We were having a family discussion about the prayer requests that our kids share in school. I asked the probing question to our 9, 10, and 13 year old why would they bother asking the class to pray for something. I asked if they really believed that God was listening to them and really answered prayer. It was a loaded question of course but I wanted them to think about it.
They all three at first gave the canned answer of yes. Then I asked them to give me an example of God actually changing circumstances or doing something that was impossible as an answer to prayer. You could see their minds racing with conflict. They couldn't believe that their preacher daddy was really asking them if God was real and really answered prayers. They were struggling to come up with proof to prove to their dad that God was really listening.
Judah, our 10 year old was adamant. He was struggling with coming up with a proof example of answered prayer, but he was sure in his belief that God answers prayers.
Jacy Klaire, our 13 year old, chimed in with confident faith in both who God is and His answering of prayers. She started naming off specific answers to prayers in our family. She said she had prayed for God to give her a friend and now she has several close friends. She prayed for a youth group that she could be a part of and God answered her prayer. As a family we prayed that God would make it clear how we could minister to people here once we left the mission field and now I am preaching. She was convinced and there was not swaying her.
Josie Kate, our 9 year old, was not as positive. She definitely wanted to believe that God answered prayers and she loved our prayer times but she was struggling with a definite answer to prayer on which to anchor her belief. I began to share about a family that had received a huge answer to prayer.
I shared how the mom had prayed for God to open the door for them to be able to adopt a little baby girl that was in foster care. I shared how the agency didn't think it would be possible for them to adopt her but the mommy kept praying for God to do the impossible. Tears began to fill Josie's eyes as she realized that I was telling her story. She couldn't help but come over and bury her head into my leg as I talked about a real God answering real prayers. It was a sweet time. But then my heart got broken.
Joy came over and took Josie into her arms. Josie just cried. She said that some kids in school had been asking her about her "real parents". Josie said her response to them was that she didn't care about that. I could see such deep pain in my little girl's eyes. It was a pain that parents can't stand to see.
The pain was not from the kids' questions really. The pain was just from the depth of her coming to understand her adoption. We explained that WE are her "real parents". We were honest and transparent about the fact that her birth parents could not care for her and loved her enough to let us adopt her. We talked about how God had designed her to be my girl and He designed me to be her dad. The same with Joy and the rest of the family. She was not born into our family but she was designed as a member of our family.
For the first time since we adopted those four little rascals I HATED that they were adopted. I hated that they were going to have to deal with that truth and the related issues. I was tucking Josie Kate in and she just kept hugging me and thanking God that he made me her daddy as she cried. She said she could just cry tears of joy all night long.
It wasn't just tears of joy that Joy and I cried as we went to bed. It was deep pain. The only consolation was knowing for certain that the original question I asked about God being real and answering prayers is clearly answered in the affirmative. God is real. God does answer prayers. Please pray for the adopted families you know in your life. They need it.