Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Home and Hope

I have been asked so many questions about The Little One and her adoption that I really should be used to them by now. I understand people want to know, but please don’t be offended if I tell you that some things we don’t talk about – some things are private information for her to release when she wants to. Typically we’re asked things like how tall her birthparents are (about the equivalent of my husband and I), how old was she when we ‘got’ her (3 days!!!), how long we had to wait for her (not very long!), how expensive the adoption was (sorry, that one’s off limits in almost every conversation!)  But there is still one question that always makes me freeze – “where’s she from?”  Huh? What? We live here in town, in Smalltown, Oklahoma. Some people think I talk like a Northerner, is that why you ask? But then again most of the time I sound pretty southern, so maybe that’s why you ask? Oh, right, you’re asking because she’s black. No, she’s not from Africa or Jamaica or Haiti, she’s from the good ‘ol US of A!  She’s as American as I am, just blessed with more melanin than her Mama!

I can’t even begin to count how many times we’ve been asked where TLO is from and I’m sure we’ll get that question for years and years to come. When she gets old enough to answer for herself I can already hear her laughing and saying something like “I’m just an Okie.” LOL!  But after the most recent time I was asked this I started thinking about this. My patients ask me all the time if I’m from “here”, usually my response is “no, not originally, but I’ve lived here for 3 ½ years”.  But in theory, where you’re “from” implies the land you belong to, right? What if I don’t really belong to this land? What if I really belong to a kingdom far better? You see, I’m really very other-worldly! This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. I can’t really say it any better than my niece put it when she wrote this on her blog last week:

I’m not always sure where to call “home.” When we moved to Oklahoma last summer, that was so incredibly upsetting to me, and I froze every time someone asked where I was from.
“Like, where I was born? Or where I grew up? Or where my family is? Or where I currently live? Or where the most of my heart is?” Yeah, people don’t really expect it to be that difficult of a question.
Almost 11 months later, I’m seeing that it doesn’t matter where I’m from. When I opened my eyes to find Jesus in the confusion, I found peace in Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and Philippians.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21
And that’s where the messy became lovely.
Where I live and call home on this journey isn’t a big deal. Or a small deal. It’s basically irrelevant.
Did you catch the word “journey” in there? I’m really just traveling through here, hanging out for a little while until I reach the place where my citizenship really is. And that’s gonna be sweet.
Until then, I’m living this journey to the full. 
Pretty beautifully put, huh? And she’s only 15!
So now I’m wondering if I should re-think my answer I give when asked where TLO is from. Her home and hope, as mine are, are in Heaven.  And really, she was sent to me from Heaven, because only my wonderful Father in Heaven could have possibly crafted someone so beautiful, funny, stubborn and perfect.  So go ahead, ask me where my daughter’s from!

Father, thank You for the home You have prepared and waiting for me. Thank You for helping me to see these experiences in life as learning experiences and using them to strengthen my relationship with You.  Please help me choose my words correctly when answering questions about my little one and help me continue to share our story and love.  Help me to use our story to glorify You. Thank You for my sweet little Okie! Amen.

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