Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gotcha! ~ 3 Years!

Today marks 3 years since Justice’s adoption was officially completed, and he stepped foot onto U.S. soil as a Sullivan! On the left was Justice’s referral picture – the first picture we ever received of him. It was off this picture and about 3 sentences of information that we were asked whether or not we would pursue him in adoption. I remember looking at the size of his shoes and thinking – “There is no way that child is 6 years old!” :) Justice’s adoption has been the gateway in which God has most clearly revealed to me His definition of love - which is NOT a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is a lay down your life action and submission to God’s will. 1 John 3:16 ~ This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. ~ I didn’t learn this through studious hours of bible study. I didn’t learn this through a well-given church sermon. I learned this from a little orange-haired African boy, living clear on the other side of the world, who was out of my preferred age range to adopt, who I feared had the potential to ‘ruin’ our family, and who would interrupt my ideal American family portrait sitting on the fireplace. Yet it was in these very circumstances that God taught me to lay down my desires, my plans, my feelings, my comfort, my grasp on convenience and control, our financial security, even my most treasured possession - our biological children - surrendering it all into His hands, for His Kingdom purposes. When Jake and I were married I had a picture in my head of what our family was going to look like. But God had a different one. And His plan trumped mine. Going with His plan hasn’t been easy. Oftentimes adoption hasn’t felt natural and has indeed felt sacrificial. Yet in the process I have been given a new picture: A HUMAN LIFE IS WORTH IT. With adoption you get to offer someone the chance to have God re-write their story. It cost Jesus His very life to do this for me…to give me the right to call myself a child of God. Yes, God’s kind of love entails sacrifice – yet it will not return void. With this kind of love, when you lose yourSELF, you gain real life…that’s because its very nature imparts eternal value. Thank you, Justice, for my first real-life lesson in God’s definition of love. And Happy Gotcha Day! I will never stop recounting what God has done in my life through yours! ♥

I made the following video of Justice's adoption journey back in 2011.  It was during my novice days of video making so no music or bells and whistles. :)  Yet, it's still vital for me to look back on how God brought us through the adoption process and that first year of him home. Rejoicing in how far he (and we) have come since then!

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