As an update, Kieran’s treatments have gone well. We finished the first round in March and will do another in July. Late July we will head back to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in St. Louis to see how the IV infusions have been affecting him. They will then determine if he is ready for leg surgery or will need more treatments first, and then check again later.
Thank you so much for your prayers and please continue to pray for healing for Kieran and wisdom for the doctors as they determine the best course of action for him.
Now for more behind our adoption story….
When I first announced our referral for Kieran last May 2012, I promised to share with you more about how God led us specifically to him, but I was unable to do so then because we had not yet passed court. Last February, I shared one part of that story (starting in the 6th paragraph of this post), and now I would like fill in a few more details of what God showed me in that month preceding Easter 2012, the month in which I vowed not to ask or speak about adoption until we finished our Lenten fast. (Funny how God is able to speak to us better when we are silent!)
The next weekend after God announced to me (while watching the “Hugo” movie) that now-named Kieran was to be our son, I flew off to an adoptive mom’s retreat in Atlanta, GA called Created for Care. The theme song during the retreat was “Beautiful Things” by Gungor—a new song at the time. It’s about how God makes beautiful things out of the dust. I was soaking in all the adoptive mommy encouragement I could get, so I didn’t think a lot about the song at the time until I got home. Click on the song title above to hear it or here is an excerpt:
All this pain,
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way?
I wonder if my life could really change… at all?
All this earth,
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come out from this ground… at all?
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
A few days after I returned from the retreat while having my quiet time, I felt God speak to me, as he did through Eli to Hannah, these words:
Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him. (1 Sam 1:17)
I had been praying for more than two years for Him to bring to us the boy He had promised. I had also known for almost two years that God had given me his Bible name: Solomon. (God had given me each of the other kids’ Bible middle names). Now I had been praying hard about this boy named “Sage” on the Waiting Child List, thinking this might be our boy. And like Hannah, after years of praying, I felt God was saying that now was the time He was going to grant that prayer and that I should go in “peace” (“Solomon” in Hebrew means “peace.”)
Really God?? Is it finally time!?
Then right there in my favorite spot on the couch, the Words on the pages of my Bible jumped out at me. In 1 Sam 2:8, Hannah prayed:
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
He seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
Did you know that was in Hannah’s prayer? I didn’t! In an instant, like a fast forward of clips in a movie, I saw all the promises and past pieces of the puzzle that God had shown me one by one, suddenly fall together. I wish I could describe that instant to you—I will do my best!
The song above about how God forms beautiful things out of the dust converged with these verses about raising the poor and needy from the dust and ashes which converged with all the memories I have of walking in Ethiopia where the poor and lame sit in the dust of the streets, day after day, waiting for someone to hand them a coin or a piece of bread. This is most likely where this crippled 15 year old boy “Sage” would end up if no one adopted him before he turned 16 because he would have no means of getting to school or doing manual labor to make a living for himself.
In this same instant, I looked up at my old 6-seat dining room table and instead pictured my family sitting at the table I had long dreamed of that seated 8 and was huge and round. In that same instant, I remembered the story of another son of King David’s that was crippled as a small child and adopted into David’s family: Mephibosheth.
In those days, a person who was lame would have no rights or land or dignity. Even after King David told Mephibosheth, “I will surely show you kindness… and restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table,” Mephibosheth himself bowed down and told King David, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” (2 Sam 9:7-8)
King David adopted this son of his best friend Jonathan and promised that he would always sit at his table. In essence, Mephibosheth grew up right alongside Solomon, with the same rights and dignity as the boy Solomon who would eventually become the successor to the King!!
So in this same instant, I pictured “Sage/Solomon” filling the 8th seat at my new Round Table! Do you see it—round like a king’s Round Table?? In this vision, my Solomon and my Mephibosheth became one person, and though our family is not rich or kings by any stretch of the imagination, we know that we are rich through Christ with God’s grace! And we are rich with blessings of love and family stability that I never want to take for granted. Michael has always reminded our kids that they have “a charmed life.” Though far from perfect, our family has a richness that far outweighs any monetary richness we could ever accumulate.
Thus, God showed me that he was going to lift this boy that he loved and had not forgotten out of the dirty streets of Ethiopia where he would beg for food, and put him into our family where he would become an heir to our throne, as meager as it is, and would never want for food or medical help or school again. Our King Jesus would change him from Mephibosheth into King Solomon!
(Interesting aside: I never thought about the made up English name the agency gave him for anonymity on the Waiting Child List, Sage, until months later. I always thought of the color or the herb, but if you look up Sage in the dictionary, you will find “one who is wise.” Who do you think of when you think of the wisest man on earth? King Solomon??)
As confirmation, at the end of last January, in the very same moments when someone yelled upstairs to me that the truck had arrived to deliver our new round table, I was hearing the then new song “Kings and Queens” by Audio Adreniline on the radio. Here is an excerpt and the video—a must see!
Boys become kings, girls will become queens, wrapped in your majesty, when we love the least of these
If not us, then who will be like Jesus to the least of these?