"Renee' and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novograd
Valenski, Ukraine, using wireless internet. We are in the middle of adopting
three special needs boys from an orphanage here. Two of the boys have Down
Syndrome. Roman is high functioning, energetic and happy. Dimitri has serious
mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is
the size of a 1 year old. He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on
him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him.
Because he has less ability to respond and learn, he naturally gets less
attention and care from the orphanage workers in this world of limited
resources. The harsh reality of the "survival of the fittest" principle is a
life and death struggle that this little boy is losing fast. Our third boy
Sasha, is a brilliant six year old who has Spina Bifida (the condition our son
Josiah died from in 1996). He is like a learning sponge that can't get enough!
He is happy and alert and thirsty for knowledge and experience. So with two of
our boys, we get an immediate return on any investment we make. With Dimitri,
there's not much immediate gratification. In fact, it's unknown when and if
there will be a return at all. This is the kind of situation that makes the
carnal, fallen, human reasoning think, "Why try? What's the point? What will
this produce? What good will this do? Why not select a boy who has more
potential? This looks like a lost cause.
Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village
where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and
answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri's house. The day had been
long, we were still recovering from jet lag, I was beginning to really miss my
six daughters at home and all the familiar things our fragile human hearts
entangle themselves with in feeble attempts to feel secure. Sitting in the dark
on our very long drive back to Novograd that night, the Holy Spirit began to
whisper to my heart, and new understanding about redemption began to take shape.
I was thinking, "Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is
exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable … and it doesn't feel very rewarding right
now." What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of
rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What
if Dimitri doesn't improve at all? What if we get "nothing" out of this? … Ahhh,
there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the
tree of the knowledge of "good and evil". The love the Greeks called "erao"
love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can
get out of it. This is unlike "agapeo" love, the God kind of love that treats
someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It's when I
love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them
meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love
into my weak heart, and He's using little Dimitri to do it.
On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, "This is Redemption.
Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to
be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from
your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for
Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick,
damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it
all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself
and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption.
My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and
outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it
killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can't even really appreciate or
comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what
is about to happen to him … but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy,
I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just
want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of
being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly "Papa" feels towards us.
Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy
the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to "pay Him back". You'll never get
close you goofy little kid.
-- Derik Loux
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
whats on my heart today....
Borrowed words from another blog, written of an adoption journey almost a year ago. Today Ethan [Dmitri] is unrecognizable as that child seemingly at deaths door just a few short months ago....