Well, here we are! We are officially in 2011. 2010 is certainly worth a review.
Christmas was amazing. We took great joy in celebrating the first coming of Jesus and look forward to his second coming. I confess that sometimes it’s tough to stop and think through this. This year some advent readings helped bring to focus something that is often blurred by the busyness of the season. We also had the honor and privelege of welcoming our new neice and nephew to the family. Many of you know that Todd and Tina (Tori’s brother and his wife) set out in the summer to adopt two teens from Ukraine. In what must have been the quickest adoption ever, though I’m sure to them it wasn’t considering they spent 2 months in Ukraine during the process, they came home with their children, Austin and Valerie, the second week of December and we were able to celebrate Christmas with them. We are thrilled to have them as part of our family!
As for the Young family, 2010 was an incredible year. You see, we set out to begin the adoption process with about $3k dollars of our own money, having no idea where the other $32k would come from. To date, we have received over $10k in donations!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Please overlook the multiple exclamation points). We have been looking to Jesus to provide for our need of resources to bring our babies home and he has not disappointed. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown to us! Overwhelmed to the point that it is convicting. Convicting in the sense that I’m not sure that I would give away my money for such a valiant cause. Jesus has been radically transforming our hearts through this. Along the way, we hoped that our adoption would communicate the grace we have received by being restored to God. In quite the twist of events, however, our adoption has served as a transforming grace in our own lives.
We have been confronted with our own lack of faith for God to provide when we see him provide over and beyond what we expect. We have been confronted with our lack of generosity when others have been generous in going above and beyond what we could ever imagine. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this year has been one of the most formative years of our lives in which God used something that was close to his heart, adoption, to transform our hearts. It’s interesting how that works.
We have learned that God must have room in our lives for his transforming grace to transform. In responding to the grace shown to us, we simply became obedient to his call to adopt. We didn’t set out to show God how great we were, but instead set out to show everyone else how great God IS! This sounds so simple. I promise at some points it was painful. For those of you Narnia fans, it was like the scene from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Aslan peals off the scales of the dragon that Eustace had become. His pride and determination to do it his way had turned him into a dragon. When Aslan “healed” him by removing his dragon facade, Eustace was initially hesitant (you don’t see this in the movie; read the book) to allow Aslan but once he allowed him, it was not pain free. Being transformed into the person Aslan created him to be was painful.
Learning to trust God in this adoption has been painful at times. Worry and anxiety has gotten the best of us. But then when we least expect it, God provides in some amazing way and we are shown the loving care of a Good and Gracious God. So I lay my dragonesque heart bare to you so that you see that we are not the heroes of 2010. Our adoption gets us no street cred. It gets us no cookies in the metaphorical religious cookie jar. Jesus has been the hero of 2010 as he has been for centuries. I just hope that we are obedient enough for him to continue to play the hero in our lives in 2011 while we take the backseat!