Adoption is Plan A

I don't have much to write by way of our adoption, except that I'm missing Mekonen. We got another picture of our boy today. He was sleeping in his little crib snuggled by a pink blanket! hehe. Oh baby, you make pink look good!

Jon was in Chicago this past week for the Gospel Coalition Conference where he listened to some of our favorite speakers: John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, and more! I wanted to go so badly, but couldn't due to work. We so desperately want to be in an environment where Jesus, the gospel, and calling people to repentence is the norm, the standard. I find myself frustrated with "the church." I sense a lack of urgency in "the church," a lack of connection to the Gospel, to JESUS. So much so, that one of our favorite pastors, who we listen to via podcasts, in every sermon brings JESUS and the GOSPEL smack in front of your face, right in the face of culture, right in the face of your sin, that at first, it almost seemed "wrong." After all, I have been a Christian since I was four years old when I understood that JESUS forgave my sins, so why haven't I heard so much about JESUS? I've heard a lot about GOD, a lot about what I need to be "doing," but honestly, not a lot about JESUS and what that means for my SIN as a believer.

Many churches see the gospel and JESUS as only for non-Christians who need salvation. That's where the Gospel stops in a lot of conservative, evangelical churches. Where did we get off the path? How have we gotten away from JESUS, the center of EVERYTHING! Pay attention to the sermons you hear in church. The application section of the sermon usually calls non-Christians to repent of their sin, and usually exhorts Christians to 'start doing good things', or 'keep doing good things.' It's been a long time since I have sat in church and heard the pastor vigorously, passionately, and directly, call me, a believer, a Christian, to repent of my sin. I despise that no one has done this. It has only further propelled me to try and "be perfect" instead of realizing my fallen state as a sinner and a human being who desperately needs to always repent, and always fall on the GRACE of Jesus. When repentence as a believer has not been a part of my teaching in the Christian church, I find myself struggling desperately with perfection, struggling to not beat myself up over my everyday mistakes and shortcomings. I view my sin as a complete bash on who I am as a person, how God views me, and how others view me. This is SO backwards and SO against everything the Bible teaches. Jesus did not die for us because of the good things we will do. He died for us simply because of His deep love for us. He has come to set me free, not just forgive my sins so I can go to heaven. It doesn't stop there. He is the cornerstone, the center, the very essence of all we do, think, and believe. There was nothing lovely, worthwhile, or good about me that caused Jesus to look on me with favor, and choose me. It was soley out of his love, goodness, and GRACE.

JESUS is what led us to adoption. JESUS is the very reason for the kind of life that we live. That is the reason it aggrivates me immensely when I see, hear, and witness Christians who do not understand adoption. How can you know the heart of JESUS and not get why we are doing what we are doing? It is incredibly painful to witness the subtle ways it is made known that adoption is thought to be "second best" to pregnancy. It's sad to say that there are some people who would view the expansion of our family with much more enthusiasm and excitement if that expansion were by way of pregnancy. This underlying thought is blaring, so easy to see, even when they try to hide it. And most of all, it's just utterly painful.

My mama defenses go up and I want nothing more than to hold Mekonen, take care of him, keep him safe, teach him about Jesus, and show him how much he is truly loved and cherished. I will do whatever it takes to protect him and make sure he knows he is OURS. I have never felt this insane, crazy, out-of-control protective love before, so watcht out...it's incredible. We pray daily for the GRACE needed to deal with the underlying subtleties that scream, "blood is always thicker..." Jesus, help us to be gracious. Help the hurt not to turn into bitterness and discouragement. For we know in all things YOU are leading us, and so, nothing else matters.


Mama Foyer said...

Hey girl! I want you to know that we are so proud that Adoption is plan A. Since you are now a mama even at this moment, it is kind of hard to overcome the pressures and meanness that occurs. I took an adoption training course for my work the Pregnancy Help Center, and they address this issue. I can empathize with you. Everyone even your loved ones has an axe to grind, and you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Wow, I constructed a complex sentence out of cliches! :P Sometimes doing the will of God is a problem for people who do not understand. As to "the blood is thicker" comment I agree with this in the aspect that Jesus's blood is what really ties us together. We love you guys and cannot wait to meet your little guy. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Baby girl I hear ya. When I tell people that in the future I want to adopt definitely first, before I ever get pregnant and that I wouldn't care about only adopting ALL my guy friends (and some of my girls) say... "well yeah it sounds great, but I want my own child too" To which I SCREECH (and you know me so you know I do, indeed, schreech) "IT IS YOUR CHILD!!!" Then they say "you know what I mean." And I tell them I DONT. I OF COURSE see a anatomical difference between Manny and Aderyn and no one pretends they don't have one and we actually celebrate that... however NO ONE sees any difference in them as Amy's children. Manny is equally "her own" just as much as lil Aderyn and just as much as our little mekonen will be YOURS. It makes me so mad and I am not even in the process of adopting and don't know if I ever will be... so I can just imagine how upset you must be!

