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Why do I do what I do: A reflection of Thanksgiving

As a staff member of America World, I often get asked the question, “Why do you do what you do? Why do you choose to work for a Christian adoption agency?” While this answer is certainly complex and I could say many things, working in a Christian environment in adoption is certainly a ministry calling and one that gives me the opportunity to minister to people and their families on a daily basis.  Having worked now for almost 16 years in this field- from overseeing programs, writing home studies, meeting with families in post adoption, assisting families in our social services department, to helping develop programs, there is one common thread that all of these areas of the adoption process have- stories. I could sit down with you in a cozy chair with a cup of hot tea and recount beautiful moments where in the most difficult of circumstances, God has shown up in the lives of adoptive families and their children. I have seen story after story of amazing “God moments” that prove that while adoption can be hard, it can still be a beautiful symphony made up of notes that are both broken and messy yet can create something beautiful. Adoption has also been a part of my story as it is now weaved within my own family, having adopted twice.

This past week over Thanksgiving, through a project that our daughter completed for school, I was reminded of the beautiful honor and privilege it is to see children placed into Christian homes, which is a reflection of our mission and vision at America World. Today I’d like to share a personal story from our own family and a recent song our 8-year-old wrote as part of a school project. To give a little context to all of this, one of our “God moments” in our first adoption, was learning that our daughter had been placed in a medical care center that was part of Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman’s ministry, Show Hope.  We did not learn this detail of our daughter’s story until after we had been called about her file and later had said “yes” and submitted our paperwork to adopt her.  It was a shocking and exciting call to say the least and completely unexpected; but should we have expected any less, knowing that God was the author of her story and had His hand on her little life with plans to prosper her, to give her hope and a future? Over the years through the ministry of Show Hope, she has continued to have the opportunity to connect with other children from previous Show Hope Care Centers, at care center reunions; it was during one of these reunions right before the pandemic that she received one of Steven Curtis Chapman’s CDs; a CD that she has recently taken more interest in and has learned more of the verses to the song “How Great Thou Art”. It was from two lines of this song, that she began to compose her song.

Students were asked to write a Thanksgiving psalm or in other words- a song of thanks, similar to some examples we see David writing throughout the Psalms. As you can see by the images, she even decided to even take it an additional step and added “musical notes” throughout the pages of her lyrics. As the students wrote their songs, they were told if they used any words or songs from another song they knew, to credit the author or songwriter, and one of the lines in her song that she wrote is from  “How Great Thou Art”. (we thought it was pretty cute that she credits Steven for writing the song, even though we know this is his remake of an old hymn) When asked about her project, she told us she came up with every part of this song on her own, except the lines from How Great Thou Art.
As my husband and I read through the lyrics the week of Thanksgiving, my mind just couldn’t help but think, “We could have missed this.” What if we hadn’t said “yes” to adoption? What if we hadn’t said yes to special needs? What if we had let our fears stop us? As I read through her thoughtful lyrics and her praise song to God, I was reminded that this is what adoption can look like in Christian families. I am reminded yet again that adoption is the heart of the gospel, as we see so clearly in Scripture. As believers, adopting these precious children into our families, we have both the duty & the privilege of sharing the wonderful love of the Father with children who, in many cases, may have never once heard the gospel or maybe would not have had that opportunity as easily in the country where they were born. As parents, we have been given the incredible responsibility of demonstrating God’s amazing love to our children with the hope that it will one day transform their lives. I think this little school project is just a little glimpse into what God can do in the lives of our children from hard places, when God places them into our families.
As National Adoption Month ends on this year’s November calendar, I am forever grateful our family put our “yes” on the table & God blessed us with 2 amazing girls that only our loving Father could have matched us with and orchestrated for our family. Without question, God writes the best stories and I’m thankful that the pen is still in His hand and there are chapters yet to be written.
Leah Rockey

season of hope

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