This is the fourth and final part of my adoption narrative. Part 1 is here, part 2 is here, and part 3 is here.
We arrived a few minutes before the agreed-upon time. You may be wondering where one goes to pick up a newly-adopted child---McDonald’s, of course.
We sat down in the middle of the restaurant so that we could keep an eye out through all the windows. To my right, in a booth against a wall, sat an elderly couple. It had to have been 90 degrees outside, but they were sipping piping hot coffee. They were positioned to watch The O’Reilly Factor on the elevated television set. The old man was pre-occupied with killing flies. Apparently, Nacogdoches has suffered a fly-infestation this year due to the mild winter, and this determined man with a high-sittin’ cap was determined to exert dominance over the noxious creatures.
Armed only with a napkin, and an unbridled sense of determination, the old man destroyed his prey. His face lit up more than Ralph Macchio when he caught that fly with a pair of chopsticks.
A few minutes after seven, just outside the Fly Swatter’s window, I noticed a lady walking to the restaurant with a young boy: our son.
Tish and I went outside to meet them; we were overwhelmed with joy, and not exactly sure how to act. Katrina told me to order some chicken nuggets for our new child to nibble on, which I dutifully did. We watched him smile as he ate the chicken. He had the sweetest disposition. Katrina called him our son. Indeed, he was.
Indeed, he is.
When you adopt a child, incidentally, you get to pick a name. We chose Oliver Dickson. We call him Ollie. We named him after my great-grandfather, who was a Baptist preacher in Laurel, Mississippi. His middle name is a family name from Tish’s lineage. We purposefully named him after our relatives because we want him to know that the time Ollie F. Parker (and Ollie Dean Brunson, for that matter) and the Dicksons put in raising the people who would raise Tish and me will have far greater effect on Ollie’s life than genetics ever could.
He will know of Jesus, and His work on the cross. He’ll know a loving home. He’ll know a good education. He’ll know the value of industriousness, the importance of a strong marriage, and why culture is critical.
Lastly, and briefly, let me say this:
I can think of no greater picture of the gospel. Through Jesus, we have been given the power to become the sons of God, “which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” And so Ollie is born to us, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh. We chose Ollie, just as God chose us. We chose him before knowing of any good or bad he’s done. We chose him because it pleased us. In this simple act, we take part in the kingdom of God as His people.
Might I add, that no one has yet to come up to us to condemn us for adopting only one child when so many were in need, though we may have the means to do so. Instead, people say something to the effect of, “this child’s life is saved,” and they rejoice in that. Chew on that last point some.