A Dad’s Perspective
Four days into Kid’s Camp, and this dad is still emotionally processing. That’s what us guys do. We process. Slowly. (Yes! We can process emotions! It just takes us longer.) Women can go straight to “emotion-land” like we men to “fix-it-land.” It’s in their wiring. I’m wired for analysis, logic, and a bit of deep thinking.
Although I’m still processing emotionally, I have made one logical conclusion: my adoption story is no prettier than yours. There are so many really cool stories out there! Here at Kid’s Camp we’re witnessing an early chapter in what will be an amazing story for these young campers. Although our family adopted internationally, that doesn’t make our orphan-come-son any more precious, from the Father’s perspective, than a biological child, a child adopted domestically, or a special needs child. My story’s circumstances are simply irrelevant to God’s huge heart for kids, redemption, and restoration.
Harrison (Chinese orphan) enjoying Thanksgiving evening with Brandon (domestically adopted).
Looking back at Kid’s Camp photos like the one above, my heart is instantly filled! I could tell from our first interaction Brandon was locked into a redemptive and restorative mission. He came out service-focused, and, in doing so, connected well with Harrison.
It really didn’t matter to Harrison that Brandon was adopted. And Brandon didn’t seem to care that Harrison didn’t speak any English, had cleft lip and cleft palate, or had the Apple logo carved into his hair (no kidding – it’s actually really cool!) What mattered most was God’s redemptive work, in Brandon’s story realized. And, now, in Harrison’s story being planted!
[I paused writing here to emotionally process, to worship, to give thanks! Amazing seeds are planted at Kid’s Camp!]
No matter how your adoption story was (or is being) written, it is not a tale to boast about in comparison to other’s stories. Rather, it stands alone against the amazing backdrop of the larger story, God’s incredible redemptive work.
God’s character, how scripture solidifies it, and the way many stories throughout history can attest, consistently indicate His heart towards man. For restoration He has an incredible, insatiable desire. He desires to redeem us and to restore our broken hearts. And I can see that desire clearly playing out at Kid’s Camp. I can envision Jesus right there with us, playing out his famous Isaiah 61 recitation as recorded in Luke 4. When he rolled up the scroll, as Luke writes, I can imagine the original mic-drop moment! Reading Luke in it’s entirety reveals a consistent drum-beat of healing, restoration, and ultimately redemption.
Jesus so desires to bring this same Good News to the 11 young image bearers attending Kid’s Camp. That should be our desire, too. For our role in advocating on behalf of vulnerable children is much bigger than facilitating a healthy forever-family connection. It’s really about facilitating opportunities for God’s story to come into their story. Facilitating the Good News to become real in their lives, making way for redemption and restoration. So instead of reveling in our own awesome story, or comparing notes to everyone else’s, perhaps we should focus our primary energy towards redemption and restoration.
Don’t get me wrong. My adoption story is beautiful, romantic, cool, inspiring, significant. At least to our family it is. However, as I’ve had time to process my own story, I realize something larger, more significant is at play. This larger thing changes lives and offers hope. It’s God’s story playing out in front of me and including me. That’s the sexiest story any of us will ever encounter.
I encourage you to pray this with me: Father God, thank you for including me in your story. Thank you that my story is overshadowed by your redemptive, restorative work. I’m glad! Thank you for investing in me, desiring my restoration. Thank you for infusing your heart into Lifeline Children’s Services. Your mission permeates their mission. Use Lifeline and all the Kid’s Camp volunteers to plant seeds of redemption, restoration, and hope in the 11 campers. Let your story be amazing!
Written by William Good, a Lifeline Adoptive Father and Kids Camp Volunteer