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James 1:27 – “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction”

Sunday, November 28, 2010


As I sit in our apartment in EE today and think about all that has transpired in the past year, it is a little overwhelming.  It has been a year since I “happened” upon Reece’s Rainbow.  I was reading an adoption blog that mentioned RR, so I clicked on the link.  That is how it all started…..  I couldn’t stop looking at the pictures of these children, these “hidden treasures”.  I received a lot of good hearted teasing from my family.  “Oh, no, Mom’s looking at RR again.”   Then, wouldn’t you know it, my children started looking at the RR kids and we were all following the journeys of many of the families who were in the process of adopting.  We had just brought our son home from Ethiopia in July 2009, so I assumed that another adoption was out of the question. 

In May 2010, my husband told me of his interest in bringing another child into our family.  We had some rough patches at the beginning of the process, but we persevered and in June 2010 started the process to bring our “Jenny” home.

Adoption is an amazing, scary, wonderful, emotional process.  It stretches you spiritually, mentally and physically.  We ask a lot of our children at home, of our relatives who are taking care of our children, our friends, and our church.  We have been blessed that we have received their help, support and prayers.

Back in December 2009, I came across a blog post that told of a man, who was a champion of orphans, named, Derek Loux.  Sadly, he had passed away due to a serious car accident.  He and his wife have adopted many children and run a ministry for orphan care.  Derek and his wife had been in EE in December of 2008 to adopt three special needs children.  He wrote a post about their adoption experience and his emotions at the time.  I read it in December of 2009.  It had a great impact on me.  Just yesterday, I felt compelled to find that post on the Internet so that I could read it again.  After searching for about an hour, Tom found it and we read it together.  Powerful!  God truly spoke to Derek and I’m so glad that he shared it with the rest of us.  Here is the text.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I did.  Please keep the Loux family in your prayers during this Christmas season.  I’m sure Derek’s absence is still strongly felt by all of them.  Thank you, Derek, for your words of wisdom.

Redemption by Derek Loux - Friday, December 12, 2008

"Renee’ and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novograd Valenski, Ukraine, using wireless internet.  We are in the middle of adopting three special needs boys from an orphanage here.  Two of the boys have Down Syndrome.  Roman is high functioning, energetic and happy.  Dimitri has serious mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is the size of a 1 year old.  He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him. Because he has less ability to respond and learn, he naturally gets less attention and care from the orphanage workers in this world of limited resources.  The harsh reality of the “survival of the fittest” principle is a life and death struggle that this little boy is losing fast.  Our third boy Sasha, is a brilliant six year old who has Spina Bifida (the condition our son Josiah died from in 1996). He is like a learning sponge that can’t get enough! He is happy and alert and thirsty for knowledge and experience.  So with two of our boys, we get an immediate return on any investment we make.  With Dimitri, there’s not much immediate gratification. In fact, it’s unknown when and if there will be a return at all. This is the kind of situation that makes the carnal, fallen, human reasoning think, “Why try?  What’s the point?  What will this produce?  What good will this do?  Why not select a boy who has more potential?  This looks like a lost cause.

Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri’s house. The day had been long, we were still recovering from jet lag, I was beginning to really miss my six daughters at home and all the familiar things our fragile human hearts entangle themselves with in feeble attempts to feel secure. Sitting in the dark on our very long drive back to Novograd that night, the Holy Spirit began to whisper to my heart, and new understanding about redemption began to take shape.

I was thinking, “Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable … and it doesn’t feel very rewarding right now.” What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What if Dimitri doesn’t improve at all? What if we get “nothing” out of this? … Ahhh, there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the tree of the knowledge of “good and evil”. The love the Greeks called “erao” love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can get out of it. This is unlike “agapeo” love, the God kind of love that treats someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It’s when I love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love into my weak heart, and He’s using little Dimitri to do it.

On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, “This is Redemption. Derek, do you know how far I traveled to get you and bring you back? I had to be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick, damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption.

My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can’t even really appreciate or comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what is about to happen to him … but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy, I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly “Papa” feels towards us.

Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to “pay Him back”. You’ll never get close you goofy little kid."