Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Boss

Yesterday was the 2 month anniversary of Chrissie's Homegoing to live with Jesus.  God continues to work in our lives in glorious and amazing ways.  Chrissie continues to bring joy to our hearts, even while she lives in Heaven.  Her legacy remains strong here, and she is continuously changing lives to this day. 

I've had so many deep thoughts, revelations, and Scriptural Truths revealed to me over the last two months.  I don't have the ability yet to form them into tangible thoughts for the blog, but God is working and moving in such amazing ways.  Ways that I never realized possible.  I'm learning things about Heaven and the life of our sweet Chrissie in Heaven and how the two realms connect, scripturally.  It's awesome.

I recently read a series of blog posts from the Hope for Orphans blog which have affected me profoundly, and I believe the blog posts fall right into line with our family obeying God and bringing Chrissie into our family, regardless of the outcome.  God continues to show me that He's the only one who is Boss, He is the one who is responsible for the "Boss Your Heart" phrase/day that impacted so many hearts around the world, and I want to surrender ALL to Him and let Him show me what life really looks like when we allow him to really and truly be THE BOSS, the One and Only Boss, ALL of the time.

I'm re-posting the series of blog entries (3 parts) here.  You may also click  HERE to visit the Hope for Orphans blog series, which includes photos of this adoptive/foster family.

Who's in Charge? Part One
June 30, 2010 by John Moore

In our home, we will celebrate July 4th this Sunday like many Americans. But the next day, July 5th, is going to be a day of celebration that for us will easily surpass the 4th. July 5th will mark the 10th anniversary of our sons, Chris and Anthony, coming into our home, as the first two of five (and soon to be six, Lord willing) children that we would adopt from the foster care system. And as much as I anticipate celebrating with great joy, I am sobered by the reality that if had been up to my wife and me, it never would have happened.

We were newly certified foster parents at the time, and like many, we had placed parameters on the children we would or would not take. We were fairly open in terms of the basics – age, gender, number of children, race…but we had been clear about one thing. We were not interested in children whose cases were unlikely to lead to adoption. In our minds, we didn’t want to “simply foster”. We wanted to adopt.

God allowed us to hang on to that condition for a couple of months. We were limited, of course, in that many of the children who come into the system are likely to be reunified with birth family, and we had essentially cut ourselves off from ever having a chance to care for and love those children.

Then one day, in late June of 2000, while visiting us in our home, our social worker asked us a question that seemed innocent enough, but it was a question that challenged us to be open to what God had, not what we thought was best for us. He asked us if we would be open to a placement that would not likely lead to adoption. It may have been Glenn’s voice, but it was clearly the Holy Spirit speaking, asking us who was in charge…us…or God. Terri and I looked at each other and said the only thing we felt we could say — that we would not necessarily be closed to it.

Glenn left our house and went back to his office. Within fifteen minutes of his leaving, he called us. Two brothers, ages 4 and 5, were in a temporary emergency foster home and were in need of another foster home. They could only stay at the shelter until July 5th. He didn’t even know their names yet.

Glenn told us the boys would likely not be adopted, and that they could be in our home for as little as five days (they had a court hearing scheduled for July 10th at which birth relatives might show up and ask for custody). Terri asked if they could sleep in the same bed, since the bedroom we had set up for kids had a double bed and a crib in it, having been set up that way for a previous placement that never happened. Glenn said no, they would each need their own bed. Terri asked if that meant we would have to go out and get two twin beds for what could essentially be five days. Glenn said yes. Terri told him she would talk to me and call him back.

We were torn. We didn’t want to say no and possibly get on the agency’s bad side by turning down these kids. At the same time, it seemed like a lot of work and expense to go through for what could be only five days. What was the point? The point was, of course, that we were wrestling with God. Were we going to do things on our terms, or were we going to be open to be used by God for His purposes, no matter the cost and inconvenience to ourselves? Was our foray in foster adoption about us, or was it about God? Those were the big picture questions that we only saw in retrospect. At the time, we simply saw the little picture question – would we take in these two brothers that needed a home for perhaps five days? Put that way, we felt we just couldn’t say no.

We said yes. We spent the next few days preparing the room for two boys that would very likely be just fleeting memories one day. And then, on the morning of July 5th, Glenn brought them to our home. We’ve all heard the clich√© of love at first sight, and we acknowledge that it can happen in certain contexts, but we also know it doesn’t happen often. It happened to us on July 5th 2000. I don’t attribute it to anything other than the fact that God knew Chris and Ant would be our sons, that He had planned it that way, and so He had begun knitting our hearts together long before they stepped out of Glenn’s car and into our home.

The five days turned into weeks, which turned into months, which turned into years. On April 2nd, 2003, these kids that we almost turned down, became our legal sons through adoption, formalizing what God had ordained long before. We think back and are so thankful that He allowed us to wrestle with Him, and we’re even more thankful that we lost. Did we learn our lesson from all that? For a time, yes, but then we’ve gone back to putting conditions on subsequent placements as well (more on those in parts 2 and 3), demonstrating yet again that our sinful hearts always think we know what’s best. Thankfully, we have a gracious and patient God who always reminds us that this is His plan, His story, and that when we submit to His will, and allow Him to use us as He wants, the blessings are more than we could ever imagine.

These past ten years with Chris and Ant have been an adventure. Of course, there are times we would all love to forget, and times that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Through it all, we’ve been so blessed to see them grow into the young men they are becoming. Anyone who knows them will tell you that these two kids that almost weren’t ours are pretty amazing guys. Terri and I can’t imagine what life would have been like without them.

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