As you wipe away your tears, remember the look on Dennis' face when he sees Jacob. Carita's too. It's full of awe, excitement, anxiousness, relief, wonder, love, happiness. If a sinful father can look at his son the way Dennis looks at Jacob, imagine how our holy, perfect God looks at us, His children.
We had the honor of attending The Austin Stone last weekend where the pastor, Matt Carter, shared what the bible says about adoption, how he feels about adoption, and the Chen's story. Let me tell ya there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I was lucky enough to sit across the row from Jacob, who will be 2 in March who pointed at the screen saying "Baba" at his dad. The crowd giggled when the video showed his precious rolls in the bath and Jacob had no idea the impact he made on so many hearts, present at church and not. The Chen's were our neighbors for a year and we say all the time, they were an answered prayer. We'd longed and prayed for Christian friends, other couples to show us it was okay to be young and choose for your life to revolve around the gospel. But they taught us so much more...they taught us the beauty of adoption.
James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27 doesn't make sense without recognizing that God adopted us into his family. He adopted us out of death and into His Kingdom of everlasting love and life, the greatest form of adoption there ever was. Worship in it's purest form is caring for orphans in the eyes of the Lord. Adoption shouldn't be our plan B if natural fertility doesn't work...we weren't God's plan B. Our Heavenly Father delights in our adoption of those orphans in widows, we are displaying the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I grew up knowing people who were adopted, including in my family, but never made the connection to God's adoption of His people. What greater gift have we received?! And how wonderful it is that we can spread that gift here on earth. Dennis and Carita have been such an inspiration to our marriage and future as parents. We have plans, but do they coincide with God's plans? God's plan wasn't meant to hurt the Chen's for years of infertility but His plan for them was Jacob, and this video, and sharing their devotion and trust in Christ with not only their church but beyond. I will always remember a story Carita told me about a nurse at their fertility clinic telling her she appreciated her smiles and positive attitudes, which were fueled by Christ. What a captivating way to share the gospel and the great name of Jesus? This family has given us full faith in one day we too, will become parents whether it be biologically, through adoption, or both. The Chen's never stopped listening and trusting the good Lord's plan. And after a second of meeting Jacob, you know they would have waited many more years for him.
Jon and I are praying that we can obey the Lord's commands in James 1:27 and that our lives would be directly impacted through adoption. We aren't sure when, where, or how but I know we will never understand the depths of God's love for us until that day come.
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time...me holding Jacob at his 1st birthday party where we got to see his adoption video for the first time. (look at those cheeks!)
Thank you for letting me share your story Chen family! We love you guys!
for more information on the Adopted series, visit www.austinstone.org