Since I was a teenager, I always knew there was a possibility that my chemotherapy treatments could cause infertility. Add on the fact that David had chemo and radiation too, and – well – you do the math. It’s not impossible for us to have children of our own. Nothing is impossible, but I do not expect to ever give birth to a child.
That realization was hard for me at first, but over the years I have come to accept and even welcome the idea of mothering the orphaned or abandoned children already on this earth. From time to time I still feel the sting in my heart. It’s especially hard during this time in my life as I am so close to getting married.
People assume that children will be the next step. They tell me that I will have beautiful children. They tell my mother and mother-in-law “Grandbabies are in your future! How exciting !”
And that’s all very logical.
But for David and me, it is not that simple. We both look forward to the day we will bring a child into our home, though the journey for us will be longer and a bit more complicated than for most couples.
Several weeks ago as David was tucking me in to bed and leaving his parents’ house, we talked briefly about naming our children. The conversation ranged from silly to serious. I don’t remember everything that was said, but I do remember feeling the strong urge to blog about it.
The reality is that we probably won’t get to name our children. They will likely come to us by other means, having already been named by their biological parents.
We talked about how when you adopt from other countries you often have the opportunity to rename the child with an American name. But David and I both agree that we would like to try to adopt within the United States. We have discussed being foster parents and adopting older children out of foster care.
We jokingly said we could rename our American-born adopted children no matter what age they come to us.
“Hey we know your name has been Andrew for the 15 years you’ve been alive, but from now on your name is going to be John. Ok? Ok.”
We had a good laugh about it.
How strange it would be to live your whole life with one name and then to essentially become a different person. David said “I mean, Jesus renamed people all the time!”
Ah, yes. He did. And I venture to say that He still does.
Abram to Abraham.
Jacob to Israel.
Saul to Paul.
(Actually Paul is just a Greek translation of Saul…but because Jesus revealed himself to Saul on that Damascus road, Saul chose to change his ways, change his life and be a missionary to the very people he was persecuting. He then was most often known by his Greek name: Paul. Kinda cool!)
One of the most meaningful name changes (at least to me) was when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. The name Simon means “reed like” or “easily swayed”, inferring that Simon was easily influenced by his environment, bending to please the world around him. But then Jesus changes his name to Peter, which means “Rock”.
What a statement!
At that point in time Peter wasn’t even used as a name. It literally meant rock.
Jesus was saying of Simon, “Once you were easily swayed, but I will make you firm and unmoving.”
All of this talk about name changes got me thinking : What was my name before he called me?
And what did he change it to?
Amber means “a precious jewel”.
I think in my life, the struggle has been to live up to that name. Or really just to believe that of myself. I am a precious jewel. I am a precious jewel. I AM a precious jewel!
God has been transforming my life in little ways. Refining me. Purifying me. Making me sparkle.
He has changed my life and my heart. He continues to inspire and create in me new desires that line up with His.
Adoption is one of those desires. After all, I have been adopted.
Every child of God has been.
Galations 4:4-7 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
What a privilege to be a child of God! He changed my name from “slave” to “heir”. My inheritance in Him is great.
Ephesians 1:4-6 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
He looks at me in love and sees not my inclination to gravitate toward my former self. He sees me as holy and blameless. He sees a daughter with whom He is pleased.
I look forward to the day that I can express my love to a boy or girl who has not known this kind of love before. I pray that I will love them with such a fierce and unconditional love that they will never question my motives or whether or not I am pleased with my decision to bring them into my home.
1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
This passage of scripture literally gives me chills. Once I was a nobody, but now I am royalty. I am God’s special possession. God CHOSE me.
One of the most beautiful things about adoption is the opportunity to take a child without a family, and specifically choose that child to be a part of YOUR family. The choice to love a child that was not necessarily your responsibility is such an amazing picture of what God has done for each of us.
I do not know when I will become a mother, but I pray for my children who could quite possibly already be out there somewhere waiting for me. I pray that they would not lose heart. I pray that God protects them from the horrors of this world. I pray that in our time of waiting, we will anticipate with hope the day that we become family.