Scrolling my newsfeed on Facebook, I see a popular thanksgiving….
In the hospital after the delivery of a new baby, I hear the same praises.
In the grocery store I hear faint echoes of the same gratitude while everything else goes quiet in my head.
Parents and family alike are “so blessed” by having healthy children. You see, I was that person, too… before I adopted a child that wasn’t healthy. I said the same words and meant them with all my heart. I was blessed. I was so thankful that God gave me three healthy children, and I thanked him endlessly for those mercies – and I should have, but that health status isn’t what makes us blessed.
Instead of seeing healthy children as a blessing, I now see children as a blessing. Just children, nothing else needs to be added.
Jeremiah says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It doesn’t fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Trusting him fully in our adoption journeys and medical journeys are what I am thankful for and for that trust – we are blessed.
We have a ridiculous faith and crazy peace – not often do we waver with worry because we know that His plan is perfect – whatever that plan may be, it is what He knows is best for us and our children. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” We have taken refuge in Him and go to Him before we go to anyone else.
He has always answered our prayers – maybe not the way we always ask, but He has guided our children’s lives and ours down a path that is far greater than what we could’ve ever asked for. He is perfect. His plan is perfect.
Our blessings aren’t limited to ten fingers and ten toes – finger and toes are overrated. Being blessed is a whole other realm of God and His Grace that is not limited to health. My child – who came home from China just over a year ago – was not healthy. Soon, she will have had thirteen surgeries in her short, seven-year life. I am so happy to be her mother.
Her siblings see no differences when they look at her and say, “I adore you, Joy.”
When I ask my seven year old what her favorite part of adoption is, her answer has never once wavered. She answers, “Jesus fixed my heart.” When our extended family hears this they thinks she is meaning that her heart was healed by parents who brought her in a loving home. And this is partly true. But actually, at the core, she means that she had heart surgery, and is so very thankful. She is thankful for the doctors and nurses that cared for her.
Many people told me, as we were preparing to bring her home, that older children will not be thankful for being adopted. Joy is. Not every child will be, but she is not only thankful for us, but each time a needle pierces her skin or anesthesia is put in her body, she is thankful.
That my friends is a blessed little girl – not because we as parents did anything, but because she takes joy in the Lord and His provision for her. She is so grateful for things that some others might be upset about, and miss seeing the positive like our precious Joy does.
We certainly chose the perfect name for our child – she is already seeing the joy of the Lord at age seven. And I pray that her heart stays on fire for Him.
– guest post by Allison