Ethan and I have this ritual that he started some time ago that I sit beside him on the bench, and he snuggles into the crook of my arm and I feed him his yogurt at breakfast. It happens again right before he goes to bed at night. If I am not around, he will let someone else feed him the yogurt, but when papa is near – it must be me. And my arm must be around him. A few mornings ago, I was sitting with him at the breakfast table. We were the only ones in the kitchen as the other kids had not come down, yet. Just as he snuggled in to have his yogurt, he looked at me and smiled big. His kind of smile that makes him squint. The smile was for me. At that moment, the song “Rescue” (by Lauren Daigle) came on the radio station I was listening to. It is one of my favorite songs. However, that morning it had an all-new meaning.
Ethan is adopted. We found him in an orphanage outside Kyiv in 2011. He was almost seven years old and only weighed about 15 pounds. He was slowly dying because of neglect and abuse. Those are harsh words, but there are no other words to use. It is the system that abused him – I am not pointing fingers at individual people – although, physical and mental abuse most likely occurred, too. Ethan was almost unreachable for many years after he became a Malone. He was aggressive and feared absolutely everything. He was stuck in fight or flight mode all the time. This often happens to children who experience persistent trauma during their formative years.
That morning at the breakfast table, the words of the song became the words of a papa who loves his little boy. I hope you will take a moment to listen to the song. But the verses and chorus go like this:
You are not hiddenLauren Daigle, Paul Mabury, Jason Ingram
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor
I will send out an army
To find You in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
And I will never stop marching
To reach you in the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
While I could hear Ethan’s heart and feel mine communicating to his that morning, I also heard from my Heavenly Papa’s heart. He reminded me that He is always my shelter and armor. I am not defenseless – even when the past tries to haunt my dreams and drag me into the darkness (actually, especially then). He adopted me. He sent out His army to rescue me.
Did you know that He did the same for you? If you have not already allowed Him to adopt you, can I tell you, today, that He wants to make you His child? He gave His Son, Jesus, to rescue and redeem you.
When we signed our name on the adoption documents, Ethan became our son. He became a Malone. He is still in the process of learning to live as the person he has already become – my son. But we love him, and we are helping him each day realize the full benefits of being ours. I am in the same process with my Papa God.
No matter where you find yourself, today, God is ready to send out His army to find you and to rescue you. And no matter where you are – the darkest night or the hardest fight – He will find you.