Monday, December 7, 2009

Adopted into God's Family

This morning I read the blog of a family who is in China right now adopting a special needs baby. Below is a copy of a message the Dad shared at their home church before the family left for China to pick up their little girl.

Thank you for letting me take a minute during adoption month to talk to you. I want to start with a true story. A mother is in Wal-mart with her adopted Chinese daughter and runs into an old friend who is very pregnant. Naturally to conversation turns to babies, and the pregnant women leans over to the precocious three year old and says “ I have a baby, and my baby is in here” patting her belly. The three year old looks up at her and says “you don’t have a baby in there, you’re just fat! Everyone knows babies come from China!”

As a parent with one adopted daughter and soon to a second, I get a lot of questions about why people adopt. Couples not able to have children immediately come to mind, but in addition, many singles adopt who want children and realize that perhaps marriage is not in Gods plan for them. For us it was a complex love of children, a desire for kids in the home, and a realization that perhaps the empty nest wouldn’t be so great after all.

What about the process and cost? Well, unless your name is Angelina Jolle or Madonna, international adoption can take years. As adoptive parents we count pregnancies in years rather than months--anywhere from 3 to 6 years is average. Domestic adoptions often can occur much quicker depending on the agency and situation.

The paperwork is complex and expensive requiring a well organized person to take charge- such as my wife Jen. I can tell you all about the Hague Convention on Adoption and I can even spell “The Hague.” The cost can be less than a thousand dollars for a domestic adoption and up to forty thousand for an international adoption. I have been fingerprinted by the FBI for background security checks more times than Al Capone. And yes I passed them all. All of this is meant to ensure that the babies get into a good safe home.

The other thing I like to think about with adoption is the fact that as believers in Christ we are all adopted into the family of God. If you think about it, my daughter Natalie is in an orphanage not wanting or even aware that she is going to be adopted. How many of us were wanting or aware of our adoption into God’s family when for no reason, before the foundation of the world, God decided to lay his heart on us?

Natalie is making no effort for us to adopt her but it will surely happen . As a believer, God’s spirit worked in my heart to pull me towards him even before I knew it. In a moment, Natalie’s life will change forever when we hold her in our arms. Different food, smells, clothes, opportunities all will be hers as she joins our family not unlike what happened to us as believers when we came to know Jesus. She will be a member of our family forever just like those of us that know the Lord are members of His family forever.

So, as you think of us on our trip we appreciate your prayers but also I would ask you to think of your own adoption into Gods family. As you run into people who might be candidates to adopt I would also encourage you to suggest they look into it. I can say without a doubt that the blessing of adopting our first Chinese daughter Olivia has been just as much a blessing for us as a family as for her and we look forward to getting our other daughter Natalie in a couple weeks. Thank you.

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