Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A grandfather's take on adoption...

I just read this on a fellow adoptive mom's blog www.whipplewords.wordpress.com

Back in January, I got to thinking about all the people who had been affected by our boys’ adoptions. I was overwhelmed with the ways God was using them to change people’s hearts when it came to family, race, finances, the orphan crisis, etc., and found myself incredibly grateful for not only being gifted with our sons, but for the heart changes taking place in others lives too.

One person I thought of in particular was my dad. He was always very supportive of our sons’ adoptions, but I knew God was doing big things in his heart when it came to his own responsibility and call to care for orphans. I asked him to do a guest post, thinking it might be a big source of encouragement for you who read my blog, especially adoptive families who lack support from their parents. Little did I know the magnitude in which God was working. I’m just as blown away as you will be.

Introducing, my dad:


Adoption. I knew what the word meant and all, but had I ever really thought about adoption? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans . . .” is a passage in James that I had heard all of my life. Of course, we all want our religion to be real and pure and undefiled, don’t we? The truth is that I “never” thought about adoption. All I actually did was complain about the adoption process; particularly America’s. A godly couple that I know had experienced the pain of trying to adopt a baby. A teenager was going to take the courageous step of carrying her baby to term, but at the last minute, after holding the baby in her arms, decided she couldn’t give up the child. This was after my friends had paid all of the doctor and hospital bills, set up a baby room, had baby showers, etc. . . . with nothing to show for it but tears and anguish. I’ve also heard the horror stories of Americans who have adopted children and years later the biological mom or dad get the courts to give them the baby back. What heartache.

Almost four years ago, my perspective on adoption was changed. Thank you Jesus. My daughter Janet and her husband Ben informed us they were going to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia. This was a great idea and even though I supported them completely, I stilled prayed for Janet to get pregnant. Was that wrong and selfish? As they went through the journey of adopting and blogging about it and educating me about it, I was amazed how God changed me. And that was before I met Isaac! Then, God opened his arms and said to me, “My gift to you.” Isaac is just an amazing little man. His smile and energy and spirit is so infectious, and as I told my church on Adoption Sunday, I can’t imagine life without him. And then came Micah. Praise the Lord, another precious gift from his hand. Micah definitely has my cute, chubby face. They are truly God’s gift to me!

According to Wayne Grudem, “Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.” This is one of the benefits of being justified by God. Eph. 1:5 states that, “In love, God predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace . . .” Adoption is God’s heartbeat. He placed Christians, those who hated Him, and rebelled against Him and didn’t seek after Him, into his family. I wouldn’t ask Him to do it and I certainly didn’t deserve it. What GRACE. SO, what God loves, as a Christian, I want to love. I will undoubtedly do it imperfectly, but that should be the direction of my life.

My wife Sherri went with Janet to help pick up Micah and bring him home. While there, her job was to scout out the orphanages to see what project we could do in Ethiopia to help them. It was our intent to go there this year to complete this project. However, Sherri came back burdened for the older kids at the orphanage. She couldn’t remove the image of their faces as they saw everybody come to adopt a baby, but not them. They were too old. Independently, God was working in my heart also. I had recently read, Radical by David Platt and was burdened to not be a typical American “dreamer.” Retirement could be near, but I want my life to count for Christ. So God gave me another gift. The desire to adopt older children. Eventually, Sherri couldn’t take it any more and shared with me her desire to adopt a couple of these older Ethiopian children. By God’s sovereign hand, our journey to adopt has begun. We love older kids, are still young for our age, and think we can still parent (by God’s grace). We too have been accepted by AWAA with the desire to adopt two Ethiopian boys between 8 to 12 years old. This is, “GOD”S GIFT TO ME.”

1 comment:

Paula said...

Wow, what a great story! Thanks for sharing it.