Children Need Families: Adopt, Sponsor, Foster
I have a friend on Twitter. Yes, I really do. She is @introvertedmama and she encourages me. Someday I hope to meet her.
This month she notified her followers that November is National Adoption Month and the second Monday of November is World Orphans Day. I actually had no idea, but as it turns out, our son was adopted in November. In addition, she invited people to “link up” in honor of World Orphans Day on her site and blog entry, The Child We Didn’t Adopt: A World Orphans Day Link Up. If I can figure out how to link up after this post is written, I will support my Twitter friend’s idea and offer praise to God for adoption in general and for my son, in particular. In addition, I will offer a shout out to sponsoring children and foster care, both of which I am loosely involved.
Families are an integral part of how God writes His Story for the world.
God began the world with family in mind. Adam and Eve were created for each other so as not to be alone (Genesis 2:18, 20-24) and also to procreate and fill the earth (Genesis 1: 27-28; 2:24). When the world was flooded, God saved Noah and his family (Genesis 7:1). When God needed to pick the lineage through which our Savior was born, He picked Abraham and Sarah to have Isaac (Genesis 21:1-2). God placed His Son Jesus in a family with Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:5-7). Today, anyone who trusts Christ as our Savior and Lord is adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5).
God brought our son to our family.
Because of the personal nature of our son’s adoption story, I will not write about him on the internet. Suffice it to say, in November 2006, this little boy became our son. This is the first photo taken as his legal family outside of the courthouse, one of the most special days of my life.
God used adoption to teach me about being adopted into His family.
My son did absolutely nothing to be adopted into our family. As a young child, he did not know he needed rescue, and he could do nothing to change his circumstances. A courageous birth mother and our family did all of the work to have him placed in our family.
In the same way, when each of us is born, we have no idea we are dead in sin (Ephesians 2:4-5) and need to be rescued (Col. 1:13–14). None of us have any hope of salvation apart from Someone else providing an all-out rescue for our salvation. In the case of salvation, everything has been initiated and carried out by God alone. We don’t even cry out for help because we are born not knowing our need for a Savior. We can to nothing to save ourselves. Sounds a lot like an adoption story, doesn’t it?
God did all of the work to make a way for our adoption into His family. All of it.
I sponsor a child through Compassion International
The front page of my prayer notebook says, “Urgent” at the top. When I don’t have time to do my entire prayer routine, this page is covered nearly every day.
Tithy is on this page. She is the child I sponsor. I see her picture every time I open my prayer notebook and my prayers go everywhere she goes. My credit card is charged a whopping $38 a month for her to go to school. I treasure her notes to me. I love her.
I am a foster-to-adopt parent.
Our family is currently hoping to adopt a boy from the foster care system, though that may not occur. My husband and I have elected not to be foster parents because of reasons connected to our son, but we attend training each year to remain certified with the state. Last month, we attended an all day training and at the end of the session I just about boo-hooed right in front of everyone. I was overcome with emotion after spending a day listening to couples who are in the trenches as foster care parents. Foster parents first try to reunify their foster children with their parents. If successful, that means the pain of saying good-bye to children they have grown to love. These foster parents take in hurting children and do some real loving (messy and sacrificial) while still raising their own families and going to work every day like the rest of us. And they do all of this in a system that is less than perfect.
I sat there feeling this….
- Forget praising Hollywood stars and professional athletes.
- Let’s continue to praise teachers, civil servants and those in the military.
- The unsung heroes in our country are foster parents. They get little praise and a lot of criticism.
Those intensity of those feelings have passed, but while in that environment, looking in the eyes of those foster parents, my emotions were that extreme.
God decides the size of my family.
Personally, I have determined that since family is an institution designed by God, it is my duty to create one in line with His wishes. He determines the size of my family. For example, my womb closed up after the birth of our twins. That was God’s decision. Then God brought a son through adoption. (Yes, we let people know we were available to do so, but just because any of us try to have children naturally or aim to adopt children, does not mean our efforts work out the way we wish them too. All children were provided by God.)
I am aging, so my family may be complete now. However, the initials of my step-children, birth children and adopted child are engraved inside my wedding band and in a cuff bracelet I always wear. I did this on purpose. The engravings are my way of indicating to God that I am committed to loving each child, and He has permission to add more initials if He wants to, because families are His business, not mine.
Please love your family today, and allow God to make room for more if He wants to.
God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)
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