Rejected To Be Chosen - A True Story About Adoption
Leonard Ravenhill once told a story of a rich, generous little boy. At school, he would always have the best of everything and yet, he was not like other boys. He would share whatever he had with those who did not have. The boy, because he had so much and was so generous, was greatly disliked by some others at the school and one day, a particularly jealous boy went up to him and told him, "You think you have everything but I know something that you don't know. Your Daddy is not your Daddy. You go home and ask him."
The words shocked the boy and he was driven to tears. He went home and told his father what the boy said. His father said, "Son, what that boy says is true. Your parents were not very good people and they died in an accident. Look outside as far as your eyes can see. Everything that you can see, I own. I wanted to have someone to be able to give it to and so, I went to an orphanage to choose a child that I could raise as my own. I selected some children and narrowed it down to fifteen, then to five, then to one. You were the one I chose. Now, everything I have will go to you when I die. You go and tell that boy what I say."
The boy went back to the school and the one who was jealous of him asked him if he found out the truth. With a great big smile the boy said, "You were right. My Daddy did adopt me. But he said to tell you that your people at home had to take you whether they liked you or not but my Daddy chose me."
The following is based on a true story.
There are a lot of ways that you can introduce a story. You can start from childhood, you can start at the beginning day or you can start with a conversation. This story seems as though it does not have a beginning, probably because there are so many details that are in it and so it is hard to decide what to leave in or out.
So where should I begin?
Should I start at the childhood of young Sarah? Should I explain the joys of having a loving mother and sister or the sorrows that came because of poverty? No, that would be a story in and of itself.
Should I start with a day that brought about a realization that had never occurred to her? No, because in her life, Sarah's realizations came like the dawn comes - slowly at first and then it is over and you don't quite know just when it happened.
And what about a conversation? Surely there must be one of some import that could start the story off with a bang? Yes, but the conversation that I am thinking of is not worth repeating and will perhaps take away from the conversation that happened at the end.
So we will start with adoption. Yes, adoption.
The word adoption was not a foreign word to Sarah. She had heard it when she was growing up and she had read and loved the books Orphan Annie and Oliver Twist. Both Annie and Oliver were characters that she grew to love and she was happy that at the end of both stories they found people who chose to adopt them.
She did not personally know about any adopted children or orphans. She just knew that an orphan usually became an orphan because their parents died or did not want them anymore.
The idea of a mother and father deciding that they did not want to take care of their child was not one that Sarah liked to think about. It took away all happy thoughts for her and it seemed as though to her that it must have always been raining at orphanages because the children there would be so sad and unhappy since they did not have someone who loved them or claimed them as their own.
This story is not about a loss of a parent but rather the gaining of one and so it is not necessary to paint the picture of a negligent, uncaring, insensitive father, although he played a part in Sarah's life. She had no one on earth that she could depend on to be there as a father would be there for his child. She had, in fact, been rejected by the one the world knew to be her father.
Then, one day, she met him.
The one who would become her father, although she did not know it then.
She was casually reading a book that her mother had suggested she read at school - it was an old, dusty book that had been on her grandfather's bookshelf for years - when all of a sudden, a shadow passed across the page. She looked up to see who it was and he smiled and asked exactly what she was reading. When she told him the name of the book, he exclaimed and sat down to talk to her about it. He had an air about him like a teacher and so she thought that perhaps he was the new Literature teacher. He knew quite a lot about the book and she found herself understanding passages in it that she hadn't before.
He was a teacher after all, and a very good one at that but because he was strict and demanded obedience, not many students liked him. Sarah found herself relying on his explanations for almost everything. It seemed that there was nothing that he did not know. She learned a lot from him and delighted in the wisdom that he had. She even started to go to him for advice in her personal life. There was nothing that he told her that was not sound. When she listened to his words and heeded them, her problems seemed to disappear or she became equipped to handle them.
Years passed and he came to be an essential part of Sarah and her family's life. Her mother and sister had loved him at first sight and he was welcome, indeed, he was begged to be at every meal shared and there was no time or place where he was not welcome in their lives.
They were very close and he loved the little family very much. In fact, he loved them so much that he decided that he would like to adopt them and make them a part of his family.
Now, the teacher came from a prominent family. His father was the CEO of the biggest business in the Universe (and reader, I do not exaggerate). The teacher's family approved of the idea of adoption because they too, loved Sarah and her family and thought that having them in their lives forever would be the perfect thing for everyone especially the two sisters whose own father had rejected them and went off to live on his own. Also, the teacher's family loved the teacher and so whatever made him happy, made them happy.
When the teacher broached the subject with Sarah and her family, her mother and sister exclaimed with joy and asked for the papers to be drawn up immediately so that they could say that, yes, they were related to the great teacher, the one whose wisdom surpassed all those around him. Only Sarah hesitated.
"If you adopt me, then, Elyon (for this was his name), you would then be my father, wouldn't you?"
He smiled and nodded and waited patiently for her response.
Sarah thought about her father and the way he had left her. He had said that he loved her and would be a part of her family and yet he had left. She knew Elyon would not do the same because it was not a part of his character and yet she still doubted. To look at her teacher and then to call him father would be to embrace him as the only father that she ever had. Was she willing to do that?
She thought about the times when she had been hurt, when she despaired and when she was happy. Each time, Elyon had played a part in it and he always seemed to be there. When she had been disobedient, wasn't it Elyon who had chastised her well? Wasn't that what a father was supposed to do? Admittedly, she did not know because she was no expert on what a father should and should not do.
Then he said to Sarah, " I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I will never give you a stone when you ask for bread."
She knew his words were true for never before had he lied to her. It was simply hard for her to understand just why he chose her. Her vision blurred, she signed the paper that declared that she was his and he gave it to her as proof to anyone who would question whether she belonged to his family.
She had been adopted. She had gained a father when she was sure she had lost one. Though she had been rejected, she had been chosen.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God..." Romans 8: 14-16 K.J.V.
This is but a shadow of the true story. I am afraid that I have not done justice to the character of Elyon. I still hope that it does glorify His name.