Today, I was praying for a friend of mine who recently adopted a child who is beyond toddler years. Like me, she adopted a complete package—a child who had already had likes and dislikes, a child who was the product of someone else’s child-raising (or lack thereof) in the early formative years. Like my first few months and first year, she was experiencing great trials–more than once in a day. As I began to reflect on the past four years of life with my precious daughter (particularly the first year) I was reminded how much I have learned about God’s great love for me and His love for the lost people around me who continue to reject Him. It reminded me of the story of Hosea and reminded me of the price Jesus paid for me. I reflected on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Bible says he sweat drops of blood as He was praying that this “cup” pass from Him…but not His will God’s be done.
In the book of Hosea, we learn about a prophet named Hosea who God tells to go and take a prostitute for a wife. He redeems a prostitute, pays her debts, takes her as a wife, and showers love on her. She rejects him and returns to prostitution. Through this story God teaches us about His great love for His people.
- Delivered them.
- Held them in His arms.
- Healed them.
- Loved them.
- Lifted their burdens.
- Fed them.
Yet, they refused to return to Him.
In Hosea 11:8-9 God says:
- How can I give you up?
- How can I surrender you?
- My heart is turned over within Me.
- All My compassions are kindled.
- I will not execute My fierce anger.
- I will not come in wrath.
In the New Testament, we learn that we spat on Jesus. In our sin, we crucified Him. Yet…
Romans 5:8 –But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV 1984)
Hebrews 12:2–Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV 1984)
Luke 23:34–Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In the first year of adoption, I came close to sweating blood.
I knew that just as God told Hosea to go take Gomer, a prostitute, as a wife, He had clearly told me to adopt this child and love her as my own. He gave me 10 years of preparation and prayer and developing in me a desire to adopt a little girl.
Yet when the hour of trial began, I was not sure I was up for the task. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood God.
In a book I am reading right now called Creative Correction, author Lisa Whelchel talks about how young children look to their parents as God. And, how in our child-raising, our parenting, we have the opportunity to help our kids learn to love, obey, respect, and listen to God by first teaching them to love, obey, respect, and listen to us. If children do not learn to submit to the authority of their parents, they will not submit to God. God tells us that it pleases Him when children obey their parents. He tells children that honoring their mother and father comes with the promise of a full life.
In adoption, we not only have that same opportunity to prepare our children for relating to God, but we also have a beautiful example played out daily of God’s great love for us.
In the trials, the exhaustion, the rejection, we learn how to never give up, to keep on loving.
Hosea 6:1–“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. (NAS 1995).
The wounded parent may need the healing and bandaging, but remember, in my analogy we are in Hosea’s place or in God’s place. The wounded one is the child. My daughter returns love and compassion to me now. She shows sincerity and repentance (something she could not do before). She knows I am not only the one who says “no” and disciplines her for wrongdoing, but I am also the one who holds her when she’s hurting, prays for and with her, bandages her wounds, comforts her through nightmares. Does she still inflict wounds? Are there still times she thrusts the daggers:
- I don’t love you.
- I want a different family.
- You’re so mean.
Yes. But they are fewer and far between. And in between are plenty of band-aids for this Mommy’s heart:
- I’m glad you ‘dopted me.
- I love my family.
- Why did you choose me? I’m glad.
- Sing to me about Jesus.
- Give me butterfly kisses.
- Pray with me.
- You’re a good Mommy.
Hosea 6–2After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Read the song Wash Over Me.
Read the book review for: Detached–Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder.
For other thoughts I’ve shared from Lisa Whelchel’s book Creative Correction click here.
Want a book to journal your adoption story? click here to order.