A few weeks ago Danny and one of our sons, Amaus, were out and about running errands. Amaus saw the ever-so-common billboard in our area that boasts the amount of money that can be won in the Louisiana lottery. Amaus immediately asked Danny about this sum of money, and his first response was, “Whoa! We could pay for an adoption with that money! Right, Daddy?”
This isn’t the first time that one of our kids has equated money with adoption. No indeed. They’ve lived for the last five years where we have. Trusting God to provide every penny of a mind-boggling sum of money to bring our three children home from Peru. That has indefinitely transformed the way they think. Riches to them means adoption. If a person had a grand sum of money, in their minds, they could adopt as many children-children who would otherwise never have a mama or a daddy- as they wanted to!
Over the last week I cannot stop thinking about the final scene of Schindler’s List. If you’re not familiar with this film, it follows the story of a man who used his wealth to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. But the final scene. That final scene…I haven’t seen the movie in years but for some reason this final scene has been on repeat in my mind for the last week.
The final scene of the film is set after the war is over. The Jews whose lives had been saved by Schindler, make him a ring as a gift of thanks. In that overwhelming moment, Oskar Schindler crumbles as he realizes how much more he could have done. He looks at his car and realizes that if he’d not bought it, he could have rescued ten more Jews. He looks at his pendant attached to his coat and realizes that if he’d simply done without it, he could have rescued one or two more Jews. He continually repeats, “I could’ve got more. I could’ve got more…If I’d made more money. I threw away so much money. You have no idea.”
Please watch the clip HERE.
After seeing what real life looks like in the faces of orphans made into sons and daughters. I will never be the same. I will never feel like it is enough. There is nothing quite like the miracle of God bringing a child to life in a family. It is a front row seat to redemption. As long as I have breath in my body, I will not stop fighting for those who have no voice. Those who are sleeping in rows of cribs, rocking back and forth and trying to entertain their minds in the middle of starvation and neglect.
I will not stop advocating for those children who are smashed into rooms and only pray that someday someone will notice them and come for them. I will not stop advocating for those who are broken and abused. Those little ones who have to steal and do favors for the few caregivers in their orphanages to actually have a little to eat. I will not stop speaking up for those whose greatest wish is to know what it really feels like to be loved by a mama and a daddy.
I can’t. I have seen what happens when their dreams come true. What a selfish and pitiful person I would be to realize what this kind of redemption looks like- to see the miracles God has allowed me to behold- and ever call it enough.
Danny and I are often asked if our family is now complete. We are often asked if we will have any future children. A strange thing happened in us about five years ago. That’s when we handed God the pen and allowed Him to start writing the story of our family. We came to a place of seeing that He wanted us to surrender the borders we once placed on what was normal, possible in our own strength, and comfortable. He has completely transformed our family. We don’t consider our family’s story as one that we put within a hard-back book with a set number of pages. We didn’t tell God He could write whatever He wanted in the interior of this family book, but He had to stop when He hit the back cover because, “we were done.” We felt sure that He desired us to hand Him an un-bound family book reminiscent of a pile of loose-leaf. We felt certain He was asking us to allow Him to bind up the pages of that family book when it was time. But until He’s handed us that finished and bound family book with the ending declaring, “Now your family is complete,” we wait with open minds, hearts, and hands for whatever He might call us to do.
We have not found this kind of surrender burdensome or overwhelming. Rather, we have learned more than ever before about what He means when His strength is operating in our weakness. Our kids have become more selfless and our home is filled with joy. Sure, there are new challenges with more in the house. There is always something to overcome. But we have known greater peace, victory, and freedom living in this realm than we ever knew when we walked in a world of controlling what we would permit God to do through us.
There are an estimated 163 million orphans in the world. That is a grand number, but each one of them has a real heart, real feelings, and real needs.
So I am continually finding myself looking at billboards and driving through fast-food chains asking myself…
“What about that one more person? How would they be impacted if I could lay a little more down.”