A number of years ago, I had the wonderful privilege of serving as a youth pastor in Green Bay, Wisconsin. One summer we went to inner-city Milwaukee on a mission trip. The plan for the week was to partner with a local organization that served one of the most impoverished areas of Wisconsin. It was a very eye-opening week. I don’t have words to describe the violence and poverty we saw. We were not there very long before we saw the impact of drugs and poverty. I remember the final night of our trip. I sat on the doorstep of the house where we stayed and thought to myself, “I need to do something.” I strongly felt a call from God to adopt a child. Adoption is not something I had ever considered, and I prayed a great deal before approaching this subject with my wife. I was encouraged and blessed to discover that God had been laying the same desire on her heart.
It seemed clear that adoption was to be part of God’s plan, because just a few weeks after we decided to pursue adoption, an opportunity came to us. An extended family member of a person in our church had an unexpected pregnancy and was considering adoption. We spent months preparing for the birth day. The baby’s room was prepared. Our children were very excited and the adoption agency had all the necessary paperwork processed. It cost thousands of dollars and months of preparation, and finally the day arrived.
At the height of our excitement … everything changed. At the last moment, the birth mother decided to parent the baby herself. I had thought God wanted us to adopt a child, but the Lord had firmly closed the door. This was the hardest event our family had ever experienced. I didn't think we could ever go through that process again. But God had other plans.
Our adoption agency contacted Social Services in Milwaukee and arranged for us to meet a baby boy who was ready for adoption. I remember the first time my wife and I went to visit the baby in his foster home. It was such an amazing experience of God guiding and directing our steps. This time, the adoption went smoothly and several months later, we adopted our son. Our experience with adoption has given us an understanding of what it means to be adopted by God.
Think about Ephesians 1:5:
In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.
A simple summary of the Biblical truth of adoption is this: God invites us to be part of His family.
This truth is even more powerful when we understand who we are and who He is. We will explore this theme a little more in the weeks to come.
Blessings and peace,