11.20.15. Adopted. New name, new birth certificate, new identity. Meet Anna Lee Mae DePue. Today the most incredible little girl I’ve ever met officially became my daughter, forever. We are so thankful for meeting Anna Lee, and for now knowing that we will get to watch everything God does in her life. Today we celebrate a new part of our family!
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
All we’ve done and will continue to do is prepare the way. Prepare the way as best we can for Jesus to come and move powerfully in Anna Lee’s life. We didn’t save her. We didn’t swoop in and become some hero. We responded to a conviction and God brought Anna Lee into our family. This is not us doing something incredible, it is God working and moving powerfully in a little girl’s life, and us getting to learn from the work He is doing.
Most days when I’m with her there aren’t thoughts about her being or not being in our family. She’s ours. In every way she is our daughter and I can’t imagine life without her. However, I can’t describe the feeling I get when I think about her life for the first 15 months she was alive. It isn’t often that I think about it, but when I do it brings such a gut wrenching pain. I do not think I am any better of person than her birth mother, at all. I know that circumstances were extremely difficult. I know that I am FAR from a perfect parent. But when I think of the darkness and suffering that my daughter was in, I want to vomit, lash out in anger, and cry at the same time.
I also don’t want to ever forget about that year. It’s this feeling, this contrast from an old life to a new, this contrast from a life of loneliness, hunger and neglect to the life she is experiencing in our community that I want to always remind me of my adoption as a son of God. Who Anna Lee was 13 months ago is every one of us without Christ. I want her life to be a physical example of a spiritual adoption that I have experienced and that I am confident Anna Lee will experience some day. Remembering the contrast of what her life was and what it is now only brings more joy today. She is adopted. She is ours forever. As Anna Lee’s father I will do everything I can do love her well, keep her safe, and point her to Jesus. I cannot wait to see how God uses her.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)