As an orphan waits for a family, no one in their world (the workers, directors, etc. of the orphanage) would ever guess or even begin to imagine what our faithful God would have planned for their future when a family comes for them! The orphan knows first hand hopelessness, despair, the long lonely days and even lonelier nights as darkness settles across the orphanage as each day they wait. Occasionally they have watched one of their friends walk away with a family who has arrived always secretly longing for it to be their turn.
Having adopted older treasures this is a topic we have talked about often. What did they feel as they waited? How was it to have their friends leave with a family? Their answers are heart wrenching. They were left grieving the friendship gone and at the same time wondering what it would be like to have a family come for them – that is if a family would ever come!
And I’m pretty sure there are two extremely painful realities that every adoptive parent has to struggle with: their child’s abandonment (some of mine remember their abandonment perfectly) and what their son/daughter endured as they waited. It is actually tormenting to my soul to hear them talk about either but of course we talk about it all as often as they need because it is healing to share feelings and thoughts and heartache, to hold them as they weep while weeping with them. No doubt none of it is for the faint of heart!
The thing though that boggles my brain is that as they waited no one would have ever guessed what God had in store for them!! He alone knew what their future held and He is definitely the giver of wildly wonderful surprises! All that was needed for His plan to be accomplished was a willing family. That’s it. Just a family to step up to the plate and say, “Okay, we are going to love someone unconditionally and make them one of ours forever!” That’s it. Truthfully, no experience needed!
And no one would have ever guessed as Jubilee waited, painfully abused that the God of the Universe was setting things up for a family to come and change the entire trajectory of her once-bleak future. Special needs treasures in most countries have zero value. They are vilified or thought to be a curse left to be abused, hated and tormented! It is a most painful thing to even think about as a mom.
The thing that is so redemptive about God though is that He takes the broken and He heals and turns heartache into joy! He just longs for families to be His hands and feet gently loving those who no one wanted. When a family steps up, He fill their lives with all kinds of joyful surprises! He is astonishing at His ability to take-your-breath-away with what He has planned! He loves to display His healing power!
The other morning I thought, “Oh I haven’t been on Instagram for a while and started scrolling those I follow and there she was – again – Miss Jubilee Promise looking oh-so-beautiful. My very first thought was, ‘If only those who once “cared” for her could see this! Instead of hated and despised – our sweet Jubilee is celebrated, adored and loved! Look at her – her gorgeous smile is lighting up a Night To Shine ad for the Phoenix area. Who would have ever guessed? I serious get giggly with beautiful tears of humble joy. This girl of ours – such a delight to all who know her and from being an abused orphan to a celebrated daughter, friend and auntie!!
Oh friends, the incredible value of each individual – made in the very image of our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God.
We are overcome with knowing that our kids are celebrated at Highlands Church where we attend. They are not sequestered away to be “taken care of” while we go to classes or services. Nope – never! Our treasures are celebrated!! That’s why we drive 37.8 miles one way to be part of such a beautiful group of people who reflect Christ so well.
Night to Shine was the original idea of Tim Tebow Foundation and our church participates each year. It’s a prom-type celebration for ages 14 and up, complete with red carpet entrance. Volunteers stand cheering as each person’s name is called and they come down the red carpet. The first time my kids went I couldn’t hold back the tears. Check out our Johnny and Jubilee below making their red carpet entrance! There are still spots available if you live anywhere in the valley! It’s Friday, February 8, 2019. To register your treasure…go here.
Seriously, who would have ever guessed that they would be celebrated on the other side of the world?? Only our astoundingly faithful God!!