The first twenty-four hours with Birtukan in her (our!) new home in El Dorado is in the books. By God’s abundant grace, the few breakdowns were weathered through and, I believe, God used it to build more trust between Birti, her parents, and her new brothers.
The ‘firsts’ that I have seen from her have been fascinating. . .
– The first time she went down an escalator in the Chicago airport.
– The first time she had seen a clean, orderly, and immaculate looking building (she said, ‘wow’ as she rode down the escalator in Chicago).
– The first time she tasted a popsicle – that something that cold could taste that good.
– The first time she saw a ceiling fan and how she lifted her arms up as high as she could to feel the breeze.
– The first time she saw a bicycle (her own) – she got on it backwards and didn’t want to ride it any other way.
– The first time she tasted North American pizza and a peanut butter and chocolate candy bar – she gobbled up every morsel!
– The first time she sang with a ‘light up’ karaoke machine (Luke’s).
It has been truly amazing to reflect on all that she is learning she has and can enjoy because of the family she is now a part of.
God has been using it to remind me to never forget what I have because I am a part of His family.
– Remember the first time you read the Word and your heart burned within you?
– Remember the first time you heard the Word preached and you had a longing to obey and to know this God more?
– Remember discovering your spiritual gift and using it by faith – seeing God do His work through you?
– Remember when your heart ached for lost friends and family members to be born again?
– Remember serving in Vacation Bible School or on a mission trip and you longed to go back the next day?
– Remember the day you had a renewed hatred for sin and longing for holiness that you never thought was possible?
That’s the Spirit of God who adopted you into the Family of God – giving you new eyes to see and new ears to hear and a new heart to beat.
Birtukan has been brought from an orphanage in Ethiopia to a family of five in El Dorado. She is learning all that is hers because of the new parents she has. Matt (and brothers and sisters reading this!), don’t EVER forget what you have been given as a child of God. . . don’t ever forget.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided that we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:15-17)