One of the most beautiful aspects of adoptive parenting is the gift of observation. Unlike a biological parent, I truly have no idea what gifts and talents my children may possess. My husband and I must observe and listen and make space to discover who our children are.
Will they have musical and literary talent like my husband and myself? Or will we find ourselves on the sidelines of a soccer field, trying to figure out what the whole sports thing is all about? Will I have to learn the intricacies of the visual art world or will we be raising future engineers? I have no idea. But it's fun to watch!
For example, our son is a junior cartographer. He is six years old and he has a subway map of New York in his head. If we have ridden a train, he knows it. He can tell you how to get from our apartment to the Bronx Zoo, Central Park, JFK airport, church, school, Brooklyn, and any other place he has been once. He didn't get that skill from me! And I would only know it by observing him every day.
On Sunday we looked at Psalm 150 and I brought a bunny up to the front to "praise the Lord" for us. The children noticed immediately that bunnies cannot speak. The idea is absurd. Yet the text commands every breathing thing to praise the Lord. How does a bunny praise the Lord? By being the best bunny he can be. By eating grass, hopping, and delivering Easter eggs. (Thanks to one of my lovely Sunday morning kids for that last one!)
How do we praise the Lord? Sometimes we look at ourselves and other brothers and sisters in Christ and we forget to observe. We assume that singing hymns and listening to sermons are what makes us all praise the Lord. But what if we all have unique ways of bringing glory to God? What if hymns aren't for everyone? What if we find our most spiritual experiences outside of the church building?
Well, my experience as an adoptive mother tells me that that is okay. We are all adopted into God's family through Christ. He asks us, "What do you love? What do you do out of pure joy?"
Perhaps this is our greatest act of worship.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6