Thursday, January 19, 2012

who's a 'beta'?

Is this not a beautiful picture?

For those of you who have seen my son, our son, Adam, he did not have eyelids the first 10, maybe 12, weeks of his life.

It has led to a total of 6? surgeries where amazing doctors and specialist surgeons have attempted to create eyelids.

And even moreso, it has led to countless thousands petitioning to the Throne Above on our Adam's behalf.
And the Maker of the Moon, Who also happens to be our Savior and Father, has heard your prayers.
And in His love, that is a picture of beautiful eyelids painted across our son's face.

So I wanted to share that picture for 2 reasons...
1. for the beauty of eyelids where there once were none
2. for the beauty of the fatherly embrace, Adam is resting in perfectly.

"Who's a beta"?

That is a question I funnily state every day when I cuddle Adam closely and whisper in his ear.
"Beta" is the term for "son" in hindi.
I really started saying it simply because it flowed well, I like to speak Hindi, and sometimes I like to throw favorite hindi words into my english sentences.

But, a few weeks ago, I started to really contemplate it.
Who is a beta? Who is a son?
Adam is a son. Adam is a beta.

But Adam was not always a beta on this earth.
Because the father whose genes created our boy could not handle the appearance of Adam.
Confused, probably hurt, and frustrated, that father checked out.
Adam was fatherless.
Like so many millions in India, and throughout our world, Adam was brought into a harsh, lonely world.
He was not only disfigured, but fatherless.

But the One who sits enthroned in His holy dwelling, He is a father to the fatherless and He has beautifully woven stories of redemption together that we may not be capable of comprehending.

And before the foundations of the earth, He knew this little one would be born into this stained world and grafted into our family.

He knew that the first infant head that would crown into my life and my husband's arms would be Adam's head.

He knew that my husband's job could not be transferred in early September, like we had planned, for we had a delivery waiting in that place.

He knew that this little one would need a name that spoke strength and life to a world that looked at his outward appearance and saw rejection and mistakes.

And He spoke the name 'Adam' to my husband and the name 'Peniel' to me.

Such strength.
Such life.

For Adam did not mistakenly get passed his Creator's grasp and appear unformed in a world, cruel.
No, "His eyes saw my unformed body" the psalmist wrote.
He did not somehow miss Adam.
For Adam was a son to a waiting (unknowingly) family on earth.
And he was formed perfectly for them.

He knew the multiple surgeries Adam Peniel would need and that I, his would-be mother, met a wonderful person 3 years prior in Mexico, who worked with some of the most skilled surgeons in the world.

He knew that more money than his parents would ever lay hands on would be needed to help him with his physical needs.

He knew that others, countless, were also a part of Adam's story and would give
in amounts, sacrificial
from pockets, shallow
with hearts, joyful

He knew that Adam was a beta. He was not meant to be fatherless on this earth.

Adam is our beta.

He also knew how much us (the parents) needed to learn about His redeeming love for us.
How it is a picture of adoption over and over again.

He worked in my husband's heart to come home one day after visiting Adam in his lonely bed, to say,
"Jess, Adam is us...we were him...disfigured, abandoned, orphaned, destined to death"
"But HE"
"But He came and rescued us. He adopted us."

What comes with adoption?

A name change.
No longer were we orphans
We were daughters and sons
Beti and Beta of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords

A legal exchange took place.
No longer are we without an inheritance and destined to death.
We are inheritors of all that is His and we are eternally free and redeemed.

A new place.
No longer outcast.
But deeply engraved in His hands palms.
No longer do the hurts of this world leave us to fend for ourselves.
We curl in His lap and call Him "Abba Father", literally meaning "daddy"

A newness
No longer are we what we once were.
He takes us, though red as scarlet, and makes us white as snow.
He never reminds us of the mistakes of our past.
We are never called His "adopted orphans"
We are His children.

And we were given the privilege to have these redeeming truths lived before us daily.

