Andre and his siblings watched in fear as their mother and her boyfriend argued. The kid’s were sent to their room, but the fighting escalated. Andre couldn’t take it any longer. He came out of the bedroom just in time to see his mother holding a knife to the eye of her boyfriend threatening to kill him.
Andre on far left. His biological brother is on far right. Two in the middle are his adopted brothers.
The next day CPS showed up removing all four children placing them in a shelter until a foster family was found to take them.
Andre was about five years old.
A few weeks later Andre and his siblings had their first visit with their mother. The visit took place in a typical state office building used by CPS. The family met in a small room that had a two-way window for observation. The kids were all excited. But then the hour was over and confusion set in.
The kids didn’t understand why they couldn’t leave with their mom. Crying. Screaming. Tugging.
Confusion. Fear. Anger.
I watch the news, read the articles and browse the social media posts. Protesters with hands in the air shouting, “Don’t shoot.” Athletes wearing t-shirts saying, ” I can’t breathe.”
I admit that I am conflicted. I have friends who are black. And, I have friends who are police officers.
Not ever been in their shoes I can’t fully appreciate the stress that a police office faces every day on the job.
A couple of weeks ago I hung out with a friend who is a police officer. I heard his stories about stress on the job, encountering people who did the unpredictable and the scrutiny police officers are under these days.
As a white man, I will never understand what it is like to live life as a black man.
But I want to try to understand.
I know. You are in the midst of shopping for Christmas presents. You have a list of people who expect to get a gift from you. You only have 13 shopping days left until Christmas! Feeling stressed yet?
Can I bother you to ask whether you are even paying attention to how much you are spending on Christmas. Or do you say what many others say, “I will worry about that next month.”
Don’t do it!
Here is what will happen if you charge all of your Christmas presents on a credit card with the current average interest rate and you pay only the minimum payment each month:
How much will you spend on Christmas presents this year?
You may have heard before that with every adoption there is loss. If a child needs a forever family, it is because something went very wrong. When a family adopts a child, the future of that child is forever altered.
When we began fostering our son, I don’t think I had a real grasp on the influence we had on his future, regardless whether he became a part of our forever family or not. But once we adopted him, I began to see that we had indeed changed his destiny.
(Our son) obviously has not inherited any physical genetics from Danielle or me, but his destiny has been completely altered by our family. What he now will inherit emotionally and spiritually is drastically different from what he would have inherited from his biological family.Adopting the Father's Heart
We tend to judge the world around us by a standard we would resent being held to ourselves. Two things we forget. It’s not our place to judge the world. And, it’s not judgement day yet. That’s to come later.
Today is the day of favor. If it was the day of judgment, think about how doomed we all would be if not for grace. God is not here to condemn and judge just yet. He is here to set the captives free.
What is Jesus’ Mission?
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Our four-year-old son throws a fit when we mention giving away something that he considers his own. It can be a broken toy that he hasn’t touched in months, but as soon as I try to throw it away or give it to someone else—the dam holding back the crocodile tears breaks loose!
Something inside all of us feeds this hoarder mentality. I hope you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday without any concussions or remorse over the amount of debt accumulated. Sadly, this year Black Friday continued its encroachment into Thanksgiving day with many stores opening Thanksgiving evening.
Our god-daughter turned 10 years-old a few weeks ago. She is the oldest of four children ages six to 10. We pray all the time for the health and safety of their parents! It’s hard to imagine that our god-daughter is 10 already. Danielle was in the delivery room for her birth what seemed like just a couple of years ago.
Danielle put together a birthday present for her consisting of different crafty items. It was a simple present. When we arrived at their house, the kids were outside running and playing. They always greet us with enthusiasm then go on with whatever game they have going on.
Seven years ago this month Danielle and I rode quietly in a taxi for the hour or so ride from Pattaya to Bangkok. We were on our way to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. If we had not purchased round trip tickets, I am not sure we would have returned. At least not then.
Arriving in Thailand May 2007
We each looked out our own side window lost in our own thoughts trying to hold our emotions in. I find it hard to believe that it has been seven years since that day.
We spent our last two days in Pattaya saying good-bye to people who in just a few months had become life-long friends. I can still feel the strong sense of loss I felt deep within me.
Something deep inside of each us wants to explore our life story. We sit at the feet of our grandparents to hear stories about our family history. Many research through endless records to find out their ancestry. But what if you were adopted and didn’t know who your family was?
Not every adopted child has the opportunity to know much if anything about their biological family. They might have been adopted from an orphanage that has no information about their family. Or, their adoptive family might have decided to not pass on their biological family information.
Wisdom is more precious than silver or gold and freely given to those who will accept it. No, these saying are not mine! You can find them in the book of Proverbs.