My cat thinks he’s going to Korea. Every time I turn my back the little booger crawls back into the box of goodies we are about to ship off to Desi. It’s a 12×12 inch box filled with clothes, toys, books, and pictures which we intended to ship off nearly a month ago, but every time I come close to printing the shipping label, I peak back in the box, overthink a decision, and reconsider its contents. Every morning Matt has heard me anxiously affirm, “We have to ship this box today!” only to see me sitting in Desi’s room looking through it every evening mumbling, “It’s not ready yet.” Who would have ever thought sending a care package could be so complicated.
The day we accepted Desi’s referral, we were given instructions on how to prepare a care package. I say “a” because this package will be the only package we are allowed to send him until we are able to bring one to him physically in Korea. Everything I want him to have and enjoy from his new mommy and daddy for the next ten months has to fit in a single square foot box, which has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated.
To his foster mom, we found a necklace with a North Carolina charm stamped with a heart over the city of Wilmington. We also included a handwritten a note stapled to a typed copy which will be translated for her once it is received at the orphanage. I honestly could have filled up a box entirely for her to show how grateful we are that she is taking care of Desi until we reach him. The pictures we have seen of Desi and his foster mom together show they have a very special bond which lets me rest easier at night knowing he is safe and loved.
For Desi, we purchased a chambray shirt, a “Little Explorer” tee, a couple of security blankets, a stuffed animal, and a recordable book which will allow him to become acquainted with our voices. The stuffed animal is very special as we purchased it for him just weeks after starting the home study process. It is a stuffed bear we found at some point in Target and we knew we had to get two of them—one to send over in a care package, and one to bring with us to Korea to show we have the matching bear. We named it Gom-Gom, which literally translates to Bear-Bear in Korean. Gom sounded like a strange name to call the bear but we thought it sounded cute when we said it twice so the name stuck! Gom-Gom slept in our bed for the past several weeks so that he would pick up our smell, and is about to travel across the world to keep Desi company until we get there.
When I think about the idea of the care package, I think it is an incredible opportunity but I can see that it was designed more for the sake of the parents than for the child. I’ve seen pictures of Desi’s current nursery and he is surrounded by toys, books, and items that show he has everything he needs. He needs nothing from us, and yet, as his parents, Matt and I need to feel like Desi needs something from us. We are able to do so little from a distance that this gives us a small way to feel useful and needed. When he is two or three years old, he will hardly remember the shirts or the toys we sent. We hope that Gom-Gom will continue his adventure by returning to the states with us, but the rest of the items will likely be passed on to the next child who stays with the foster family.
Regardless of whether a child is sitting right next to us or is sitting across the world, our desire as parents is to be needed and wanted by our children. This is a basic instinct we are programmed to have because we are created in God’s image, and one of his many powerful names is Father. There is a reason that scripture reminds us time and time again that we are not just called to obedience, we are called to relationship with Him, because God is not a tyrant king but a loving father who wishes for us to seek him, need him, and spend time with him.
When you are feeling the pangs of wanting to be known and seen by your little one, think about how God is currently longing for the same exact love, attention, and reliance from you. You are the child he is pining after. Since you know the feeling of loving from afar and being unknown by your own son or daughter, you have an insider’s perspective on the pain God feels over those who do not know or wish to know him. Often while waiting on our little guy, I have considered how my feelings so reflect the feelings God has for me which almost makes the waiting worthwhile. As you continue your day, remember that before you became a parent, you were a child of the most high king who desires your presence and time today.
Verses to Consider:
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. -1 JOHN 3:1
Your Father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should be lost. –MATTHEW 18:14
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him… But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” -LUKE 15:20, 22-24
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” -ROMANS 8:15
A Prayer for Your Day:
God, what a blessing it is to be able to call you Father! The fact that you, the creator and sustainer of the entire universe calls me your [son/daughter] is more than I could ever deserve or understand. And while it may be hard for me knowing my child knows nothing about me, I find encouragement knowing that you feel this way every single day. So many of your children don’t know you, and yet you never give up on them. You work in their lives day after day. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of the pain you feel when I go about my life without recognizing your presence or celebrating the relationship you have given me. It helps me to see how valuable I really am to you. Lord, forgive all the times I have decided to do things on my own. Help me to include you in everything I do so that I might honor the love you have poured over me since the day you called me yours (Sol. 6:3).
In Jesus’ name,