A New Vision

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.—Isaiah 43:18, 19
 

This is one of my favorite photos of Anah: it shows her real beauty, joy, and potential. It is not the face I see on most days, but it captures a glimpse of what God might do in her and through her. 

This is one of my favorite photos of Anah: it shows her real beauty, joy, and potential. It is not the face I see on most days, but it captures a glimpse of what God might do in her and through her. 

To be honest, I’m not sure why I agreed to enter into this adoption journey. People have come up to me, telling me how noble we were, how kind and compassionate. Frankly, none of that was the motivation. Maybe that’s true for my husband, but definitely not for me. I, on the other hand, am quite selfish. All I could think about was all the extra work a special needs child would mean for me at home.

So why did I agree to this? I realized that it had nothing to do with Anah at all. It was not about rescuing a child from her plight. It was not about making life better for another person in need.

I agreed to adopt Anah because of what I believed God would do through her in the church. I believed God wanted to wake us up out of our lethargy and challenge the church to live up to its true calling. I believed that Anah had something to teach us here that she couldn’t teach us if she was left in an orphanage in China.

Starting with me.

But over the past five years, I've lost sight of that and have been mired down in all the mundane, endless, and unending work of caring for Anah. God has been stretching my family, stretching me, beyond what I ever thought. And now, lest I go crazy from despair, I have had to revisit and recast a new vision. Now that I know what I have gotten myself into, I need God to show me a fresh new path to travel so that I do not keep spiraling downward into self-pity, anger, and bitterness. 

Trust me, I have already gone down that road many times in the past five years and it ain’t pretty. I've had enough of that; I need something new to focus on. The God who thinks higher thoughts, who does new things, must intervene. And I believe He has.

We serve a God who created families. He deemed it best that children grow up in a stable home with a father and mother who are committed to one another. He wanted this to be the place where faith will be passed on.

As I reconsider what we are doing with Anah as we welcome her into our home, I am realizing that we are called not merely to take care of her physical needs. We are called to be that home and family for her that she never had. We are called to love her sacrificially and unreservedly. We are called to be the hands and feet of God, pointing her to Christ, even as she challenges and purifies and matures us as God's children.

And not just our family. This is an invitation for you too.

And that, I believe, is why Anah is here. She is here to teach us our weakness, our helplessness, our lostness without God. She is here to help us see our small and self-centered hearts. And she is here to challenge us to step out of our comfort zones and to place ourselves in the hands of our heavenly Father who desires to reshape our souls and bring us back to where we are meant to be.