Wilder’s Prayer

Oliver spent last Tuesday—the morning of his four month birthday–in court, and last Saturday Cheryl and I joined in a celebration of Oliver’s final, legal adoption in Georgia. I wish you could have joined our happy family.

His church called the gathering, and we had snacks, kids played, and people from all walks of life enjoyed one another for an hour or so. About four o’clock, the elders and pastor brought us together to pray. Jason, who with his wife Kimberly have adopted two children themselves and are a primary influence on our daughter and husband, gave a short word about adoption and then he prayed. He gave thanks for Oliver and his new family, and he gave thanks for the “gospel” that declares God also bought us out of our dead-end past, brought us into His family by faith, and has prepared a future with Him forever.

The legal proceedings Tuesday were short in time but long in significance. After months of searching for the biological father—and since the mother gave up her legal rights to Oliver—the judge gave him a new name, a forever family, and a secure future in a stable Godly family. What a comparison to our stories, too, when we have put our trust in Jesus Christ.

The night of the adoption Wilder, Oliver’s new seven year old brother, prayed, “God, thank you that we got to adopt Oliver today and now no one can take him away from us. And thank you that we got to go to Olive Garden to celebrate although that’s not as important. Amen.” Don’t you love children’s prayers?!

Wilder knows what it is like to have adoptive children brought into his life and then taken away. Four have come and gone. Our daughter tells us at first Wilder and his sister Adeline were tentative with Oliver. But you should have seen them playing with him, holding him, constantly kissing him, and competing for his attention when we were there this weekend.

Wilder’s prayer and Oliver’s adoption remind me of our salvation in John 10:29, “My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all, no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” The parallels are amazing:

  • God is greater than the legal system, irresponsible biological parents, and any dangers Oliver or Christ’s followers will ever face;
  • God has provided a way through Jesus for Oliver and us to be part of His family:
  •  Oliver rests in the Father’s grip with a safe, guaranteed future—we do, too.

We drove in horrible traffic, cold rain, and fog to our daughter’s Friday night. We had to make one traffic detour, and it never stopped raining for almost six hours. When we walked out of the celebration the next day to drive back to Tennessee, the sun was shining and the sunset was astounding…sort of what I imagine it was like inside Olive Garden Tuesday night.



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