I didn't think the Dager family could get any cuter. Their family of (until recently) four has held such a special place in my heart since I met them in Durham over four years ago. In December the Dagers transitioned from a family of four to a family of five, welcoming their adopted daughter Lydia into their home. I wish I could adequately tell you the story of Lydia's adoption, but I'm afraid my words would not do it justice. I will, however, tell you that the Dager's adoption process took over five years...I repeat, five years! Julianne started a blog documenting their adoption journey, and her first post was on November 19, 2010 (check it out here). I don't know about you, but in my opinion, five years is a long time. It's a long time to be patient; it's a long time to persevere in trusting the Lord; and it's a long time to simply sit and wait. How many of us, if we're honest with ourselves, have even prayed for something that long? I know I often struggle with staying persistent with certain prayers. I often get discouraged when I feel like God isn't answering, even though I know I pray to a good Father who hears and acts. One thing I learned from the Dagers is to be patient and to press on. In their waiting I saw God test their faith, strengthen their faith and then bless their faith. And now sweet Lydia has a home. She has an older brother and an older sister who absolutely adore her, and she has parents who will provide for her, love her and raise her in Christ. Ultimately, I see the Gospel in this story. Lydia, a helpless baby, was given a home, a life, and a new name because of parents who came for her and took her in as their own. And friends, this is exactly what God has done for us. Through Christ, we are given a home, a new life (now and eternally) and a new name. Because Jesus stood in our place and died for our sins, we can now approach God as adopted sons and daughters. What grace. Below are a few photos I took last weekend of the beautiful Dager family. I hope you are as encouraged by their story as I am daily.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he has lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." -Ephesians 1:3-10