17 hours ago
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
How Older Child Adoption is like Pointillism
Seurat never knew that he painted pictures of older child adoption when he painted picnickers by the river. It is only through our own adoption experience that I think Seurat painted with more realism than Reubens. Indeed, his images are grainy with undetermined borders when viewed up close, but there is a complex working out of a deeper story. There is a deliberate dot of color here and one over there. Over a year home with my son fast approaching nine, I reflect that God's pointillism builds trust.
#1 When you adopt an older child, you may have fallen in love with a grainy photo emailed to you and find the reality less endearing. Take heart. Adoption is a painting in progress. We don't have to have an inkling on the finished work, when we know God is the Painter. He can be trusted.
#2 When you adopt an older child, you don't know what personality, preferences or hang-ups your child will have. To flourish in the new relationship, your commitment has to be more intentional. A dot gets painted where you don't expect it, and a heart begins to beat on a canvas chest.
And that begs the question, When will my child be able to reciprocate love?
There is no guarantees your child will like you, appreciate you or even feel gratitude for filling out a thousand forms and flying across the world to bring them into a family. Focus on your own responses and willingness to love like Jesus...unconditionally.
#3 When you adopt an older child, you may find it hard to determine past shadows of institutional living from current fears and current fears from "certain" futures. If the dots get blurred when you are living in the now, be assured, the Painter's brush is in control. God makes families. His love is unfailing and his provision is sufficient for the need. He is an artist that can paint outside our perfect little lines and make something more beautiful and redemptive than what we could ever dream up on our own.
#4 When you adopt an older child, remember that the world is watching. You chose an uncommon path. Thus, there will always be more curious onlookers, gawkers and criticism. In the heat of the colors, you can choose to focus on the serene patches of blue. There will be times to teach others what adoption really means, and it will surprise your listeners and perhaps inspire. There will be times to remove yourself from the public forum. There will be times to swipe the paintbrushes out of the naysayers' hands that would paint adoption as an evil uprooting. With so much input, you'll have to let God be the decider of motives, successes and areas to improve.
#5 When you adopt an older child, you are going to see pointillism to the Holy. I discovered the joy of meditating on Scripture, singing praises to God in the car, and thanking Jesus for the eye-opener adoption is into His great pursuit of me. You can let every blip of pigment and dot of life point you back to Christ. Even when the paint seems smudged and the big picture fathomless, you can pray to see God's vision cast over your child.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11
#6 When you adopt an older child, if you understand that you are no different than your child, you will find empathy, compassion and hope. Those growing specks of crushed color are telling a rich story. God is at work in the marrying of our children to our family and the marrying of us to Him. Indeed, I am the adopted older child of the Lord's beautiful commitment. I guess that means, Seurat, you depicted me.