Monday, July 16, 2007

Post Adoption - Apples & Attaching

When I was growing up on our farm we had an apple tree that produced different types of apples. I could never figure out "how" this tree was able to do this. It had only one trunk which meant it had only one root system. But when it came time for the apples to ripen, different apples would ripen at different times on different parts of the tree. At least this is what I remember!!! I also recall learning that branches from different types of apple trees had been grafted into the original tree, and through the same root system and trunk system, these different branches could still remain alive and still produce their respective apple fruit. But each apple was good for some specific purpose. My mom knew exactly which apples made the best pie or dumplings, which apples made the best applesauce, which apples made the best apple butter, etc. She knew exactly what to do with each kind of apple.

I think I'm learning that adoption... post-adoption... is a lot like that old apple tree. Sometimes we get Red Delicious. Sometimes we get Yellow Delicious. Sometimes we get Crabapple!!!! And each type of apple (parent and/or child & attitude wrapped together in his or her own skin) has its own unique value and contribution to the overall fruit production. In our efforts to work through the post-adoption process, all of us... all nine of us... have to learn how each of us continue to bear fruit and grow and mature while drawing our source of life from one trunk and one root system. God created the family! He has ordained and appointed the family as the central unit of where we are to grow and mature and learn to bear fruit. He constantly reminds me that He grafted me into His family, and that He has the life sustaining power to feed me and grow me even though I used to draw from a different source. When He made life available to me by adopting me as a son, the resources He gathered through His root system and His trunk were more than enough to help me grow.

If the original tree and the newly grafted -in branches had any feelings at all, I couldn't imagine the PAIN they had to go through to adjust to the new life they suddenly found themselves involved in. I need to remember this when I look at the original branches and the new branches that now make up our tree. We now have a new tree! And while it is very tough, I do see growth spurts and new fruit being produced in ALL of the branches. Praise the Lord!