It is rather a scary thing, I should think, to encounter someone having one of these.
I’ve known a lot of adoptive parents, and have yet to run into one who thinks that they are “sacrificing” by bringing a fatherless child into their home. Rather, we adopted because it is the right thing to do, Scripture commands that we reach out to these children, or perhaps we have a tender spot in our heart from our own upbringing. “Because I wanted to do something sacrificial,” isn’t a motivation I’ve encountered, though.
Even the world gets this. In fact, the other day I read this quote from one famous Mom about her own adopted children:
“When I was growing up I wanted to adopt, because I was aware there were kids that didn’t have parents. It’s not a humanitarian thing, because I don’t see it as a sacrifice. It’s a gift. We’re all lucky to have each other…I suppose I’m giving them the childhood I always wished I had.”
I appreciate the honesty of that statement and resonate with her reason for making a difference in a child’s life. And while I don’t agree with everything this woman does or says, her perspective of being an adoptive Mom grabbed me. It is selfless, at heart. That’s what the Bible calls us to be, isn’t it?
Few people would know this, but a well-known member of the U.S. House of Representatives has invested a lot into the lives of fatherless kids. His story is pretty inspiring.
Watched a couple getting off the connecting flight in Dallas. The puddle-jumper, which the airline more respectably calls a “regional jet,” could not accommodate the usual carry-on luggage. We had to gate-check it, and as we awaited delivery to the jetbridge, they talked quietly. Then the bags were available for us to grab and go, and I observed the young woman going to retrieve one or more of their bags. Odd, I thought, that HE wouldn’t do that job. Inwardly, I shook my head.
“Getting to be an old guy,” I thought, “because a man should always do the heavy lifting. That girlfriend, or wife, whichever she was, should not have to go get the suitcase. Where is chivalry, or common respect anymore?”
At the gate, waiting for the connecting flight home, I watched another couple. They were younger and married, by the rings they each wore on the appropriate finger. She was leaning on his shoulder, dressed attractively, and seemingly content. Why she would be comfortable, I could not figure out. Because there he sat, with a portable game player, thumbs banging away on the controls as he made his way through mazes, or past aliens, or whatever the challenge in front of him was.
He was fully engaged. Actually, fully DISengaged. He seemed absolutely oblivious to his wife. The PSP had his full attention. The woman next to him was not even acknowledged in the least. I pondered what I was seeing, and reflected that there are plenty of times when my wife and I have been simply “talked out,” content to simply be together and not in any particular need of conversation. I’m okay at those moments, and she is as well. Life needs some space. This was not such an occasion, though, it was plain to see. “Wake up, man” I thought. “Set the stupid game down and talk to her!”
Maybe its because my own wife and I are just so tired these days from parenting our children, one of whom has some special needs, that it is hard to even imagine having uninterrupted talk-time. We don’t travel together without them. We have a few dates each month, but often those are more like business sessions, going over some issue related to parenting, home schooling, or the budget, or the calendar.
I guess I projected onto this guy. As I thought some more, I wanted to get in his face and say, ”Hey buddy, what are you doing? You have a pretty wife, she adores you, she wants and needs you to talk with her. Don’t fritter away this prime opportunity for growing closer together and for feeding her soul on a mindless video game.”
That’s what I had rolling around in my mind, alright, when I suddenly realized the Pharisee in me. Oops. Busted.
Suddenly bothered at my own shortcomings, I had to admit there are times – too many, really – when I have an opportunity to talk with my precious wife. She wants and needs me to do that. I want to keep growing closer, to nurture her, to connect. But I easily turn my attentions elsewhere. Instead of running through the day’s events, I succumb to the distractions of email. Instead of sharing some of my heart, I read the newspaper. Instead of talking about the kids, and what’s going on in their lives, I check out, distracted by some arcane activity.
So, on my way home I will cherish in my heart the beautiful wife God has given me. I’ll think of her anew. I’ll determine here and now to avoid the distractions. I’ll renew my attentions to her. I’ll endeavor to get away with her more frequently.
And I think I’ll try to be less judgmental of others at airports.
(If you’d like to hear some dynamic interaction about the nature of marriage, listen to this conversation.)
David Barton is a phenomenal speaker offers a fascinating – and thoroughly documented – look at the religious foundation of the U.S.A.
If you’ve never heard him, hold on – this guy is mighty fast in his delivery! So much to share, so little time…audio presentation here.
Here’s a video clip of David in action.
Good man, great message.