Friday, September 12, 2008

A Legacy

Today Matt and I sat down for a little while to read from a book about adoption, which is part of our educational requirement for the adoption. We are required to have so many hours in various topics such as attachment, lifelong issues, etc. Now this is an easy thing to do because we want to educate ourselves and be prepared the best we can for our precious little one, just as I read the What To Expect books as I waited for Eli’s arrival. We have read much more than is required but somehow never found the right book/video that would meet the requirement for the multicultural/trans racial segment. I began thinking that we better get busy just in case we were to receive that long awaited phone call. So through our social worker we have finally got our hands on a book that addresses this issue.

Reading today gave us another opportunity to talk about how we will handle the fact that Emma was born in China but will be raised as an American citizen. We couldn’t possibly ignore the fact that she was born in China but we don’t want to be shoving down her throat Chinese things because she will be an American. On the one hand, if we were to avoid talking about the fact that she was born in China, the Chinese culture or even her life before she came into our family then we have in essence said that that period of her life wasn’t important, that somehow her life didn’t really began until she came to us. All of which is untrue. On the other hand, if we are constantly serving her rice and congee or if we were to have her room decked out in all things Chinese then we run the risk of constantly reminding her that she is “different”, which can be bothersome to adopted children who just want to belong.

We’ve decided that there is a balancing act here, one that we take very seriously. We want to honor her Chinese roots. We want to learn all we can about her birth country, their traditions and customs. When we do finally travel to China it’s not simply a vacation, it’s an opportunity to see this great land and take in the marvelous wonders of the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It is also my heart’s desire that when we go to China we will be able to visit the spot in which Emma was found and we pray that we can visit her orphanage. We want to take many pictures and document every single aspect of this part of her life, so that we can pass this along to her when she is older. My heart aches knowing there will be parts of her life story that she will never know and I want to be there for her as she tries to deal with this.

I want Emma to grow up confident and proud of who she is. However, the most important legacy that I want to leave Emma is that I want her to know who she can be “in Christ”. I want her to know that God formed her inward parts; He wove her together in her birthmother’s womb. I want her to know that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. That God saw her unformed substance; and in His book were written all the days that were ordained for her, when as yet there was not one of them (Psalms 139:13-16). I want her to know that there is redemption through Christ’s blood. I want her to know all about God’s grace in which He lavishes upon us so freely. I want Emma to know that God has a plan for her life. No matter how painful her past may be, I pray that Emma will not be bound by her past but allow Jesus to be Lord and Savior of her life. I pray that she will come to a full understanding of her identity in Christ and allow God to use her past for His glory. After all, God has allowed her to walk through this journey, it was no accident. God has a purpose!


Katie said...

Such a good reminder for us all. Not to be held back by our past, but to see God's hand in it, and push forward to bring HIM glory.

scott ridgway said...

You sound like you will be wonderful parents. I am looking for christians to view and give me some criticism on a book that I am writing on line, waking up jesus.... the newer entries are not part of the book, so you have to go to the oldest to get the full effect. Thank you for your entry. Scott