Prior to leaving for China, I had purchased several new outfits for Kayden and brought them with us. Even though every outfit was a perfect fit, Kayden continued to wear the clothing that she had brought with her from the orphanage. She only had one pair of jeans, and she wore them over and over again, regardless of me suggesting other outfits to her. I have read that this is a pretty typical behavior and figured if wearing the clothing that she had brought with her, that had all of the familiar smells of the orphanage, gave her a sense of comfort or familiarity, than it was not worth an upset to try to get her to wear the clothing we had brought for her. I admit that I always felt a little uncomfortable when we went out, as most of her clothing was a poor fit and the styles were unflattering on her. I wanted to tell everybody that she had some really cute outfits but that she wasn’t wearing them. I wanted everyone to be able to take one look at her and know that she belonged to us and that she was loved and cherished. In spite of all of my desires and Kayden having new clothing readily available to her, she chose to dress as she did when she was an orphan.
Is this behavior because these children want to hold on to the comforts and familiarity of their past, or have they not fully embraced this new role and are not quite comfortable or confident in dressing the part? Maybe in the newness of it all, they do not even realize that there is even a difference.
As I have pondered this, I cannot help but see the parallels to this and our own adoption into the family of God. How often do we exhibit this same behavior? As Christians, we have been adopted as God’s own children. Our father is the King of Kings; and, yet, day after day, we frequently get up and put on the same dirty clothes that we wore before we ever knew Him. To be “in Christ” is to be clothed in His righteousness; and, yet, often when faced with the difficulties of life, it is “easier” to respond apart from that righteousness. How often do we find ourselves “wearing” anger, fear, doubt, wrong thoughts, impatience, or immorality rather than the garments of mercy, trust, faith, humility, gentleness, patience, or purity? Whatever “outfit” we decide to wear is going to be directly affected by the condition of our mind and thoughts.
Forgive me for so often dressing as an orphan when you want others to be able to look at me and know that I belong to You. Help me to put on the garments that You have provided me to wear and to bring glory to Your Name rather than shame. Place in me the desire to daily renew my mind through the reading of your Word, becoming more and more like You.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. . . . And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:12-14,17)
Lori and her husband, Paul live in Northern MN where they are raising 6 of their children (aged 3, 5, 6, 13, 16, and 18). They are passionate about living for Jesus, adoption, homeschooling, and raising children who know and love the Lord. You can learn more about their family and their most recent adoption of Kayden in March 2010 on their personal blog.