Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Year Ago, In a Land Far Away, A Family was Born

“I love you much”. The best hugs ever. Loves her “running shoes”. Eats cherry tomatoes like they’re candy. Poops for chips. Energetic is an understatement. Hates going to sleep. Book lover. Wants to eat at Moe’s several times a week. Sits still so that mommy will paint her toes. Loves being swaddled with a big towel after a bath and completely tucked in from head to toe before going to sleep. Party girl. Center of attention everywhere she goes. Good at ripping lettuce for a salad. Vociferous. Loves to swing at the park. Master manipulator. Unusually well-behaved for a child. Can eat a fully loaded 6” sub at Subway restaurant, with a side of chips. Happy. Bossy. Cell phones and cameras are her favorite “toys”. Doesn’t like being dirty. A good sleeper. Eats most everything. Gregarious. Charming. Lovely. Funny. That’s Peanut, in a nutshell.

My heart leaps for joy when I see her. To say that I love her just doesn’t seem to describe the full sense of the word. The Greeks have several words to distinguish love, and poets have innumerable ways of describing love towards others. The love I feel is more of a melting sensation. I get lost looking into Anya’s eyes these days, those perfectly shaped, sparkling ocean blue eyeballs. She seems to have only pure joy and happiness, and I just want to crawl in there to experience for myself what it is that she finds so magical. She is magnetic and it makes me want to protect her with all of my being from anything or anyone who might extinguish even a little bit of her essence. More profound, is the love that God has for us, and that it remains unearthly imaginable how great his love is. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” Matt 10:15. There is where her joy and happiness are derived. If I will just simplify my life a little more like a child’s, I’ll be able to spend more time in God’s presence, like Anya does every day.

I’m not as diligent as I’d hope to be in teaching Anya about God, reading her Bible, and especially about praying. I fall miserably short in taking time to pray and study God’s word. So it surprised me last week when I asked Anya what she would like to thank God for, and she said “Jesus”. I’ve never asked her this question before. My first thought at her answer was, ‘Does she understand what she is saying’? Probably like many adults, I don’t give children much credit. She knows things I don’t know she knows. And beyond that, I believe she already has a very spiritually filled life, one that I am completely unaware of, and one that needs to be habitually nurtured. Children are a gift from God, and I’m thankful to be reminded of it and my responsibility to raise her as His child. After all, this is truly the only way God can assure her continued joy and happiness.

Travis and I feel God’s extreme favor in placing Anya into our family, and we feel like we got the best child ever adopted. I laugh, but it’s totally true. She’s all ours, and no one else can have her. All glory to God for the wonderful gift He has graciously placed in our family. Happy Gotcha Day Baby!!