“God sent forth his Son…to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:5-6
Today a slip of blue paper floated to the floor when I turned the pages of my Bible. I recognized it as a copy of the poem that was sent to us by friends to announce the adoption of their son about seven years ago. I remembered their joy. I remembered the blossoming of that little guy in the circle of their family’s love. The orphanage in Vietnam was no comparison to his new, comfortable, full-to-the-brim-with-love home.
For years he grew and learned under their care. He welcomed an adopted sibling, and added her to his list of favorite friends. He delighted his parents, siblings, and extended family with his vibrancy and humor. He grasped every chance to learn something new. He learned to trust their God.
And then he was diagnosed with leukemia. The fight was long and hard. He, his siblings, his parents, and his church friends were all troopers. Prayers ascended. People helped. Doctors tried. The family provided transportation, care, and encouragement even while their own hearts were wrenched and bleeding.
Doctors smiled on their favored, nine-year-old patient as he carried his laptop computer to appointments and worked on assignments for the photo production business he’d started. But his ingenuity, his whit, his intelligence, his will to live were not enough to chase the foe away. The prayers comforted and sustained; but they didn’t keep the foe at bay for long. In the end leukemia won, and today is the first anniversary of Jarrell’s death. But there will be a reunion…and there are things that will never be taken away.
“Priceless these gifts: our heritage, our health, our nation free.
Indebted thus we’ll share with one who needs a family!
He’ll learn about a Shepherd true who’s watching from on high
Who loves all precious little ones and hears each prayer and sigh.
“No time or money seems too great. Our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
The anxious moments, sleepless nights, the questions and the fears
Will surely fade and seem so small—forgotten after while—
When finally we’ll fold our arms ‘round our adopted child!” *
* Two stanzas from the poem by Eileen S. Garman
I’ll tuck that blue paper with the poem back in my Bible after I thank God for a special boy adopted by his grateful family. And I will remember.
O God, thank You for adoption. Abba, Father, thank You for adopting me.