out of egypt.

Those of you who have been following our story know that our 13-year-old son picked out the name “Moses.” He started praying for his little brother by name every night last summer, before we even realized that boys in China needed homes. What we haven’t told you is why he chose that name.

A symbolic, spiritual answer seems fitting here, but I don’t have one. JD chose "Moses" because he wanted their dynamic duo to be known as: “John Dynamo and his Little Bro, Mo.”

Our friends have had different reactions to this name. Apart from Gwenyth Paltrow’s son, you just don't see it very often. "Moses" is not something you'll find embroidered on pillowcases in a Pottery Barn Kids catalogue.

Yet, the Lord hides lessons in unexpected places. And we've learned that He can even do that with a name birthed out of teenage wonder speak.

When you first start to develop a heart for orphans, it’s easy to embrace a ‘savior’ mentality. Why? Well, you see heart-wrenching YouTube videos and hear the awful stories about how these kids start life, so you are horrified. You want to get involved in liberating a child from a hopeless, abusive existence. You want to be the rescuer. Saving at least one child becomes the focus of your heart.

Yet, social workers and experts strongly discourage the ‘savior’ perception. They don’t want a child growing up feeling like a charity case, and that makes a lot of sense.

Maybe you have seen hovering, needy moms turning older adopted kids into objects. They nurse their own insecurities by making their identity as ‘adoptive mom’ central to most conversations. They do this in front of their children, and you can literally watch their kids wither as they listen.

The sensation I get while watching this exchange happen is almost one of bondage. The mom continually suggests that her child is indebted to his/her rescuer. It feels shameful. There is no dignity involved in this sort of relationship.

Bobby and I are still very new to adoption, so my reflections are green. But this bondage dynamic has been the total opposite of what we have experienced so far. Moses isn't even here yet, but we have still found a duality of salvation happening. Our child isn’t the only one being redeemed through this process. He is also being used by God to rescue his parents... perhaps to an even greater extent than what he is experiencing.

As I look back through the past year, I can see how God has already used our little Moses to lead me out of a thousand captivities. I used to confidently throw around the name of God while working for earthly masters. I was bound by political frustration, materialistic goals, and self-centered dreams. I was frightened because I might someday suffer, but I didn’t grieve because others are already suffering. I was too much like the parents in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, myopic and self-indulgent, pursuing new toys while people were dying. I was too certain and too hard. I didn’t let the pain of the world penetrate my heart deeply enough.

Of course, I still have tons of room to grow and change. On the "Simmer v. Belly Flop Sin Continuum," I'm a belly flopper. I'm the sort of person who goofs up robustly, and I will tomorrow, and I will the next day.

However, because of Moses, I am no longer the same person now that I was before he was in my life. He's not even here yet, but he has already made me see and feel the whole world - and my role in it - so differently. I can't imagine how much more he will teach me after he arrives.

So rescue? Who is being rescued? Sure, I can give Moses a home. But he has given me the gift of sight in exchange. He has rooted my loyalty deeper into eternity. He has softened my callouses. He is loosening my grasp on foolish things, wooing me not with rules and demands... but with a smile so big his eyes disappear. He is unhinging thirty years-worth of captivity. He is transforming my "they" into "we". Moses is leading me out of Egypt.

At this point, in our relationship I am the debtor. He has already given me so much more than I can offer him. Perhaps someday God will help me return the favor, and we can be equals. But until then, thank you, Moses. I have needed you. And I need you still.

Anonymous –   – (June 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM)  

Rebecca, Can I quote your Egypt post on my blog?

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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