Home Study: CHECK!
Amy and I were excited last week when we got an email from our social worker, Leslie. Attached was a draft copy of our home study. Leslie had been working diligently to finalize the written portion, compiling background checks, medical releases and summarizing our life’s history. What a daunting task writing a home study must be.
We poured over the details of the home study. It’s really a strange feeling, reading your story as written by someone you don’t know that well. She described each member of our immediate family, our earliest memories as children and every school we ever attended.
She documented the good, the not-so-good and the honesty of who we are. All of it done for the sake of displaying who we are so that people in another country can determine whether we are fit to be parents or not. It’s very surreal at moments.
All of this to say that we are finished with our home study, which means very soon we’ll be FedEx-ing an envelope full of papers that represent months of work to our lawyer in another country. Amy and I are playing a mini Price Is Right game, trying to guess the shipping costs for sending a packet of documents to South Asia.
Reading back through the document made me realize what an amazing journey the Lord has taken us on. For me, it started 32 years ago. God was not simply writing the story of Jonathan’s life, he began writing the story of his work in me. And for that, I cannot claim any responsibility. I did not choose to be born into the family I was born into. It wasn’t I who chose to have a family that loves and cherishes each other and, more importantly, lives out the Gospel of Jesus for each other to see. Even in times in which I distanced myself from the Lord, in my sin, the Lord was writing his story in me. It was God, setting into motion a chain of events that would one day lead me to this place, right now. But “right now” is not it for the story of God’s work in me. There’s so much more to come and that’s great news.
Likewise our little girl, wherever she is and whoever she is, won’t have chosen to be born in the place and into the family she’s being given. But God is writing his story in her life already. She may not even be born, yet his story in her life is already being written. It’s an Ephesians 2:4-10 kind of thing.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
That scripture gives us every reason to rejoice. It propels us to look to him and realize that this life is not about us. It is about surrendering who we are to become flashing arrows pointing toward the one who knows all things, controls all things and is deserving of all our worship.
And so even a thirteen-page home study document brings me to my knees. I am humbled and overwhelmed by what a powerful and wonderful God we serve. And I want everything in my life to point toward his wonderful work in me. I am so thankful and blessed by the way God has sustained us and poured out his mercy on us through the adoption process so far.