Welcome Home

Today, I spent several hours of my day reflexing and reminiscing about the day we finalize the adoption of our precious first-born.  The day his last name was forever changed; the day he legally became an Ivey.  Even now, it seems surreal, but it is real with documentation and pictures to prove it.

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June 21, 2012; the day it became official.

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Nick, me, Zeke, Judge Duffey, and Jim Outman
My thoughts kept going back to the day he was born and how we were rushing to get to him.  [I don’t think I have ever seen Nick go so fast in a car].  I thought about all the questions running through my mind on the car ride to the hospital… was he scared?  How soon could I hold him in my arms?  I wondered if he would recognize our voices when he heard us?  Would he connect with us easily?  Would we even be able to contain our excitement and joy despite the circumstances?  Would he know how much we loved him?  Would he know he was home?  {there were WAY more than this, but they do not pertain to the post}.

I had imagined that day a million times.  I had been anticipating what it would be like; what he would be like and look like.  Nothing could have prepared me for the moment we walked through the doors, seeing him laying under a warming light, tanning, waiting for his parents.  Us.  We were his parents.  We were his home.  We were there to get him.  We had been waiting for his arrival.  We knew we were in love with him already, but laying eyes on him changed our lives forever.

I remember getting to be the first one to hold him; it was overwhelming. I remember leaning down, with tear-filled eyes, kissing him on his head, and whispering, “Welcome Home.”

…and just like that our lives were forever changed…

I have had moments where I felt proud of myself as a parents, but I have also had many failures.  I often lay down at night and pray for the Lord to undo any damage I have done to my son, asking forgiveness for my failures as a mom, and asking for grace and second chances for the next day.  I am glad I serve a God of second and third and fourth and fifth chances.  I am also amazed at the (now) two little fellas I have that call me momma and their completely grace-filled love for their imperfect momma.

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As I thought about our adoption story, our son’s life and future, I thought about the adoption process offered to all of humanity.  I thought about how God must feel when we arrive at the feet of Jesus; when we end up at the hospital in need of belonging.  In need of a home.  A real home.  God whispering our name, sending out a beckoning call to our hearts, hoping we would recognize His voice.  Anticipating our recognition of our need for His presence in our life.  Our sovereign God viewing the exact moment in His head over and over again of when you will become His child.  When He will get to hold you in His arms, leaning down, whispering in your ear, “Welcome home!”  The thought is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

It gave our Heavenly Father great pleasure to adopt us into His family.  He wanted to make a way for Him to get to us regardless of darkness and sin in the world.  He loved us so much He made a way for us to be adopted through the death, burial, and resurrection of His perfect and sinless son, Jesus.  Through Jesus, God is saying, “Welcome Home.” He knew even after the first “Welcome home,” we would fail and possibly lose our way, but He would be willing to be the first to say “Welcome home” again and again.  He is wanting us to see our worth on a daily basis.  Maybe even an every minute basis.

He wants us to know… we are His.  We are chosen.  We are loved.  We are worthy.  We are wanted.  We belong.  We are not alone.  We don’t have to feel cold and alone.  We don’t have to be weary.  He is our rest.  He is our refuge.  He is our chain-breaker.  He is our strength. He is our Creator.  We are adopted.  We have a Father.  Welcome Home.

It doesn’t matter how far we wander he is waiting.  He is looking for us.  He has not walked away.  He has arms open wide for those of us who get off course.  He is waiting to say, “Welcome home.”

My prayer is for myself as a parent is that I always resemble Jesus to them.  I want to always be standing with arms wide open waiting for the embrace of my sweet boys ready to lean down and whispering to them, “Welcome home.”  I pray they always know that they are loved, wanted, and that they are never alone… no matter whether mommy is there or not…they are never alone.  I pray they both know they understand the precious gift of adoption and what an unexplainable blessing it truly is.  I pray they know they have a Heavenly Father who loves and adores them.  A Father that will never leave them.  I pray they know they have a grace-filled God who is always willing to say, “Welcome home.”

I hope my boys see that about me, but not just them; the world around me as well. 

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