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Adoption & Thanksgiving


The only appropriate way to approach such a weighty subject is with the Word of God:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. -Ephesians 1:3-7

Context, context, context: In the two verses just before this passage, we are given important information. The book of Ephesians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to...you guessed it...the Ephesians. More specifically though, he says that he’s writing to the saints and those who are faithful to Christ Jesus in Ephesus, aka believers. SO, while there’s a lot to unpack in the passage of Scripture above, we must remember that the intended audience for these words are those who have already confessed faith in Jesus Christ, declaring Him as their Lord and Savior. That will also be my intention for this post - I’m primarily speaking to believers for this one.

November is National Adoption Month, and I can think of no better week to talk about my passion for adoption than this one, as we celebrate Thanksgiving! Before opening up about my own thoughts and desires concerning adoption, I feel compelled to recognize that it was first created and ordained by God, not man (John 1:3). Therefore, JESUS gets all the glory for adoption, not the parents. It's not about us!

The central idea of adoption is simply beautiful to me - that an individual or a family would willingly agree to take a stranger into their home and immediately call them their own child, regardless of any struggles, past experiences, or difficulties that child has faced, committing to love and care for them as their own flesh and blood for a lifetime. I don’t know how anyone can dwell on the gravity of that type of decision and not feel emotional about it! What’s even more stunning to me though, is that I have experienced this type of love firsthand! Glance back up at the passage from Ephesians, and let the insanity of grace wash over you, believer. GOD has done just that for YOU, and for ME. Before the foundation of the world, He chose us, with all of our baggage, to become his children through the blood of Jesus Christ! We have been ADOPTED in the most literal way! 

Since about my junior year of high school, I’ve known that I felt called to adopt a child one day. When I started dating my husband seriously, we had the typical conversations about what we envisioned our life & family to look like, and I discovered that he also had the same desire before meeting me! It was super exciting, and one of the many confirmations the Lord sent my way that this man was the man I wanted to build the rest of my life with. I’ll be completely honest and say that we still don’t know exactly what that is going to look like for us. Will we adopt internationally, through foster care, or through a private domestic situation? Will it be one child, or a set of four siblings? Will it be a baby, a toddler, or a teenager? Will we have all of our own biological children first? I have absolutely no idea, but I can tell you with confidence that I trust God is writing our adoption story, and we are open to whenever and however He wants to reveal it to us. And we are pumped about it; fully ready to say YES when that opportunity comes our way.

Now that you know all of that about me, I have something to say. 

I have a strong conviction that if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, (1) understanding how you have been adopted by God (Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 4:4-7; 2 Cor. 6:18), (2) understanding the command by God to care for the fatherless that is clearly all over Scripture (Prov. 31:8-9; Ps. 82:3; Matt. 25:40; James 1:27; Deut 14:27-29), and (3) understanding the overwhelming need to help orphans both in our own backyards and all across the globe, how can you NOT pray and consider adoption?

Please notice what I didn’t say. I didn’t say “Every Christian should adopt, period. If you don’t, you’re sinning.” What I did say was that every Christian should pray about adoption. Some people ask, why adopt? But honestly, that’s the wrong question. The question for us as Christ-followers should be, why not? 

I don’t necessarily believe that every Christian is called to adopt. I believe there are some legitimate reasons why certain families might choose not to - maybe age, medical conditions, marital instability, etc. But with that, I also believe there’s a large chunk of us American Christian families that are flat out too fearful, selfish, and/or comfortable with our "perfect" little lives to make a difference in a crisis that breaks God’s heart, and that’s pretty sad.

So, I must ask you, reader, have you ever prayed about what your role in adoption and foster care should be? I mean, really prayed. Not just the casual “Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours and show me if I’m supposed to do something about this pain I’m seeing on my 15th mission trip to an orphanage.” No no, I mean have you sought God earnestly for a consistent, extended period of time, specifically asking Him not IF you should play a part, but HOW you should. Because the reality is, as Christians, we are commanded to care for the fatherless. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. The intricacies of that are going to look different for all of us, but I believe with all my heart that we can do more than what we’re willing to do right now. We’re just either too scared or unwilling to ask the Lord to give us a task that might make us step outside of our comfort zone.

Maybe you’re really not called to adopt. That’s between you and the Lord, and I won’t argue with you about it. But maybe you are called to be a foster parent for a specific season of life. Or maybe you’re called to provide emotional support to a family who fosters and is having a difficult time. Maybe the Lord wants to use you to make a significant financial contribution towards a friend’s adoption, something more than the $20 you spent without thinking to buy a t-shirt they were selling. There’s a multitude of ways that we can step up as Christians surrounding adoption and foster care, and our creative God will certainly be faithful to show us our role when we humbly and diligently seek His wisdom.

Sometime within the next 24 hours of you reading this {if you’re reading when I’ve initially posted} you’re going to be sitting around a table full of warm, delicious food, and likely many family members, remarking to each other how thankful you are for all you’ve been blessed with. My prayer is that while we enjoy the blessings and praise God for them, our thoughts will also turn towards the orphan who has no one to hug this Thanksgiving, and will eat the same dinner they do every day, because the orphanage never has sufficient funds to care for them all. I pray that our hearts will break for the child in our own city that’s stuck in yet another terrible, unloving, possibly abusive foster care situation, simply because the person that was next on the list to take them in wasn’t someone who knew the saving power of Jesus Christ like you do. 

Christians, we can’t celebrate another Thanksgiving in our beautiful homes with full bellies and full hearts, unwilling to pray the scary prayer that God might ask us to do something just a little bit radical for the Kingdom, and continue to call ourselves true believers. That’s just not what following Jesus is about. It’s about going out into a broken, lost, and dying world & sharing with them the glorious truth of the Gospel that changes lives through whatever means necessary - adoption included.

So, here’s my challenge to us {including myself in this!}: Let’s commit to pray for five minutes every day about what God’s role for us is in all of this, from Thanksgiving until December 31, 2017. Just give the Lord five minutes a day for the last few weeks of this year and ask Him to wreck your heart with HIS plan for your life. Who knows, maybe He’s writing a story for you that you didn’t know existed. Maybe He’s just been waiting on you to ask Him to reveal it ♥ 

Happy Thanksgiving, and blessings!

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