The Ghanaian court system recognized the girls as Millers on July 31, 2012. Prior to that; we read, trained, interviewed, cleaned, answered questions, organized, paid, prepared, fundraised, wrote our little hearts out, prayed, cried, and waited.. waited... and waited some more.
The girls did not "do" anything to make that day happen. Just like I didn't do anything to be adopted by Christ. We chose Portia and Mabel. God chose me. I remember airport homecomings because they strike something deep in my soul. I can't imagine the parties in Heaven when a child comes home; one they have waited maybe decades on to come home.
I did not become their "mommy" because a judge said we have the same name. Just as I do not recognize God as my father by receiving the "Christian" label. They know I am their mommy because I am here when they wake up, because I put food on the table, because I play tea parties and let them wear my "lip shine", because I read to them every night with their daddy, because I teach them new things, because I forgive them when they are messy sinners like me, because they see my unconditional love for them. I know my God as my Father when he teaches, encourages, guides, protects, leads, offers peace, and loves me unconditionally as I seek intentional time with Him.
Adoption does not take away the first five years of the girl's lives. And I don't want it to! There is SO much JOY and WONDER and RELATIONSHIP there. But there is also ABANDONMENT and HUNGER and GUARDING. My old self (my nature apart from Christ) creeps in way more often than I would like to admit. On the really messy days when we are wading thru old wounds with the girls, if I can just catch a glimpse of the cross; I remember the grace. the sacrifice. that was made on behalf of my old self. It helps to extend grace one more time to those sweet, broken, messy beautiful African princess.
ADOPTION IS HIS HEART. I SEE HIS HEART EVERY DAY. AND I'M THANKFUL.