In the world of adoption, the adoptive parents and the birth mother have expectations in their respective roles for what is best for a child. Neither typically have a comprehensive understanding of, nor are they prepared for the trauma incurred when a child is separated from the birth mother.
In the world of Christianity, all are adoptees into the family of Abba, Father (Romans 8:15). Easter expectations for me include the reconnection of what got disconnected in the garden of Eden, relationship with the Father. This was conveyed when Jesus met Mary that first Easter morn (John 20:17). Through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus provided a comprehensive understanding of living in this world while not being of the world. And He prepared all for the persecution that goes with separating oneself from the world while living in the world.
“Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” … They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and He sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” – Matthew 21:1-9. This was not what the people expected but they had heard Him speak and had witnessed the miracles. He must be the Messiah. Even with this humble entrance into Jerusalem, they arguably still expected Him to defeat the Romans and establish His rule. But later, when Jesus was arrested and brought before them again, their sentiment changed. Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” But he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” Yet they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!” – Matthew 27:22-23. Jesus did not meet the people’s expectation for the king of their understanding grounded in the teachings of the religious leaders. They were not prepared for such a separation from the past and refused to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
At the recent Untangling Our Roots conference, a collaboration between two great organizations – the National Association of Adoptees and Parents (NAAP) and Right to Know - adoptees, adoptive parents, birth mothers and birth fathers gathered to share stories around their respective journeys. Every story is unique, complete with high expectations around reunions with birth parents and the rollercoaster of emotions when expectations meet reality. Easter is the story of a Christian’s reunion with the Father through the Son. Expectations are high and Jesus does not disappoint.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for adopting me. I confess my expectations were that You would make everything good on my life journey. Forgive me. I now understand that knowing You gives me peace on the journey and prepares me for the separation from the worldly perspective. As we wrap up Holy Week and celebrate Easter, I will discuss the perspective of an adoptee in Your family with my family. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father keeps expectations grounded in Jesus the Christ.