We have a new 3 year old grandson: Isaac Emanda Schuknecht

Isaac He officially became a part of our family this week when the court in Addis Ababa approved Troy and Stevi as his parents. Even watching the video of them meeting him is very emotional. I can’t imagine what it was like to be there in person. Isaac will soon move from the Ethiopian orphanage to Austin and to join his three siblings as well as his six-soon-to-be-seven cousins. Isaac is our second grandson who has entered our family via adoption, 2 1/2 year old Asa Peter Dusan being the first.
With the birth of each of my biological grandchildren I am deeply touched. Each pregnancy is a journey of anticipation and hope for the yet-to-be-born child. Asa came to us suddenly. One morning, Peter and Alisa got a call, and in a few hours they were on there way to Temple to met their son, our grandson. Before Asa could come home however, they had to walk through a journey of anticipation because this tiny newborn boy first had to endure a lengthy NICU stay. Watching Asa endure pain and suffering week after week, bonded us to him in an intimate fashion. I believe Asa, whose name means healer, will grow up to profess the healing of God to many.

Check out Ethiopia to Austin, the story of Isaac coming home to our family.  It has been a journey of anticipation as well.

It’s been a long road with many obstacles for Troy and Stevi to work through. In this waiting process through much prayer, God has already endeared this three-year-old guy to our hearts. His name Isaac means laughter. I envision him bringing much laughter and joy to our family. Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac is mentioned three times in the New Testament as the child of the promise. (Romans 9:7, Galatians 4:28, Hebrews 11:18). I envision Isaac Emanda walking out his life in the promises of God.
Prior to Asa joining our family, Troy surprised me one day by asking, will you feel the same about your adopted grandchildren and will you treat them in the same manner that you treat your biological grand kids?

Asa with his sister Alma

Asa with his sister Alma


Although I quickly assured him that I would, his question made me think. Interestingly, I have been asked the same question by others too.
With the birth of my biological grandchildren, by nature of my relation to them, I automatically became their grandmother –  which I happen to love. I delight in each one of them. With Asa, I have a deeper awareness of this privilege however. Each time he calls me Oma, and stretches out his arms for me to pick him up, I feel blessed to be a part of the family God chose to raise him up in. I think about his biological grandparents at times who aren’t able to have this privilege. I do wonder what it will be like to be a grandmother to Isaac, who has only known life through the lens of an Ethiopian orphanage. I know for certain however that I won’t take the privilege of being his Oma lightly. I will love and cherish Isaac just like the others and value the role God has granted me in his life.

It’s easy to see that adopting families meet critical needs of orphan children.

It’s true, but that’s only a part of the picture. God places these children  into specific families also as a gift, one that not only grows the size of the family, but each family member’s heart in the process. Asa brings us much joy; I can’t imagine our family without him. Soon it will be the same with Isaac. He is a gift that we will cherish and nurture with love for the rest of his life.