When God called us to adopt, we had one week to prepare our home for a new little baby. We didn’t know much about the birth mom, her care for her unborn baby or any of her medical history. As we sat at the table with our other eight children, we asked them and ourselves many questions. Are we willing to accept this baby, boy or girl? Easy answer, “yes!” Are we willing to accept this baby, deformations or disabilities? Slower answer, “yes.”
With our first call, we began anticipating this new addition to our family. It took a few days to process all the new responsibilities he would add and with that answer, our family has not looked back.
It is so amazing to see Ryland now. Whenever we are out, we are often asked if he and Rhesa, his older very petite sister, are twins. It is strange to see how he acts, talks, and smiles just like her. From the first day at the hospital, Rhesa asked his birth mom, “Is this our new baby?” Since then, she has dressed him, protected him, taught him to walk and talk, and to make very messy foods when they pretend cook. They are inseparable.
When you look at some families, you immediately know that certain children are adopted. Seeing Ryland, on the other hand, you would never know. We are the same ethnicity, the same color tone, the same eye shade, the same hair texture; he looks just like I delivered him.
I know many families choose how they will tell their children they are adopted. We have chosen to keep it ever before our children making sure they understand that we have all been adopted by God. So the poignant question to me, am I looking like my adoptive family?
When I am at the store, are people able to see that I look like I am God’s adopted child? Do I walk like Him, going places where He leads me? Do I talk like Him? Is it obvious in my speech that I belong to the family of God? Do I look like Him? Can the ones I come in contact with on any given day see that I spend a lot of time with my Heavenly Father? Do I represent the family name? As a Christian, am I a true representation of my Father’s name?
It melts my heart each time the phone rings and my little man runs to answer it. “This is the McKelvy residence, Ryland speaking.” Not one person on the other end of the phone would recognize that statement said from the voice of a three year old struggling to answer just as his older siblings and parents, but I understand every word. As he mimics’ those he wants to look like, I want to mimic the One I want to look like.