It’s been a long time since I have had time to write a blog. This blog I want to achieve two goals. First, I want to write briefly about adoption. Second, I want to show off pictures of Chiza Riegler, who came home on April 20th! I’ll have a lot of stories to share and write about Chiza in the near future, but for today I’ll be brief and stay on those two topics.
Paul writes of our spiritual adoption from slaves to children of God in Ephesians 1 and Galatians 4.
Ephesians 1: 3-14
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
Galatians 4: 4-7
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
When you look at those two verses you see that we were spiritual orphans in need of a Father who would care for us, and He reached down and He made us His children (before the earth was even created!). When we realize this it makes sense for us to care for all the orphans around us. Now when you read verses like James 1:27 it makes complete sense. It is our duty to care for orphans, because we were orphans.
When you think of how that applies to you, myself included, it’s shocking. To think how I was walking in filth, thinking back at what my character was like, it’s embarrassing, living a life of sin and selfishness. And yet, God reached down and loved me because He chose me, and through my relationship with Jesus, I am now His. Everything in our life is based on His mercy.
I heard this similar reference to adoption once from a pastor. I want to change and alter some things he said to make it directly applicable to Chiza:
Before Chiza was even born, before he was abandoned in Kinshasa, he had a mom and dad who were planning to adopt him. While he was alone in an orphanage, with no one to hold him, wipe his tears, and love on him, he had a mom and dad working towards bringing him home. While he was in foster care for almost two years, he had a mom and dad working, praying, and desperately longing to wrap our arms around him, and give him an endless amount of hugs, kisses, and I love yous. On April 20th, 2015, when the day finally came and we held him in our arms, Chiza had no idea everything we had to do to get him to that point. This orphaned, abandoned, boy has become our beautiful son not because he pursued us, but because we pursued him, before he was even born.
And that is how care for orphans ties directly into Ephesians. Adoption begins at the parents’ initiative, not with a child’s invitation. Nothing Chiza did on his own could have made us pursue him for adoption. Nothing we do on our own could save us. We are powerless. But with God there is hope. With God all things are possible.
Best way I have heard this explained is this: It’s not about us rescuing Chiza, it’s about the fact that Jesus rescued us. When I think of that. It’s beautiful. We are children of God. We are no longer orphans, we have a loving father, and we are a part of an everlasting family. We want to show our love and desire to help orphans because it represents what God did for us. This is a chance to show it.
With that said, enjoy the pictures of Chiza Riegler!
A journey spanning over two years.
The first few minutes he arrived were so surreal. Waiting years for this moment, it seemed like a dream to have him actually with us.
He’s got a massive kick. After kicking he falls over smiling.
This is our first family of five picture ( I love the way “family of five” sounds!). It was later and we were all in pajamas when we realized it was the first day all five of us were together, so we took a pajama picture.
Naomi, of course, wanted to kiss Chiza….he didn’t like it then. Now he gets a cute little smirk and kisses back.
A dawning reality, getting pictures of all three of our kids all looking at a camera will be nearly impossible.
Chiza throws himself down a slide without any thought. He is fearless.
The first several days were a struggle with food…until he was introduced to Pizza King.
Inside a tent we created. Chiza thought it was hilarious.
I love this look. He will be in deep thought, then catches you looking at him, and this is the smile he does. Melts my heart.