My four adopted children found out last night that their biological papa passed away this week. The boys were 8, 5, and 3, and Annie was one, when their mother died. Their papa had previously suffered from leprosy and had lost many of his toes and fingers and couldn’t care for his children. About a month after their mother died, with all the children showing signs of serious malnutrition, their father surrendered them to a children’s shelter.
He was illiterate, and maybe couldn’t hold a pen anyway, so he made a stubby finger print with his deformed hand on the paper to show he was giving up his parental rights. I wept when I saw it more than three years later as we were in the process of adopting.
I’m grateful these dear children had a papa that loved them enough to want them to have a healthier life. I’ve thought of him and prayed for him often through the years. My youngest son said that the last time he saw his father, his papa told him, “Now don’t worry about me. I have lots of friends.” What a loving, unselfish thing to say.
In 2012 my two oldest adopted sons went back to the Philippines and visited their papa. He was so happy to see them—the answer to his prayers, he said. And they brought him gifts and photos and letters from the two younger children.
He said he wanted to see all his children again before he died. And I prayed he would. But it didn’t work out.
And I think about how a man on the other side of the world longed for his children. And I think about how my mama longs and cries out for her own mama and daddy, who died years ago. And I think about how, even though I can hold my mama’s hand and kiss her cheek and take care of her, I long for her to know me as her daughter.
And my heart hurts and I wonder why life is so hard.
And I remember that we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us more that we can comprehend. He never lets go of us. He always was and always is and always will be. And He never, ever forgets who His children are.
And he loves us so much, that He allowed His very beloved, only begotten son to die for our sins—so that we can be redeemed and forgiven and have a future with Him for eternity. What an incredibly loving, unselfish thing to do!
And all who believe in Jesus and follow Him are adopted into God’s family and are allowed the privilege of crying out “Abba, Father!” to the Creator of the universe. We are children of God. We are loved beyond measure.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)
Our Abba Father is so good and loves us so much. Forever.