Adopt: To Choose or Take as One's Own
The thread of adoption is one that has been woven in, through, and around my life. From a young age, I was aware of and even very interested in the plight of kids who needed forever families. My parents taught me that caring for orphans was important, and the right thing to do. And although I was saddened by their stories of tragedy and neglect and abandonment, I was mostly just so grateful that I was not one of them. (Ask me later, though, about the brief, but real, desire I had to live at an orphanage in town because of the awesome playground and pool they had on their campus!)
I have always loved kids, and I always imagined my life surrounded by them. I grew up dreaming of changing the lives of hundreds of kids through teaching. I just knew that I could be the difference maker that they needed. I thought that by my hard work and dedication, all kinds of kids would grow to write their own amazing stories of success.
I was, at that time, so completely unaware of the One who was busy at work writing a story of His own in my life and eventually in the life of my little family. How He must have wept over me as I worked so hard to design my own life doing the very things He made me to do. Although I was a believer, I did not really get that God was really the one orchestrating things and that I had very little to do with what would take place in my home and career. In His sovereignty, wisdom, and great grace, He chose to use the thing I loved most to teach me the truth about adoption.
God called our family of three to apply to be foster parents when our daughter was only six years old. I thought He made an awesome choice! Who better to love downtrodden kids than an extremely generous man with a gentle, kind-hearted daughter and a wife who knew all about kids!
Over the next dozen or so years, we would foster 9 kids and adopt two of them. Imagine my surprise when I pretty quickly discovered that God didn’t choose me to parent or teach or raise hurting, broken children because of who I was or what I could do. He chose me in spite of those things! Through these children I would be the one to receive the real education.
You see, I was really the one who was needy and broken. I was the one who needed to remember I had a forever provider and protector and that I would never be forsaken. As I began to truly realize the things that were already mine through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, I began also to understand more deeply that my own child and all of the children God would send did not need a great creative lover of kids, but a perfect Savior who chose each of them to be His own.
At the end of the first day in our home, a preschool foster child held my face between her chubby little hands and asked, “Are you my Mommy now?”
The son we would eventually be able to adopt, at almost two years old exclaimed at the dinner table, “I am going to call you Mommy and Daddy cause every boy needs a Mommy and Daddy.”
I recently received a letter from our first foster child thanking us for being there for her, loving her, and providing for her and her brother. She said, “You rescued me.”
We are not perfect parents or really all that great at rescuing others, but we know the One who is both a perfect Abba Father and rescuer for all who call.
Only some of the kids that we fostered came to know Christ as their Savior and Lord while in our home, but all heard of the One who chose to make them His own. Because He adopted us, we will always be compelled by His great mercy and grace to tell the story He wrote in our home.