From Orphans to Heirs

God redeems the dreams we thought were lost. It’s the theme of my life and the theme of my ministry as I sow hope in hearts wounded by addiction. Unless I believe in the redemption and restoration of my own story, I cannot share hope with others. I don’t know how or when God will redeem your dreams, but I believe He will. It’s sometimes hard to wait, difficult to be patient, tough to trust. But, when He does things in His timing, in His own special way, the results are oh, so sweet! May I give you a taste of my experience today?

Fourteen years ago, on a blistering Texas August day I wore a navy blue pantsuit into the sterile office of a hardhearted social worker to appeal for my baby girl. My sons were two years old that summer. I didn’t know they existed.

August is always hot, even on the other side of the Atlantic. This summer I’m sweating it out in Ukraine as I await the court date that will officially make me a mother. I’m 46.

Tomorrow I will wear a navy blue suit into an un-airconditioned courtroom where I will appeal for my boys. All of fourteen years have passed since that August when my heart was shredded, my mommy-dreams shattered, and my world turned inside-out. Like Hagar, after she was used to jump the gun on God’s plans and everything backfired, I fled to the wilderness of self-pity, depression and despair. But the same God who said to her, “..the LORD has heard your affliction,” also heard my cries – first the anguished audible ones, and then the achingly silent ones that lasted for years and years and years. And like Hagar, today I call the name of the LORD who has spoken many encouraging promises to me through His Word and I say, “You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees…” (Genesis 16:13 NKJV).

My God, the God who sees ME, is redeeming my dream, my lifelong dream of family and children. This time I will carry to court, not a plea for mercy after failing to do things God’s way, but a deep inner peace that I honestly cannot say I had in 2002. Back then, I tried to force God’s hand by using deception as means of getting what I so desperately desired. It backfired. Badly.

Today I know that I’m walking within God’s will as My Honey and I transition into parenthood. Honey has nothing to hide, and I am no longer a co-dependent spouse, pretending everything is fine by turning a blind eye to some secret sin that has the power to destroy our family. I’ve already learned that life lesson. Been there. Done that. Took years to recover.

No, I have no fear as we prepare to become a family of four. God has made it extremely clear over the course of this year that this is His plan for our family. Between last August, when we said, “goodbye” to the Boys of Summer, and this August, when we will bring our teenage sons home from Eastern European orphanages, God has taught me much about His unconditional, bottomless love for each of His earthly “kids.” He delights in us, infinitely more than we delight in the joy dancing in the eyes of our children. His mercy is new each morning and He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He handles us with such tender compassion as He watches us take our first steps toward trusting Him and His love for us.

As Honey and I transitioned from a “host only” mentality to the “we’re in this for life” boat, we observed our boys transform from cautious, guarded, unloved orphans into confident, caring, open-hearted sons. Even now, as we visit them in their country, in front of their peers, they are not ashamed to love and be loved. They have fully embraced us as family and tomorrow’s paperwork is just a formality.

This is the gospel story! Honey and I have chosen these boys. We have spent one year doing all the necessary paperwork, fundraising and re-arranging of our priorities. We have prepared a home for them. They will inherit all that we have. They will no longer be orphans, they will be heirs! All the boys need to do is say, “Yes!”

I now understand a tiny bit better, the heart of our heavenly Father. He has chosen us, purchased us with an overwhelming price—sacrificing His own Son so that we may gain a new life. He has prepared a mansion with our specific tastes in mind and promised us an eternal inheritance beyond our wildest imaginations! It’s all done. The work was finished at the cross, with the victory won by the shed blood of our Savior.

All we have to do is say, “Yes!”
– “Yes, I want Him to be my Father.”
– “Yes, I want to live with Him forever.”
– “Yes, I love Him and accept the sacrifice He made for me.”
– “Yes, I choose to abide by the principles of His Kingdom.”
– “Yes, I will tell others of His goodness.”

“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT).

Will you say, “Yes” to Your Father today?