today this was the photo of the day on instagram for #rainbowsandals.
their caption: "keep it in the family".
when i had originally posted the picture, my caption was
"waiting for our boys in Africa to come home. we're coming boys."
"keep it in the family" captured it perfectly. obviously rainbow has no clue the emotional stirring they created in my heart & mind with "keep it in the family".
they have no idea the struggle we have faced emotionally.
there is no reason on earth they could know, but they gave me something beautiful today.
we knew when we decided to adopt two sweet babies from Africa we knew that we were going to face opposition. but we didn't know who it would come from. we knew there would be opinions to our adoption. we weren't prepared for the heartache. some things were going to come from those we didn't even know and others were going to come from those that we trusted and cared for deeply. our minds were ready, but our hearts were not yet guarded. we have heard some super hurtful things about our newly formed family. things that have brought me to tears & to my knees.
the unexpected was we heard things like, "they aren't biological". they aren't "real family". "i think what you are doing is good, BUT..." ultimately the words said were from trusted people & my fears began to set in. fear for these little guys i was bringing into a situation that already had opposition imbedded into the new life they were going to inherit. "BUT GOD"(two of the greatest words ever) blessed me with the simplest of ways. i read this:
"every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of TRUTH, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." james 1:17-18
you see... titus & levi are family. they are gifts given to our family by God, therefore... they are PERFECT. they are perfect blessings because they are given to us by God. you see... i am adopted. not in the initial sense that you might think. but adopted into the family of God. my identity is new in Christ. therefore, my boys adoption is the same; since the example given in scripture of adoption is the adoption into the family of God; they are being welcomed into a family. adoption does not make us different than those in our family, it makes us the same. titus & levi are a "part of a brand-new family, a new tribe, with a new story, a new identity." (adopted for life by russell moore)
our boys will not be identified as "adopted". they will be identified as roughton's. they will be identified as loved. accepted. protected. calling them "adopted" assumes that there is a difference, and inadvertently says they are different than a "regular kid". that is not what adoption is in the essence of a family. & it is not how my boys will be brought up. my son jeremy says it perfectly... "my brother's are not different than me."
with that i say... we "keep it in the family". because that is what we are- family. the 6 of us. blood type, genes, hair color, skin color, race. those things are not the definition of a family. the definition of a family is simple. a place to belong.
titus & levi- they belong. they are bonded to us. they belong to God. he has gifted us with them. we will "keep it in the family". boys... we are coming.