If anyone says anything again, send them to me... I'll set them straight :) Love ya girl!

Amy said...

Well said Rachael. You are an inspiration. Being someone who is also choosing adoption as "Plan A" it's wonderful to hear such insight from you. Praise Jesus for giving us the ability to do this first.

Nicole(Jewell)Reichard said...

I just want you to know that I am soooo excited for you guys and your journey of adoption of Mekonen. I think it is awesome and several times I have found myself tearing up reading your posts. I especially loved seeing the video of you guys seeing his picture for the first time. I have never adopted...only ever delivered my baby and I could tell by watching you in the video that you guys felt the same way I did when I first saw Julia for the first time. I think it is great that God has led you guys to adopt as your plan A. I think what causes people to not get it completely is that pregnancy is such an amazing thing. Even with its ups and downs it is so amazing to at the end be holding a baby that was made from the two of you. It is so neat every day to look at my daughter and see parts of my husband and I in her. Obviously that is such a small part of what being a mom or dad is all about though when you really think about it...it doesn't really matter at all in the scheme of things...but to a lot of people they can't imagine never getting to experience that. Even if you do decide someday to get pregnant you will find that certain people will give their advice when their advice is not wanted or needed all the time. It is sometimes very cruel and hurtful, but most people unfortunately don't even realize they are saying anything wrong. I would hope that the people that really care about you guys and love you guys will support you 100% throughout the adoption process and will treat Mekonen the same as if you delivered him yourself! I just want you to know that I think what you are doing is great and I can't wait to see your son and find out you finally have him in your arms.
Love you guys! Hang in there!

Katie & Tim said...

hey rachael,
i loved your post with all the caps! :) i can see your passion...it's awesome. and i agree with you about church/preachers these days. the times i feel that someone is stepping on my toes is usually at camps or conferences (with the teens). they are MADE to get in your face, but like you, i'd love it if we had that on a more regular basis!
with regards to people's comments, i agree you should *try* to take it with a grain of salt. easier said than done, i know. but i too, am getting some of the similar comments as you are. i even had someone ask me if we are adopting out of want or necessity. talk about personal! actually, i had someone ask me if cale was adopted! when i told them no, they go, ooh, i just didn't understand.
at that point honey (and where you will be now, and in the future) is your opportunity to BE A LIGHT! try to take this as a God-given opportunity to explain Jesus to them right there (as you are on your blog). People say these things because, unfortunately, adoption is USUALLY something that takes place after biological children are present or tried for. And i'm NOT saying that it's right, but you are going against the grain, and you're more than likely to get more comments than any of us in the situation. but, that's good! think of it as a pastor getting in your face and challenging your attitude! a mother bear's instincts are STRONG...and you will want to go home upset, but remember that God will not give you anything you can handle...so He KNOWS you can handle it, with grace, and love, and a forgiving spirit. take it from someone who assumed something about someone's attitude (towards our adoption) and it turns out i was wrong. it's better to realize that people are just uneducated about the process, and more importantly untactful in the way they approach it.
keep your spirits up and enjoy motherhood...like the other poster said, we DEFINITELY get unwanted comments with biological children too, it's not specific to adoptions. :) haha. love ya!

urrutiafamily said...

Jon and Rachael,
I put a link to a sermon from our Pastor Gary Johnson from March 1st. I to feel extremely guilty when I do not live up to Jesus's expectations of me. I always have to remind myself God loves me, but not my sin(Satan loves that). If we were capable of being perfect there would be no need for Jesus to have came down and died for us.
I hope you find time to listen to this message. Gary talks about how we as Christians struggle with sin and how Jesus understands our struggles since he was also human and tempted just like we are by the devil.

Here is the web address to the sermon.


doddyj said...

Wow, Rachael...I'm sorry that you've had so much prejudice over this. It's so unfair when culture defines the 'perfect' family...and if that isn't your choice, there must be something wrong with you. Hang in there and remember you're making Jesus incredibly proud.