What do you do?
What church do you go to?”
These are the socially acceptable questions everyone asks when meeting someone new. The answers define who the person is standing in front of you and the kind of relationship you may have with them. But, since starting down the Adoption Road, there is an entirely new group of people in my life that I love and consider dear friends but in the traditional sense, I know nothing about them!
I’m thinking specifically of our adoption travel group. Eight families that didn’t meet until in a Beijing hotel lobby, jet lagged, sweaty & a bit nervous. (Clearly at our finest!) We identified each other across the room & quickly started pulling out photos and sharing our adoption stories. I was shocked to hear MY testimony coming from the lips of these strangers; the same miracles, the same provision, the same calling for this sweet one they’ve only held in their heart. The same God.
Truly, we spent very little time with each other while in China. Three days in Beijing desperate to get to our kids and a week in Guangzhou equally desperate to get our kids back home. Yet 20 months later, through the magic of the Internet, we still post pictures, share stories & prayer requests and celebrate adoption. But I don’t know what they do (someone is a teacher, right?!), how long they’ve been married or even what church/denomination they belong to. (Gasp!). Not once have we discussed theological nuances, church politics or who is pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. It just doesn’t matter.
In fact, I probably love them more because of the conversations we haven’t had. Not that we have purposely avoided any church-life landmines, but none of that triviality defines the relationship we have with each other or our relationship with OUR Heavenly Father. What binds us together is the overwhelming awareness of God’s adoption gospel in our lives. As a group of strangers from across the nation, we share the same story of emptying our bank accounts and flying across the planet to bring our children home & into our families. And in that precious moment on that excruciatingly hot August day in China when our children were finally placed in our arms, we didn’t say a word, we didn’t have to say it… we GOT it… Jesus DIED to get us home & into His family; and in all of the love (& tears!) that burst from our hearts for our new children on that day, how MUCH OVERWHELMINGLY MORE does our Lord love us?!
This beautiful shared revelation, this Gospel thread that knits our families together, is really the only thing that matters. Together we are the forever children of the Most High and our children… are Adoption Cousins.
The Apostle Paul clearly had the same experience in his travels through the early Church. People who GOT it: an intimate understanding that only in Christ is real unity of purpose and joy possible. We partake of the same Grace! Zip codes, salaries & church order don’t diminish one ounce of that Truth. And if we don’t see each other again on this earth, I am, like Paul says, ‘confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in each of us & our new children will complete it until the day of Christ’s return’ (Phil 1:6). I am also confident we will be MUCH less jet lagged, sweaty & nervous!
So to our Adoption Cousins, the Bamboo Families, and all the precious people we’ve met on this Adoption Road…
“I thank my God up on EVERY remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with JOY for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now…” Philippians 1:2-5