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My burden for the orphan began when I first stepped into Russia’s orphanages over a decade ago. Those children gripped me in a relentless way, and I’ve never been the same since. I’ve recently had the privilege of meeting a mom who has received four once-orphans from Russia and has made them her own. She’s been down in the trenches of the not-so-romantic throes of bringing orphans into a new identity of sons and daughters. She knows, up close, the challenges of adoption–but in the midst of the trials, her heart is still spilling out love and breathing hope. She carries wisdom that my heart needs to hear, and shares a hope that those of us working among the fatherless need to remember and hang onto. It’s a gift to share Beth Templeton with you today. 

 

“Love is not enough”–I hear it regularly in the adoption world.

I get it.

I agree with it.

I have lived it— am living it right now!

And I could totally write a post about this reality— about my journey from assuming that my love, the love of our family and our church and many godly friends, would be “enough” for our four adopted children.

I expected it to be.

I thought it would be.

I worked that it should be!

But there is a different reality, a higher TRUTH, that supersedes the fact of “Love is not enough.”  It is another narrative being told in our stories of loving children who have experienced trauma. Like a thread sewn deep into an intricate pattern, this truth remains amidst ever-changing facts.

Sometimes I see it so plainly, right on the surface of my life. Like when our daughter walked down the aisle on her wedding day with her daddy. Oh what an amazing sentence that is for me to type. I wish I had the skill to communicate just a bit of the profound joy I experienced that day.

This was a daughter, not an orphan,

Walking on the arm of a daddy, not alone in this world to fend for herself,

Witnessed and celebrated by a crowd of family and friends, not isolated by rejection and pain.

Or when we all cheered as loud as we could as our son walked across the stage to receive his college diploma. This son whose first 10 years of life were all about survival for himself and his little brother, with literally no thought for his academic future, much less his emotional or spiritual one.

In these moments it is easy to say that yes, love is enough.

But then there were those visits to the locked psych ward to see a son who had attempted suicide, or the drive to take another son to a residential treatment center for addiction, or the countless rages fueled by a past that would not yield to our love, even years into this adoption journey.

Yes, I used to think that the love of our family would be “enough” to carry our children into healing and freedom. But, along with many of my fellow adoptive and foster parents, over years of pouring out love my assumption morphed into a question.

Is love really enough?

I have asked it because there have been many times when the evidence would speak a definitive, No.

Is love enough?

And if we are talking about my love, then I will have to agree.

But, if we are talking about God’s love for my child (and for me, and for you dear one) then a resounding YES is my response to that question.

YES YES YES! 1 Corinthians 13:13 makes it clear that love is greater.

Greater than hope.

Greater than faith.

GREATER than any loss your child has faced, and certainly greater than my parenting, and yours!

His love for you and your child goes beyond–deeper and higher than your child’s need.

Deeper and higher than the limits of your parenting abilities.

I have found it to be true, God’s love never fails and it never runs out. I have experienced the golden thread of His love in every single traumatic moment. Often I have had the strong sense of His hand in mine as hateful words, the residue of rejection, are yelled at me. I have become overwhelmed, not by my disappointment or even by my child’s deep pain, but by the love of the Father for me and for my precious child.

I have been learning to be satisfied by His love, never-failing and ever-present, when the current circumstance speaks the lie that His love is not enough.

In death and life there is nothing that can separate me from the powerful reality of this great love.

For me.

For my child.

NOTHING.

So I am calling for an exchange, my friends. This is an invitation to an upgrade. Let’s take the reality that “love is not enough” and upcycle it into the Truth that remains!

God’s love is enough. This truth, embedded with hope, speaks to the supernatural nature of God, not the natural limitations of our lives and capacities.

Let’s exchange the fact for the TRUTH in the adoption world.

Let’s take an eternal perspective and exchange the meager possibilities that current facts present with the eternal hope-filled future of the truth.

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Beth Templeton is the mother of 7 children, four of whom were adopted from Russia. With all 7 children now in their 20s, Beth has many stories to tell of the faithfulness of our God in her home, in her children and in her heart. Cofounder of Hope at Home based in Atlanta, GA, she is passionate to come alongside adoptive and foster parents as they co-labor with God in the transformation of orphans into sons and daughters.

 

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So we’re giving this away right now! This song has reached into the hearts of children and grownups here and abroad–and this fresh recording includes some new, precious voices. It is a gift to our email friends–subscribe to receive this song in your inbox! 

(First photo compliments of Cherish Andrea. Second and Third photos compliments of Janet Howard Studio. Last photo compliments of Mandie Joy.)

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