I (Rachel) have been raised in an amazing christian home my entire life and not once had I ever heard a message on adoption. In fact, I had never even heard these verses about adoption that I could recall. Here are the verses below...
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[b] 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment —to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
New International Version (NIV)
New International Version (NIV)
WOW!!! NEWS FLASH...WE ARE ALL ADOPTED BY GOD?!?! Through Jesus Christs death on the cross, we are adopted by God as his children! I still get tears in my eyes as I am writing this because I know my baggage, my ugly sin, that I am so undeserving but through Gods grace I am saved. He chose me. He loves ME! Wow!!
This was all such a new way of looking at things but at this time, Scott and I walked away from this message at church and felt excited about our relationship with God, our relationship with each other and our kids. And excited that God would some day allow us to experience a small scale version of adoption in to a family (on a much smaller, sin filled worldly way;).
DECEMBER 2011-SLEEPLESS NIGHT #1- Scott and I had just found out that the sellers had accepted our offer on a house and we would be moving in less than two weeks before Christmas. Our rental house was already decorated for Christmas. Our tree was up and looking beautiful. Our stocking were all hanging by the fire. Our two sweet kids were 22months (Lilly) and 7months (Fischer). In all the chaos of packing the house and all of our belongings, the sleepless nights began.
I was laying in bed, tossing and turning. This is very unlike me because I LOVE to sleep and getting a goods night rest had never been a problem (except through my pregnancies). I finally got out of bed and decided to go to the couch. It was a Saturday night and I was checking email and wasting time. I decided I would read my bible and pray about our upcoming move. I opened up my bible and this verse was staring at me...
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Ok, Lord. Yes I am blessed and Yes I know you are coming back for me someday to take me to Heaven to be with you, but Lord I am tired and I would really like some rest! My selfish heart was stressed and at this point getting irritated. That night I kept thinking about adoption. I kept feeling that prompting to pray about adoption. Pray for people I know that are adopting or that had completed adoption. Pray for the orphans out there. Pray. The one thing I didn't find myself praying about was adoption for our family at this time.
SLEEPLESS NIGHT #2- I was able to sneak in a sunday afternoon nap with the family but I was still feeling cranky and tired from the previous sleepless night. Sunday night came and again I found myself tossing and turning. Was I pregnant? What was going on! I told Scott, what if God isn't going to let me sleep until I get it? He prayed for me and went to sleep and I was left wondering. As I poured out my heart before the Lord, I felt conviction of my selfishness (a usual situation) but also a conviction about adoption and praying for adoption for our family.
I thought, ARE YOU CRAZY LORD?! I have two babies under age 2 and you want me to think about adoption? But very clearly I kept hearing the words of an older woman in our church whom I admire dearly telling me in a Bible study I took years ago, " If the Lord calls you something, he will equip you to it also." I didn't want to tell Scott about all this just yet because at this point I wasn't quite sure what God was asking me/us to do.
SLEEPLESS NIGHT #3 - This was getting old. I was VERY cranky. I told Scott in the middle of the night about the adoption conviction. He smiled and said, well it makes sense I have been wondering what God was up to when all the rest of the pieces of our lives (our business, new home purchase, and solid christian support group) are fitting together. In other words, God was equiping us for something bigger and we didn't even realize it!
That night I researched several adoption agencies and filled out the initial information form for Gladney Center for Adoption. Scott and I felt such a pull to the Waiting Child Program and the children labeled "imperfect" or "special needs". Hmmm "imperfect", sounds like this baby will fit in with us better than they know;) We are made perfect through Christ and we wanted this next child to know that God choose them for us. At just the right time. No mistake was made on the Creators part in making them, they were predestined to be a Bennington and a child of God;) After I filled out the information form, I slept like a baby!!! Praise God from whom all blessing flow!
(Thanks for reading our special story. We feel so blessed and humbled that God has chosen us to show his Glory to this little child. Yet another sleepless night of thinking about our child in China right now. Please pray for peace for us, for protection for our child, and for Gods provision for our family and our little one until they are home with us!)