Saturday, December 22, 2007

Everlasting Father

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Baby has two fathers. One is her biological father, and one is her daddy. The difference could not be more profound.

Baby's biological father supplied the DNA, but when he found out that she existed he did nothing, for months. Even now the effort he has made to see his daughter borders on the ridiculous.

Then there is Eddie, Baby's daddy. Months before he knew of her existence my husband began to prepare for Baby's arrival. He allowed social workers into our home, to examine it. He opened up his life to a home study and completed hours of training. And when he got the call that Baby needed a home he dropped everything, and we went to get her. 5 hours after we learned she was alive we made her our own.

The nurses who discharged Baby into our care told us that Baby didn't like to eat. Did that ever turn out to be an understatement. Baby had a very uncoordinated suck. Eating was difficult for her, and we spent those first few days just trying to get her to eat enough to keep her alive. The doctors said we might have to consider a feeding tube. Thankfully, we avoided this by working with a therapist to teach baby how to suck swallow and breathe in the proper order.

When Baby was 5 weeks old she got a horrible blood infection. Her life was in the balance. One of the most powerful images of my life is of my husband rocking Baby at Children's Hospital. She was pale and bruised; she had tubes and cables attached to her in several places. He held her carefully on her side and helped her pace her breathing so that she could drink her bottle. Baby was so little and frail. Eddie, with dark circles under his eyes, was determined to do whatever it took to make sure his little girl made it. What tender care. What sacrifice.

There is nothing quite like adoption to shift ones paradigm for understanding God's love. I understand the Father Heart of a God so much better after seeing what it has cost my husband to love Baby. But the thing is, I am sure Eddie doesn't see it that way. Baby is his daughter; he loves her, he doesn't consider the cost. To him she is infinitely worth it.

Jesus. Everlasting Father. Abba. Now I know what it looks like to be chosen and dearly loved. I have seen it in the way my husband rocks his baby girl to sleep every night. She is not of his body. But she is his, wholly, and forever. And soon Baby will bear the name of her Daddy, just as I bear the name of my heavenly father.

"And he shall be called Everlasting Father" has new meaning this season.

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