Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Prayer

Silent night! Holy night!
All's asleep, one sole light,
Just the faithful and holy pair,
Lovely boy-child with curly hair
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace
As I was surrounded yesterday by family and friends, celebrating the Gifts of Christmas, I kept finding myself singing my most favorite Christmas Carol ~ Silent Night
As I returned from a day away from the computer ~ I first journeyed to Reece's Rainbow, as my heart and soul have such a calling to help these children who are awaiting their forever families.....the only reason they are orphans is because they are deemed less than perfect by the society they live in.
My joyous heart was quickly saddened to read of the passing of a beautiful soul - a man who has been called to the same journey of welcoming these precious children into his own heart and home and to raising awareness and opportunities for other families to find the way to adopt.
As you move through the next few days, I ask this one last Christmas Wish of say a prayer for Derek Loux's family and friends, as they lay to rest their beloved husband, father, son, brother and friend................and to read this message of Redemption by Derek Loux posted on The Sumbo Family Story Blog.

Redemption by Derek Leux
Friday, December 12,

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.

You can visit their family blog Here

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