Adam, had a name change.
No longer "the child" or "that disfigured baby/patient" or "unnamed baby male"
Adam Peniel Paulraj.

Adam, had a legal exchange.
No longer is he the abandoned, disfigured child from NE India.
But he is Adam Peniel Paulraj, son of Dr. Raja Paulraj and his wife Jessica.

Adam, had a change of place.
No longer was he in the single infant warmer bed
Or the box/basket off to the side when the twins were born that needed a place to stay, causing Adam to move to the basket on the floor.
He had a new home.
At the home on top of the hill.
His own room, a crib, and letters addressed by hundreds of those who loved him the world over

Adam, had a newness of life in a way.
He had none of his old identity, but a new identity as our son.
When curious and confused onlookers in airports saw his appearance, they would murmur quite horrible things, thinking they were not heard by my foreign ears.
But they were.
But when they saw us claim him as ours, love him as our own, dress him as our own, the murmuring would quiet.
We were humbled when asked if he was our child, we would simply say
"yes, we we are adopting him" or "hes our adopted son" which would satisfy much of their confusion trying to figure out what happened to his little face.
But one day, Abba Father spoke again to my husband of the fact that we are NEVER told we are
His adopted if we are some charity case...
Not at all.
We are called daughters and sons
We are called heirs.
We are called loved ones.
We are not His charity case.
But His loved
His redeemed
His fulfillment of the Promise.

Adam, you are our beta.
Because we are His beti and beta.
We love you so much, dear son.
Thank you for fighting and trusting.
Your life is beautiful.


  1. Oh my beautiful - you are beautiful. Adam is beautiful and so very lucky to have you!! Thank you for sharing him here!!

  2. Yes, what a truly beautiful picture! What beautiful words spoken by a loving mother about her precious son! Praise the Lord for His blessings!

  3. Pure and undefiled religion is the sight of God, our Father is this, to care for widows and orphans in their time of distress; and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

    The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

  4. This is powerful. With tears I read your husband's words "Adam is us...we were him...disfigured, abandoned, orphaned, destined to death...but HE came and rescued us. He adopted us."
    Thank you for sharing this powerful story and the love it transmits. Gail

  5. Beautiful. The line that stood out to me the most, was one of your last: "Thank you for fighting and trusting." Our children put their entire faith in us, their parents. Seeing the pictures that you've posted of the two of you with him, I see him look to you with a knowing'ness that you are doing what's best for him, and the love you have for him. I've been praying for you and baby Adam, sharing your story when I find the opportunity. God continue to bless this beautiful family!

  6. So wonderful to see Adam is growing. He looks so peaceful sleeping there with his new eyelids. I think of you guys often and pray that each day will bring something even more wonderful into your family's life.

  7. Oh Jess,

    what can I say, but "what Grace" and
    " what a wonderful Savior!"
    Thank you for sharing so honestly and consistently of this journey.

    For indeed, the righteous shall inherit the kingdom, and
    the righteous are those who "live by faith"
    grateful for the ways He has called you to live by faith and for the example it is to us.
    so grateful for the way He is loving you and letting His love for this broken world be made known in the love of your family.

    Praying for you dear sister and many others are hearing about yours/Raja/Adam's story-

    this story of a love that conquers ALL and a love that resists the death that is spewed at us all day long: a love more fierce than the grave.
    we are sons and daughters indeed. sinners no more, but saints, holy and dearly loved.
    we are His.

    I weep with joy and gratitude and see the beaming light of His love
    and rejoice for how great will the Kingdom be for "such as these."
    your precious baby Adam!


  8. What a beautiful, 'beta' blessing for you and your husband. I found so much inspiration in your story. The details in your writing style spoke to my heart. WE ARE ALL HIS children- Amen.
    We have never met, so don't worry about trying to figure out how you know me. But I am so blessed to read & learn about your story. May God continue to bless your family.
    Robin R- Georgia- USA

  9. That is beautiful--just like your family. I am so blessed to read your story tonight. Many blessings.