Mercy, Adoption, and Christmas

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As I mentioned yesterday, we visited Brittany's grandmother today. She's 97 and now in a state of decline. Just a few years ago she was a spunky character who "took care of the elderly" at her church... people who were twenty years younger than she.

On the way over, Brittany asked if I was okay. "You've never really dealt with this before, right? I don't know how this is going to affect you."

I tend to let things roll off me, so I don't get tweaked too frequently. But I was reminded today: I'm not into mercy ministry type things. I scored a 2 in mercy when I took a "Spiritual Aptitude" test several years ago. Mercy is a "growth area" for me.

Which is rather odd then, in a way, that I'm working on adopting. I'm not doing it because of a broken heart for the poor children without a home. I'm not doing it because of some emotional tug when I see dirty faces of children with tears in their eyes. I'm not doing it because it's looking after orphans.

I mean, those are all perfectly good things, but those don't resonate with me. I'm pursuing adoption because I expected to have kids, didn't, and so felt that adoption was where we should go. And the more we've explored it, the more we love the idea.

But am I going to be ready for three grieving children who don't speak my language... especially with my less than merciful bent?

Probably not. But there is grace for that as well.

And I'm guessing I may end up over on the brand new Adoptive Parents forum (part of the very useful Sonlight forums). In fact, I've got a question already, and will post it when I get a minute.

But for now, I need to go get ready for a little in-law Christmas gift extravaganza tonight ...where we will celebrate, in an informal and indirect way, God's great mercy He demonstrated to us when He offer to adopt us as sons and daughters.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. The Small Scribbler

    I probably scored a 2 on the mercy part of the spiritual gifts tests as well in my early marriage years. But I have a merciful husband and mercy can be taught. Your wife and children will take you far down the mercy path. Be sure of it.


  2. Julie

    Hey Luke---A cool thing to do when you're married, is to both take the spiritual gifts assesment and compare. My husband and I have nearly opposite gifts (he's real light in the mercy too btw) and it's so cool how they then complement each other. You know how they say you "become One" with your mate? Well, look how God sets that up right from day one!! Together, my husband and I make one well gifted person w/all our bases covered!!! LOL!

  3. Mrs. C

    Well, I hope this doesn't sound cold, but adopting kids because you're into zero population growth or thinking you're some kind of rescuer doesn't sound to me like a great way to grow your family.

    It should be because you want the kid. Maybe those ideas might PLAY INTO why you choose adoption, but you know, it's all about the children. These children are going to be sooo blessed.

    I'm very excited for you both. It has to be unbearable to wait, though!!! I would go nuts not knowing what's going on with my kids on the other side of the world. On the one hand, I feel like maybe I shouldn't bring that up b/c it would upset you and on the other probably you think this ALL DAY and just don't talk about it.

    Luke, you and Brittany and the kids have been in my prayers, but specially the safety of those children while they are waiting.

    Hugs to you guys.

  4. mary grace

    As someone who turned towards adoption when God made it clear that the biological path was closed to us, I have to say that my own leanings in that area were far from "merciful" when we first put our feet to the path. It's only now, after much working in my heart on God's behalf, that I look into the eyes of orphans from around the world and think, "Yup. There's always room for one more." Let God's goodness and grace lead you, and He will land you right where you need to be ... which is probably somewhere in the territory of continual growth. :-)

  5. Luke

    Kate, I believe it. I hope we both survive my long journey toward becoming more merciful <smile>.

    Julie, excellent reminder. My wife is far more merciful than I... and that's good. She also has the diplomacy and tact in our family as well, though I have come a ways <smile>.

    Mrs. C, I love your perspective on things <smile>. And, yes, when I think about it, it is maddening. But, honestly, there's nothing to do--besides pray... which I should be doing more of--while we wait, so I tend not to even think about it. It's something I'm doing, but I don't feel particularly involved with it. It's really an odd place to be. We definitely appreciate the prayers and the hugs!

    Mary Grace, astute as ever. Great points. And I am, by the grace of God, on the path of continual growth... but I tend to limp along <smile>.

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. I love hearing from every one of you!


  6. Sue

    "But there is grace for that as well."

    You're right, Luke, there certainly is. Somehow when children are in your home and in need, by God's grace you are able to pull out gifts you never knew you had to help them through.

    My husband and I are parents to two beautiful gifts from God. I'm sure most everyone has deep love for their children, but it seems even sweeter to hold them in my arms since we also had to wait a long time for them. Infertility took a toll on us as individuals, but strengthened our marriage and made our children seem that much more special to us.

    I'll be reading for more updates about your adoption process.

  7. Luke

    Thank you, Sue, for your kind words. They are very much appreciated!