Monday, May 20, 2013



1. Buy back or repaying a loan
2. Fulfillment of a promise or a pledge
3. To liberate, to free, to rescue

I used this word a lot to describe our family.

But hear me on this, it is NOT because I believe we "rescued" or "saved" our children.  That concept can be thrown around a lot in the adoption world and I don't feel comfortable using it.   They don't "owe" me anything for bringing them into our home and they aren't "lucky" to be in our family.   I never want them to feel like we are their saviors.  We are their mom and dad.  There is a big difference.

Brian and I are not the heroes or the rescuers, we are simply a piece in the redemption story of our family.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure TD, our oldest son, was questioning his decision to move in with us when he witnessed our J-man getting regular nebulizer treatments for his wheezing.

After a few weeks of watching J-man wiggle and squirm, annoyed at having a mask on his face every morning, TD asked us why we were putting the little guy through it.

We explained that his pediatrician had prescribed this for J-man's baby asthma and wheezing.

TD's response was classic.

"Oh, I thought that was just something all white people did to their kids."

I can only imagine what was running through that poor kid's mind the previous weeks as we held our toddler down and strapped what looked like a gas mask to his face.

Pretty sure he was hoping someone would "rescue" him from the insane asylum he'd just moved into...

Bless him.

Back to my point.


Here is why I love this word as a descriptor for our family - because of its antonym.


According to it is the direct opposite of redeemed.

The definition of abandoned is to be "forsaken, discarded, rejected, deserted."

There are five distinct histories in our family.  Brian and I lived three decades without each other. Thirty years contains a lot of decisions, hurts, and life experience. T.D. lived 18 years apart from us.  J-man and Tyson have a much shorter past, but still bring a history that has been marked by loss.

Each one of us have felt the sting of abandonment in a different way.  We have wondered when someone was going love us for who we were with no conditions and no expectations.

Our family is patchwork of personalities, quirks, DNA, and life experience.  We're a rag-tag bunch, full of mistakes, fumbles, and missteps.

It's not always pretty over here, as our histories can rear their ugly heads when things get hard.  Old patterns and fears emerge as a way to cope with pain and difficulty.  The feeling of abandonment doesn't just dissipate immediately upon entering a family unit.

Here is where we focus- Abandonment, for each member of our family, is now a feeling, not a current truth in our lives.  However, it has a sneaky way of lingering and whispers just at the times where we are at our lowest and most vulnerable. If we believe the soft lies spoken only for our ears, then we tend to shrink back, close off, and hide.  When we let it become a part of who we are now, we have then become a captive to its power, and it has the ability to make us believe that we are not worth loving.

The feeling of abandonment has the power to incapacitate someone for a very long time.  It can wreck marriages, families, and the future of many kids who have come from hard places. 

So, we are intentional about speaking freedom into our boys.  When things are hard, when pain is evident, and when tempers flare, we are consistent in our message of commitment, love, and a promise of forever into the hearts of our sons and to each other.   We want them to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our family is not a fleeting trend, a whim, or a matter of social justice.  It's a life-time commitment.

Abandonment may be a part of our past, but redemption is our future.

We cannot solve each other's hurts or take away the months and years where loss has reigned. I'll leave that business to the One who is the true Redeemer.

What I CAN do is to live free.  When I allow stress to rule my thoughts, when I am bogged down in worry, and when I am held captive by fear, it only shows that I am still under the premise that I will one day be rejected, forgotten, and abandoned.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

I look back to where I have been, see what is in front of me today, and think about the potential for our family's future, I cannot help but think of the word, Redeemed.

As a way to remind us on a daily basis of this truth, I spent four more hours than I planned, put waaaayyyyy too many holes in the wall, and muttered a few too many choice words under my breath to put this up.

I couldn't get the pictures exactly straight, there are fingerprint smudges on the frames, and sometimes (most of time) the letters are hanging crooked.  It goes against everything in my Type-A personality, but yet, I'm proud of it.  

Slightly off. Messy. Imperfect.  

That's us.

Just two crazy white folks that put too much smelly hair cream in their youngest son's afro (according to T.D.), torture J-man with a daily nebulizer treatment (according to T.D.), are way too strict on their policy of no brotherly headlocks (according to J-man), and love the heck out of our boys (according to me.)

A work in process. Far from perfect. Redeemed daily.


  1. Cool. I was just reading the other day that there were three biblical uses for the kinsman-redeemer in the Old Testament: 1. to avenge the blood of a murdered relative (awesome, but probably not one of those things Jesus still wants us to do); 2. to marry your sister-in-law and have kids for your brother if he dies (weird, and I definitely think Jesus got rid of this one) or 3. to buy back people and family inheritance lost due to slavery, war, or debt, so that the extended family as a whole wouldn't lose anything. The point is, all of them were legally required; the kinsman-redeemer had no choice about it; he may have been a "hero" from the point of view of the one rescued, but from his own point of view, he was just doing what God said you're supposed to do, and woe to him if he didn't do it. As you say, God is the true Redeemer from the power of sin, death, and all other abandonment; He is the one who doesn't owe anybody anything, but chooses to rescue anyway; the rest of us just get to be obedient to whatever he calls us to do in response to that love.

  2. i love this post! i just found you through the C4C site and am so glad I did! this post made me laugh and contains so much truth! Your family's story is an amazing example of God's faithfulness!!!