2014 – Week of November 17, 2014 – #1072
I was invited to a widows’ luncheon yesterday at my church. Yes, you heard that right. Our church has a great ministry to widows, following the biblical injunction to care for the widows and the orphans. While I’m not a widow, I was asked to join this sweet group of ladies and along with two other people to share my adoption story in honor of and in recognition of National Adoption Month.
The first speaker was an adoptive father who told how God had worked in bringing him and his wife two beautiful baby girls to love and to nurture. He told how before the first adoption he and his wife wondered if they would be able to love a baby who was not their biological offspring. He related that in retrospect the question was silly because they very quickly found out their hearts were primed to love immediately these bundles of joy God had brought their way.
I was the middle speaker and told my story. Then, a friend of mine, Char, related hers. Char had been born out of wedlock but her mother and father kept her. All Char knew in her early years was pretty severe poverty, rough talk, and a rough life. She was probably basically bringing up herself. Family life as most of us know it was nonexistent.
When her mom died, Char was just 5 years old. Her father let the family know he couldn’t keep her. So she was adopted by her birth mother’s sister and her husband—a professional couple in their early 50s who had never had children. Char arrived at their house one night with a grocery sack containing all of her possessions. But she was about to find out that life with her adoptive parents was very different from life with her birth parents.
Char had her own room—a room lovingly decorated just for her—complete with a closet full of toys. For the first time, she had new clothes. Poverty and want were no more. Hanging out in bars and hearing coarse talk—that was gone. She was taught manners and had experiences and opportunities unlike any she had ever had. In fact, by the time she was an adult, Char had, with her adoptive mom and dad, traveled extensively including internationally, entertained well-known ministry leaders, gone to concerts and plays, and much more. She was loved, protected, provided for, and truly nurtured.
As Char brought her presentation to a close, she said, “I have often thought of how very different my life became after I was adopted and how very different it would have been if I hadn’t been adopted. I don’t even know if I would be a Christian today.”
I can’t say it any better—and I certainly share Char’s sentiments. In my remarks yesterday, I said that I believe adoption is God’s incredible grace at work in making what is nearly always a bad situation better and sometimes, maybe even often, making it a truly wonderful situation.
Most, if not all, children who are adopted are adopted because of something being wrong—an out-of-wedlock birth, abandonment, abuse, drugs or alcohol, rape, incest—all tough situations. But through adoption, at least when it’s done well and right, God mercifully and graciously takes the child, who is truly an innocent victim in any of this, and puts the child with a “forever family” that is better suited to love and to provide for them.
Wisconsin is blessed with a couple of fine Christian adoption agencies, including Evangelical Child and Family Agency and Bethany Christian Services. Both of these organizations are looking—right now—for Christian couples who are willing to open their hearts and homes to a child who desperately needs a loving family.
Wisconsin Family Council is honored to be strong advocates for adoption. We know it is so very often the means by which God uses humans to rescue a life. Today, with so many children available for adoption, state foster care and many adoption agencies are encouraging singles and same-sex couples to adopt children, believing anything is better than remaining an orphan. I’m not sure about that, but I do know that unless married Christian couples step up to adopt, we don’t really have any good way to argue against that push and we certainly no credibility to do so.
Perhaps God is laying adoption on your heart? Maybe in this Adoption Month you are meant to begin the process of giving a child a forever family, of being part of God’s plan for a child’s future, of changing a child’s destiny both in this life and in eternity.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”