This process has affirmed my faith in God and my faith in his son Jesus Christ more than
anything else has in my life and maybe in my lifetime. As a Christian I had recently learned the correlation between adoption and between my walk with God. I started to realize more and more what it meant and what it looked like for me as a spiritual orphan. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about life before I came to know God. I thought there was nothing else I needed. But deep down I felt something was missing and I couldn't ever get it right. I can now see I was selling myself short and most importantly selling God short. I didn't see the CRAZY peace that could come in life from knowing God is in control of all things. I didn't see the joy that I would have even when I shouldn't have had any. And the love that can comefrom God and from fellowship with other believers. An unconditional love that is full of grace, and forgiveness, and mercy. These kinds of relationships will change your life. All of this happened when God adopted me into his family. It was nothing I did but he came, chose me, died for me, and brought me into his family. If God hadn't adopted me I never would've known and have experienced all that I have so far. Sometimes I wonder if God feels as much joy adopting me and others as I do when I look at my sons. The joy when I look at them and know the life they came from and the life they were headed for and can see the life they are now living.
While in Ethiopia we saw street children begging for money. One child in particular looked as though he had acid poured on his face. This young boy clung to my side in the markets asking me for money. We then saw a man standing close by collecting all the money from the children. Was this our boys future? We met the boys mother. A prostitute just trying to survive... we saw men selling mops door to door and others laying on the ground begging for food. Was this the future for our boys? Who knows what would've happened to them at their mothers brothel. Who knows what kind of men could have gotten ahold of them. Our boys have scars from their past that we cannot explain but we do know they won't get those same scars again. These boys were destined for a life of corruption, disease, and abuse. So I guess the What if question wouldn't be to hard to figure out. From this we've learned that adoption is a messy process. Orphans come from a messed up life. This makes me wish other people would be questioning, "What if" and not thinking it's not possible. People say to us, "You're such great people", or "you deserve an award", or "this is such a good thing that you're doing." But honestly all I feel like is we had kids. And when they say that all I can think about is how what we have done is nothing compared to the sacrifice that God made to adopt us.
When the process has been hard, when the boys are sick, when I don't get any sleep at night, I think about what Christ endured on the cross for me. I think about how a perfect and holy God, sent his perfect and holy son to earth to become a human just like me. I think about how that man lived a perfect life without sin. A life I could not have possibly lived. And then that man was murdered on a bloody cross to save God's children and to bring them into the family of God. And then he conquered that death and went to be with his Father again.
It should've been me and all of us on that cross. None of us can live a perfect life and all of us have offended God even if we don't see it. But God knew that and sent his son to die the death that I deserved. Our adoption of these boys is nothing in comparison to that great news. Because of that news we are able to extend the unconditional love to these boys. The love that says I don't care where you came from or what baggage that you come with but we will love you and serve you and die for you daily. It is a great honor and joy to have rescued these boys. And the joy that they bring surpasses all.
Ephesians 1:3-6 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In LOVE he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his GLORIOUS GRACE, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."
I'm thankful that God chose me and I'm thankful that he also chose my sons. He picked 2 out of 6 million to be ours and it couldn't be more affirmed by them being here! They are Wells' through and through and hopefully one day they will have another adoption story by our heavenly Father.
Anyway, I was just feeling overwhelmed with the goodness of the gospel and the thought of bringing these boys out of destruction. Hope you're encouraged by the God that you already know or the God I hope you one day come to know. These pictures are random things we saw in Ethiopia.