Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Adventure of a Son with his Father

My favorite place on the planet is where the salty water meets the sandy earth.

The beach.

Oh, just the sound of it makes me happy!

This year we stopped everything for an entire week and sat around where water and land meet. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. But there was one moment in particular that was very special...watching our Zareb experience the beach and ocean waves for the very first time.

It was actually very emotional for me. Let me explain.

My adopted son, from a landlocked African country, finally got to put his toes in the ocean. We flew over that same ocean for hours upon hours last summer. We looked down through the tiny porthole in our airplane and talked about the ocean. We talked about the beach. I promised I would take him there--and that he would love it.

I have seen Zebby do many new things in the 9 months he's been home. I know that look of uncertainty and sometimes terror that he gets when he is unsure of something. I know that telltale shaking of his right hand when he is frightened. I know that tentative gait he takes on when he is scared. I expected to see all of that when we took him to the ocean.

But God.

In the form of my dear husband, God gave me a most gorgeous picture of how He walks me through this life.

You see, as Zeb approached the ocean with that tentative gait, his father came to him and held his hand.

Immediately, Zareb felt assured. This was going to be okay. Not scary.

They ventured out deeper.

Suddenly the water swirled up around ankles and surprised him with a shock of cold. Suddenly what was only "take me to the beach" now had depth in the meaning. It was no longer just a phrase, but it had meaning. Reality. Sensation. Hot, granular, cold, wet, rhythm...all completely unknown to him in the phrase "I'll take you to the beach soon, Zebby."

I couldn't help think in that moment how this is precisely what is going on with us--we look forward to the day we reach Heaven. We know a few things: God will be there, angels, no pain, no sadness, no sin...but we cannot truly grasp the depth of what HEAVEN itself means. We just have to wait until we go.

Just like that...Zeb had in his mind, no doubt, a diminished idea of what the beach really meant. Now he was here: touching, walking, hearing, smelling and tasting what to ocean really meant. That word came to life. And it was a swirling reality he was thrilled with!

Brian and Zeb continued to walk deeper into the ocean. Water around his knees now, he clung to his father's hand and was finding enjoyment in the waves that would come over and over again. Brian would allow him to let go and experience the power in those waves and little Zebby would topple...only to be quickly rescued by his father's strong arms.

I continued to watch the exchange, behind the lens of the camera. God was putting verses in my mind as I watched and I was thinking about heaven. It was a truly swelling moment (accompanied I am sure in heaven by great choruses of angels) when the water became too deep and Zeb's father swept him up safely in his arms and carried him.

The familiar poem "Footprints" came to mind. " was then that I carried you."

Emotion washed over me as I saw my husband play out the role of our loving Heavenly Father.

There was a time in our adoption process that we became frightened. That the fears of the unknown, the naysayers of this world grew loud and we were about to shut it all down and call it all off. We were going to walk away. It was too scary. Too much. We might lose control of our lives! (ha ha, I see that was a GOOD thing now!) During that very intense window of decision the same Father God spoke to Brian's heart. He said distinctly, "Let me bless you."

I continued to watch Zareb cling to Brian and point to go out further, further, further into the ocean. He had no fear at all in his father's arms. I saw them look with delight into each other's faces and I remembered God's words to Brian, "Let Me bless you." Once again, my heart burst.

I think so much happened in those 5-10 minutes that Zareb was introduced to the waters of the deep. Zareb learned again how Daddy is trustworthy and safe. Angels rejoiced over the adventure of a child. When we spoke later, Brian said he too remembered the words of the Lord to his heart and was savoring the joy on the face of his son in his arms.

Adoption is scary. But it is also wonderful. It's like having a daily picture of God self-sacrificing to bring us into His family. It is a continual picture of the wonderful ways that He cares for us as His very own dear children. We are so deeply blessed to have said yes to this major life change called adoption...I for one know I am better for it.


  1. That is such a sweet post. Love the pictures of Brian and Zeb. God is so good to give us such sweet pictures of His great love for us. Love you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...