Today marks the fourth anniversary of adopting TM. All of us have come such a long way since that afternoon in Danang, watching our new son work on demolishing the ceremony room and shorting out the air conditioning. Where the agency representative told us more than once that what we were doing was irrevocable. Realizing that this was going to be far more difficult than J. and I had ever imagined. We've come so far I can hardly believe it sometimes. Not only was that first year marked by learning to help TM process and manage his extreme anger and grief, but probably more difficult was realizing the illusion that I had it all together was just that, an illusion. During that period I discovered the depth of sin that lived within me. Anger, grief, frustration, and despair in one person have a tendency to bring out those same emotions in others.
In hindsight, the whole process has been a gift. On the most obvious level, we now have a son whom we adore. And one who is all the more precious because of the battle we waged for him. But there has been another result; one that I would have never dreamed of. That is of my own need for Jesus. I grew up in a Christian home and made a commitment to Christ at the age of 7. I was always the 'good' girl. Other than knowing intellectually that I needed a savior, I never really felt that there was much to be saved from. But parenting TM changed all that. What I learned about myself and learning what was within me horrified me. "Good" girls don't feel what I sometimes felt. It was as if a monster lurked within me and I had had no idea it was there. Sometimes I was so consumed by these emotions that it felt as though it was only through God's grace that they remained just emotions. I felt ugly and horrible. But Jesus. I learned with every part of my being that I needed a savior. Because only Jesus could love someone like I felt. And not only love, but redeem and make new. Only Jesus could make the monster disappear.
So, as we celebrate the adoption of our son tonight, I celebrate not only gaining a son but gaining my Savior and as a result my life as well.