I was talking to my friend who is a missionary to Africa about some of the rules of etiquette with children and adults. I’ve already explained to some about how children, even as young as toddler age, are taught not to make eye contact with an adult and may even be beaten and punished. This is so strange to me, seeing how I waited for nearly 3 years for my own son to make eye contact with me.
But she also explained that when she’s working with the women, explaining what it means to pray to God, she cannot use the analogy of how it’s as speaking to your earthly father, because it would make no sense to the women. She pointed to Morgan, who had just joined us in the fellowship hall, and told us that Morgan would not be allowed to come into the room with Andrew, and would not be allowed in his presence, unless I was there. Daughters simply do not have a relationship with their fathers and aren’t allowed to. To tell a woman that speaking to God is just as speaking to their biological father actually paints a very negative portrait of what it is to have a relationship with God.
Being the oldest of 5 girls, with no brothers in the family, I simply cannot imagine growing up and not being allowed to speak to my father or that we would not be allowed to be in the same room with him. Or to put myself in Dad’s shoes, it would mean that with no boys, he wouldn’t have a relationship with any of his children. Nor can I imagine Morgan and Elena not being able to have the relationship they have with Andrew. Both of the girls love their Daddy and I can imagine how their not having a positive relationship with their father could also distort their image of God and their relationship with Him.
What I do find interesting is after reading so many of the stories from families who have adopted from Liberia, it’s confirmed that many times, the children struggle with the idea that it’s OK to make eye contact, but concerning the parent/child roles, it appears as though many of them bond with the fathers first and the mothers later on. I wonder if it’s because they’ve not had that kind of a relationship before and there’s some kind of natural urge to have that connection.
Again, the more I delve into adoption, the more I realize just how much we take for granted, how much my children have, how much we complain because we can’t have some material possession, and how content many of these other children are just to have something to eat, a home, and most importantly, a family.
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