Wednesday after Lent V–April 1, 2009

  • Posted on Apr 1, 2009

The world’s children

As Jacob journeyed, he came one night to an open place under the stars…And one of the angels stood beside him and said, “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. I will never leave you and will bring you back to this land.” (Philip Newell translation of Genesis 28-33)

Today I spent a bit of time with Sally and Keenan. Very soon, Sally and Keenan will board a plane to China, travel across the globe, and in a small rural village, meet their new daughter Lucy for the first time. Then, the three of them, a new family now, will get back on the plane and travel across the globe home. What amazing years will be in store for all three of them! As I spoke to them, I remembered how our family was changed and amazed by the arrival of a little boy named Max.

After several years of trying to have a baby, our friends Mary Lou and Bob decided to adopt. Their son Max arrived from South Korea not long after our own son Jack was born. As it turns out, Jack and Max were born three days apart. From the first day that Max arrived at Washington National Airport until we left for Richmond after seminary, Jack and Max were a twosome. Max would carefully build bridges and buildings with his blocks; Jack would knock them down. I have a picture of the two of them sitting side by side in a chair–each with lime green popsicle juice all over their clothes, hands, and faces. Although we haven’t seen Max for a few years now, he will always be a part of our lives and Jack’s. In fact, I have often wondered if Jack’s passion about Asian culture may have to do in part with spending so many early years with Max.

It’s hard to believe that just a generation or two ago, adoption was not something folks spoke about very much. It had a slight dishonor to it. And cross-cultural adoptions? Folks would politely say that they were very “unusual.” Today, I hope that any stigma to adoption is gone. It is a blessing to care for a young life—and a special blessing to care for a life that comes to you from another part of the world. For the incarnation works this way–when we are asked to care and love a young life, we realize very quickly that a human being is a human being is a human being. Love doesn’t need translators or cultural interpreters. Please send up a prayer for Sally, Keenan and Lucy. And for all the children in the world who need someone to love and care for them.

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