Welcome to my musings...

After a 3 year hiatus from blogging (too busy parenting teens to have time to write about it!), I have decided to revive my blog. I look forward to sharing my perspective on mothering as I am at the tail end of my child-raising journey. Nothing could be more beautiful, more full of joy and pain and anguish, than the divine calling of motherhood. I pray my musings will bless you on your own journey, and that you will feel encouraged and equipped!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Choose You

Last week, our family traveled to Indiana to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. We were thrilled to have some family time together and couldn’t wait to meet the newest member of our family, a little girl named Emma. Emma is the second child to be adopted from China into our extended family. Emma’s new mom is my sister-in-law’s sister (confused yet?), so technically she is no relation to me. But I have never been one to care about the “rules” that define a family. My husband and I are close to Emma’s parents, having known them most of our lives. Our kids call them “aunt” and “uncle” and we fulfill the same role for these precious two little girls from China. We mutually decided that we were family and our kids were cousins. So it was with great expectation that we drove the endless miles to Indiana, anticipating the first time we would hold this amazing gift from God.

The first time we saw Emma was when we met at a portrait studio, hoping to update the “cousin” picture that we each have hanging in our homes. The studio was crowded and noisy, being the day before Thanksgiving. Little Emma, who is twenty-one months old, was very overwhelmed by the crush of people, the flashes of light and all these eager relatives wanting to hold her. She is still adjusting to her new life, having been with her new parents only a few months. She was seventeen months old when they got her, and was very attached to her caregiver, making the transition a painful one for her. Many, many tears were shed over the next days and continue to be shed as she adjusts to her new life. While I wanted desperately to hold her and kiss her, I held back, seeing the uncertainty in her eyes. I waved at her from afar, delighting in her sweet face and adorable, toddling steps. The photo session will go down in our family history as quite an experience…the best one we managed to get was all the other kids smiling and Emma screaming her head off. All that mattered to me is that we managed to record a moment in our family history—the addition of a new cousin. The kids will always treasure that picture and tell of that picture shoot forever, saying, “Remember when?”

The next few days, the closest I could get to Emma was when I offered her a finger to hold as she toddled around the house. She wouldn’t let me hold her, but was delighted to go walking, holding on to my outstretched hand. We walked, back and forth, through the house, again and again. My heart was full as I memorized each precious feature of this miracle baby who had joined our family. My arms ached as I longed to hold her, but I determined to be patient and give this little girl what she needed until she felt safe enough to accept me.

Finally, on our last night in Indy, as I was sitting on the couch at Emma’s house, she came into the room, carrying a book. She looked up at me and smiled her beautiful, sweet smile. She reached up and handed me her book and then lifted her arms to me, asking to be held. I gently picked her up and placed her on my lap and she snuggled deep into me and looked up at me with that angelic smile, waiting for me to read to her. I literally felt my heart melt with love for this child. I held her close and read to her for as long as she would sit. We read about Australian animals over and over and over and I sang a silly song to her about the Kookaburra, delighting in her laughter. With that moment, Emma was sealed forever in my heart as a member of our family.

As I’ve pondered this experience, I had a moment of clarity. While Emma is not biologically a part of my family, she is now a member in full standing of the Blake/Richardson/Metzger clan. Her parents chose her, took her in, and love her completely. Her aunts and uncles adore her and her cousins delight in her. What a beautiful picture of what God has done for us. While we were sinners, having a nature that was completely opposed to His, He chose us to be a part of His family. He loves us, adores us, and delights in us. When we lift our hands to Him, His heart melts with love for us, just as mine did for little Emma. He has given us full standing as sons and daughters of the King and is preparing a home for us to live with Him forever. He has adopted us into His family and given us everything that we need. Just as Emma’s parents took her into their lives and their hearts, God has taken us into His. What a precious gift little Emma is to our family, and what an overwhelming gift God has given to us by choosing us to be His children. Thank you, Emma, for coming into our family and for showing us a picture of how very much our God loves us.

“God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” Galatians 4:5

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