear realization that seems to come out of nowhere. As I pressed her chest against mine, her soft cheek brushing my face, I suddenly, absolutely, knew that I could not love this child any more than I did right then. I loved her without condition, without reservation, forever. There simply was no room left in my heart to love her more.”
Evans experience helps us to understand why James 1:27 tells us that, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.”
Unconditional love, as it is manifest through the act of adoption, is a force that nothing in this world can stop. It is worth every penny spent. Every hardship encountered. Every comfort lost.
It is beautiful, and if you choose this for yourself, you will never regret it.
Instead of choosing myself, God was telling me to choose a poor, helpless, beautiful boy from China. A boy who is to become our son.
Now it does not seem like much of a choice at all.
Halfway through the process, my wife discovered that our agency would permit us to adopt a second child using the same dossier.
This time I said yes. Without hesitation.
EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!
This is a guest post from Jeremy Statton. He is an orthopedic surgeon, a writer, and an adoptive parent. You can download a free copy of his eBook Grace Is here. Connect with him on Twitter or his Blog.
Ironically, Dr. Statton and his wife are traveling to China today to officially adopt two children from that country.