Last weekend we got together with my side of the family to take a big family photo. On the surface, it seems like a completely normal thing to do, but that is what made is so special. We took our photos, I complained about my kids not cooperating, later we went to dinner as a family, and then we went home… and that’s when it hit me… we took FAMILY photos!
So what’s the big deal?
Technically, I’m not actually part of that family. I grew up in a completely different family as the fifth child out of eight children, but sexual and emotional abuse left me completely alone and in desperate need of love at 20-years-old. By God’s sovereignty, I met a girl who I would later come to know as my sister. Lindsey invited me to meet her family after I broke down at a Bible study. I was NOT a Christian at the time, and later a psychologist said that I had PTSD when I met that family (the Thompsons).
So there I was, another tragic statistic with no hope and no home. Then, the Thompsons asked me to live with them, completely RENT FREE. They gave me basic rules but expected nothing in return, which is great because I gave them absolutely nothing in return. The first year was extremely difficult for them. I cried all the time and made bitterly sarcastic comments. I’m sure they spent much of that first year on their knees, but when they were weary, God would give them a glimmer of hope. The Cobbs once sent them a message saying they noticed changes in me, and it was enough to keep them going.
Over time, I began to love them and they started to introduce me as their “adopted daughter,” but I was too wounded to call them my mom and dad. My husband—fiancé at the time—decided he would start calling them mom and dad so that I would feel more comfortable. It worked. God continually knit my heart to theirs as He worked powerfully in my life.
I’ve now been part of the Thompson family for nine years; I look at my youngest brother Grant, and he is more my brother than any blood brother ever was. In the eyes of my children, these are their grandparents and their aunts and uncles.
The journey into this family has given me a faith that I never doubt. I never wonder if God is real, because I look at my life and all that has happened and it’s IMPOSSIBLE for me to be where I am if there is no God. I look at their love for me as they endured living with me, and it reminds me of Christ carrying my sin on His cross. The love of the Thompson Family- my family- has changed more than just my life, but the lives of my children and my husband. Their love of Christ has created a fruitful legacy that will live on and bring glory to God.
So when I got home and realized that it never even occurred to me that I wasn’t technically part of the Thompson Family, I cried. I cried for joy as I praised God and thanked Him for parents who love Jesus so much that they loved me and made me part of their family. I see clearly the connection between earthly and heavenly adoption because of their example. I can only dream about being that kind of mom to my own little ones.