Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Samuel's New Name

So many times throughout our adoption journey I would find myself sitting in my closet, Bible in tow, crying out to God. And often times, I would be thinking along these lines….God, it’s just not fair. It’s just not right. I’m not talking 3 year-old-level-‘that’s-not-fair’-whiny-terms. I’m talking about that deep gut-wrenching feeling that cried out from inside of me saying something is wrong with this picture.

In the beginning I was really struggling with the idea that Samuel’s mother would have to give him ‘away’. It just didn’t seem fair.

After our first trip to Ghana in December we had encountered a lot of junk in Samuel’s village. The way he was treated and ridiculed for having albinism just wasn’t right. The way Samuel’s birthmother was taken advantage of by the men around her just wasn’t fair. In fact, the last moments I spent with Samuel’s mother, I had handed her an envelope with a letter in it. Out of nowhere one of the men from the village came up and snatched the letter right out of her hands and opened it because he thought I had just given her money. Luckily Kofi had just walked up to us and witnessed it happening and he rebuked the guy. From then on we were advised to give any gifts to Samuel’s birthmother in secret so that the other men in the village wouldn’t claim it for themselves.

After the entire mess of the way the Embassy had handled our case back in June (you can read an excerpt about that disaster by clicking here )it had felt as though we had just been thrown in the ditch, left to die. Really, that’s how I felt. Everything about that whole fiasco screamed from the bottom of my heart THIS IS NOT FAIR! THIS IS NOT RIGHT! It killed me to think about the hope and excitement that we had built up in Samuel to come home, only to have it all crushed in a matter of a few days. It was the most awful feeling. On the outside I was crying, and hurt, and broken-hearted. On the inside my heart and soul screamed out for this to be made right. Everything about this situation seemed wrong. And we longed for fairness.

Behind the blogging scenes, other unjust things happened as well. Some of these I won’t be blogging about. Others I will share and will come out in future posts. But what you need to know is this: Samuel has faced so much adversity. And he is a resilient little boy. He has endured awful hardships.

It was some time after we returned home from our June trip when I came across this verse in my time reading the Psalms:

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. (Psalm 140:12)

WOW. What confidence David the psalmist had in our Almighty God. Doesn’t this verse just sound so sure and confident and solid?!?! When I read this verse, it was like right then and there God whispered the promise of His justice to me. No I cannot trust in this world to bring about fairness. This world gives birth to corruption, imperfection, and sin. But I can put all my hope in God to send forth His justice. My hope for this to all end fair and right needed to rest in God, not in the expectations of our government, adoption agency, or anyone else. From this day forward I carried this verse in my heart. I thought about it all the time. Every time my knees went weak over some new injustice, I would just repeat this verse in my mind to help myself remember God’s character. HE is JUST. HE UPHOLDS THE CAUSE of the needy.

And now, last week we saw the faithfulness of God when Samuel’s visa was in Kofi’s hands. God’s word NEVER FAILS. He has remained true to his character in this verse. And because of this, Samuel’s new name will be


Now, every time we speak Samuel’s new name – Justice – we will be proclaiming that God came through for Him. Samuel and his birthmother were powerless, poor, oppressed, needy, and persecuted. But God is faithful. And He loves justice (Psalm 99:4 & Isaiah 61:8). Now, we don’t just have to read about God’s justice and hope that it is true. Now we’ve experienced it, and we can confidently say as David did I KNOW THAT THE LORD SECURES JUSTICE FOR THE POOR AND UPHOLDS THE CAUSE OF THE NEEDY. Samuel has an unbelievable God story already. And now, his new name will reflect God’s faithfulness in this adoption.


Heather said...

Absolutely perfect name! Love it! Praying for safe travels for you this week!

Dillinger Family said...

Love it!

Mindy said...

Just perfect. So like God. He delights!

The Last Crusade said...

What a great name!! I love it!

the crawfords said...

I absolutely love how you write! and i love the name and the TRUTH behind it! Awesome!

A. Gillispie said...

Wow. What an absolutely perfect name. And did you know that there are children in Ghana with this name--so it won't even seem foreign to him. I had goosebumps reading your post. The Lord was in your words today. We've given all of our children new names for the reasons you shared yesterday. Justice. Amen!

Tamara B said...

awesome. I remember thinking at one point that in a family of J Sullivans, he would be S.Sullivan. So fun to me to see the J name, which I love by the way.

Christy said...

Perfect. I have always loved the name Justice, and how FITTING for Samuel. Can't wait to meet him!

MISIC said...
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