Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adoption Update!

Greetings from the Pearl of Africa!

We have been in Africa now for 1 week! First off, it’s BEAUTIFUL here and the people are beautiful as well! We are lodging just south of Kampala (the capital city of Uganda). It’s beautiful here and they are taking very good care of us! It’s also a long stone’s throw from the children’s home that the little guy is from. The question(s) you are all probably wondering is how are we and how is the little one? We are well and he is well! Look for our next update….


We met our little guy on Sunday, August 17, 2014. He just blankly stared that day. He was very much in shock. If you think about it, how would you feel if you were going about your daily routine and just finished lunch, and then all of a sudden, people whom you have never met come in and take you to live with them! You would probably either scream or just go blank. He clung very tightly to us and slept a lot as well as stared at us. It was a great and emotional day for all 3 of us!

Monday, we went to town and exchanged money, got passport pictures taken and got groceries/toiletries. There was a very pleasant surprise from our little guy…it was our first time seeing him smile, laugh and yes, even SING! J

Tuesday was our first court hearing. Normally there are 2 or 3 hearings which takes 2 or 3 weeks and then there is a ruling which may take another week. Turns out, we only need the one hearing and the ruling will hopefully come next Tuesday! Pretty crazy! The ruling is whether or not legal guardianship is granted. Overall, it was a pretty fun and nerve wrecking day. However, we did see the beauty of the Lord of lords.

Wednesday and Thursday, we hung out at the guesthouse having fun, bonding, laughing, smiling and getting food and snot all over our clothes! Lol They were very enjoyable days! During these days, we saw a lot of growth in him! He actually is bonding quite well! Showing lots of emotion and expressing needs and building trust. There is a lot of work left to be done, but it is encouraging to see these steps;. We are also getting to see his personality-which we LOVE!

Friday, we went to the Buganda Parliament and Palace. That was fun! We got to learn about some of Uganda’s history and current state of affairs. This was neat to experience as this is part of his history and we were able to document these tours so that when he gets older he will be able to learn about the culture. We are also enjoying very much the company of the staff at the guest house. We are getting to know each other rather well. It has been fun to learn about our son’s culture through them (vegetation, language, history, lifestyle and food-which has been GREAT!)

Friday night we almost got no sleep, because the little man was crying for almost the whole night. We aren’t exactly sure what the reasoning was. It could have been constipation, teething, an overwhelming day and also the changes in his life recently. So, we are quite tired today! However, it was exciting to watch him stand for the first today!

We are very excited to visit to visit Sojourn Church tomorrow. They are located in Kampala and are part of the Acts 29 Network-the same network River City is a part of!

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement! Please continue to pray for us. For bonding and attachment, for our hearts to rest and delight in the Lord and to walk in the Spirit-preaching the Gospel as we are led, making much of Christ.


The Svalesons


Friday, August 8, 2014

Adoption is So Much More Grand Than Children and Family

As we draw near the time to leave (August 14, 2014) to, Lord willing, meet our son, I want to draw our attention to the true grandeur of adoption.

It is great that a child will be cared for. It is exciting that a family will grow in depth and breadth. Those things are blessings and workings of God's grace. Yet, those things pale in comparison to the reason that adoption exists. Adoption exists to be the most real display of the gospel of Christ. That is a bold statement; and it can be taken lightly, but shouldn't be. (Note: I did not say it is the greatest display of love; that would be laying down one's life for another [John 15:13]; though that is not necessarily void in adoption.)

Here are some implications of the statement "adoption exists to be the most real display of the gospel of Christ." That implies that orphans exist for the glory of God. That implies that parents that suffer greatly because of the difficulties that are unique to parenting adopted children are for the glory of God. That means that poverty is for the glory of God. That means that suffering is for the glory of God. Even though God is absolutely saddened that there are orphans and poverty and unique sufferings, He sovereignly has them exist for the glory of his name. Is God cruel? By no means. Here's why.

If the Lord is the ultimate and the most satisfying, then the best thing He can give us is himself. Problem: we were all children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), not children of God. So, the best thing that we could have (God) is not what we had (God's wrath). How then could we be transferred into the family of God? Adoption.

How did that adoption happen? The Word became flesh (Jesus Christ) in order to live and fulfill the covenant established on Mount Sinai as the true Israel and to die and fulfill the covenant established with Abraham as the one who was obligated to fulfill the covenant. So then, we became heirs. But heirs with no benefit until we would die to lay hold of our estate (the kingdom of God). So, Christ was raised from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and sent his Spirit in and among all who would believe (John 1:12-13) such glorious news to not leave us as orphans (John 14:15-27).

We were adopted from the domain of darkness, of sin and into the kingdom of light, of holiness, of righteousness. We were once sons of wrath and of the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), but now we are sons of the Most High God, Yahweh himself!

Reality: even though we have been adopted, we still struggle with identifying ourselves as children of God, and so we sin. Yet, He reminds us over and over and over that we are his and He is ours; and He graciously restores us, disciplines us, and gives us great delight and joy in him.

He, Christ, left his home for certain death to bring children into his family.

As we leave our home, we may not be going for certain death, but we are definitely going to die (to sin and self). We go to bring an orphan into our family that he may no longer be an orphan but rather a son. There will be times when he will think, feel, and act like an orphan and not "like a Svaleson"; but we will be there to graciously restore him, discipline him, and give him delight in belonging to our family (Lord willing :-). Oh, there is so much more grandeur to show!
(Let me make a quick note. We cannot draw every parallel. We are not rescuing a child from a lesser culture and area; Christ did that for us, but we are not doing that in this case. The United States isn't any better than other cultures.)

And all of this is done to display the glory of God in Christ Jesus. This is done to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus. This is done because we want to make Christ's name the greatest, because his name is the greatest. Adoption exists to be the most real display of the gospel of Christ. And we are excited to be a living, breathing, walking testimony to that reality.

In Christ,