Yesterday was a HUGE day in the course of your life…everything changed. You not only received the gift of a family, but you have a new name and a new life. A whole new beginning…
As I sat signing the papers to make you ours, the Holy Spirit hovered near. On your paperwork, it showed your old name and your new name. I couldn’t help but pause to think about the day that I, too received a new name and was an orphan no more. I paused for several minutes as I thought about the significance of receiving a new name. Your first name was given to you by an institution…your second by your mom and dad. Your first name was barely more than a number with which to keep track of you in the system. You were named as hurricanes are named, with little more than a thought to location. Your second name was chosen by your Mama and Baba and tells a story deeper than words. Jessica “God beholds” Faith “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Like you, I was a given a new name when God adopted me as His very own… I went from “Forsaken and Abandoned” to “Dearly Loved Child of the King”. A name change is a glorious thing.
Unlike our experience with Kate in Guangzhou, the civil affairs staff here did the monetary transaction right in front of you. They listed your “price” on a receipt and we watched as our guide pulled the stacks of money from her bag to hand over to the director for the “orphanage donation”. We were surprised as you reached out to lightly smack your dad on the shoulder over and over and shake and bury your head as the exchange took place. You were so upset that you had cost us so much money. You had no idea that we paid much, much more than that to get you and that we would do it all over again in a heartbeat given the choice. We cannot put a price on you, sweet daughter, you are worth it all. It reminded me of the price for my adoption… the blood of God’s only Son. How He gave His Son freely and willingly to pay for my freedom… how though I cannot imagine why He loves me that much and often I react like you, unworthy and afraid I can never pay it back or measure up, yet He doesn’t regret His choice for a moment.
When we visited the store after our paperwork was complete, you were very insistent that we not buy you anything. You wouldn’t let your Dad look at your size and you refused to cooperate and try things on. You resisted our desire to provide for you at every turn. You felt like you had cost us enough and you would take no more gifts… and I thought about how often I do the same thing to my Father. After all He has given, how in the world can I ever accept more? How can I ever repay? Sometimes it stops me from receiving gifts that He is fully desiring to bestow upon me in love. I vow to be satisfied with salvation but He is reaching for garments of sanctification and offering them freely. I cry out that the cross was enough and He is loading me up with strength and hope and joy. All the while, He is waiting for me to accept His love… He wants to pour it out on me, but I have to accept it. Daughter, you too must learn to accept love, because it’s not going away and you will only receive more and more as you find your place in this family.
When our day was done, we took you back to the hotel and we put you in the bathtub. We washed you clean and we put new clothes on your back. You are no longer an orphan. You are a Roberts. Just like that, in one day, you are changed. Just as I was that day that the Lord adopted me. Washed clean and clothed in righteousness. This, however, did not mean that I would not ever have to wrestle with my past. It did not mean that I was perfect or that I could forget where I had come from. Each day has been a new chance to remember that I am changed, that I am no longer who I used to be. Each day has been an opportunity to bring more of my past before the Lord and let Him cover it with His love. Each day has been a battle to walk in Christ and not in my old fleshly mentality. And it will be for you too, Jessica, but we will fight these battles together. Each day I will remind you that you are greatly loved, that you are ready to move forward, that you are beautiful and worthy of love. Each day I will pray that you will know the height, depth, and width of the love of Christ. Each day I will watch as you slowly blossom into the creation that you have always been, but that the enemy deceived you into believing you would never be. Together, with the upholding of the Holy Spirit, we will walk up these mountains and traverse these valleys. And one day we will wake up and look back over how far we have come and we will give thanks to the Lord that the price of love is one that we can never repay…from the beginning it was meant to be that way.
Wo ai ni. I love you.