I’m so excited! We have a new baby in our family! He’s a two and a half year old baby and he’s not ours to keep but for now we can love, discipline, and nurture him in every way God gives us to. The day his temporary parents got him brought many new emotions for them, his temporary brother and each of us in the family and this little guy himself, I’m sure. For all the emotions I have I can’t imagine all the emotions this child must feel being with a new family in a new place. So what are these emotions? There’s the normal ones of excitement from newness, anxiety from anticipation, and fear of the unknown, but also insecurity and the adjustment for all of a new world and a new way of life. The adjustments also include having two children instead of one in the house, not being the only child anymore, and the adjustment to new faces everywhere you go. The emotions can be overwhelming. So what is the new role, the main focus in these situations? It’s the offering and building of stability, security, and love for everyone involved.
How do we respond? Do we celebrate because of our excitement or do we cry because of the circumstances this child experiences coming from a broken home? These children in so many ways have lost their childhood, they have to fend for themselves, provide for themselves and sometimes other siblings. They have to learn to survive. The ability to live as a dependent on adults is overtaken with an independence of maturity to care for themselves. Everything has been taken away, everything they felt secure in, everything in their little eyes and hearts that gave them structure and security. Our family and our little guy are doing well. Thank you God!
This all seems familiar to me. I remember when my world of securities became a world of uncertainties. The day my mama died was a day of chaos, turmoil, and new unfamiliar circumstances. That night was no different. I was taken to spend the night with a family down the street whose teenage daughter had babysat me. She had a love for dolls like I did. One of her favorite dolls I became quite fond of maybe because his little face had a sad expression. I could not put him down. Later I became homesick and scared and went back to my grandparents in the middle of the night. My security had been shattered that day. I needed to be somewhere I felt safe. The next day that sweet girl brought me that doll! He became my release, what I held tight to in those dark scary moments of despair. As a child I needed something to hold on to, to call my own, and to give me a sense of security. As a child we look to the adults around us for security, for food and shelter, what should be the simplest of things, and when they fail us where do we turn? We were all a child once with those same needs. Where did we turn? Who did we have?
I named the doll “Baby Boy.” It was sort of fitting, an orphan name for an orphan doll for an orphan girl. My whole family knows “Baby Boy.” He’s even joined us in our living nativity scene as Baby Jesus. We are all orphaned, estranged, from God. Aren’t we glad and thankful Jesus gives us love, mercy, forgiveness, and belonging in a family much greater than what some have been born into?
Jesus came to give hope. He was not born orphaned but He was rejected. He was not left alone but He was turned away from. He didn’t lose His family but His family wasn’t always there for Him. They didn’t believe Him when He said who He was. So what do we do with our new temporary child? “We love because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Whether or not, are you being the adult you need to be? Are you the adult to a child? Jesus says to us “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). Let’s show the love of God to all for all were a child once.