This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. It was supposed to go something like this:
- High school sweethearts get married.
- Work hard, buy a cute house.
- Have one girl and one boy, 2 years apart.
- Do the kid sport and school thing in a Chevy Suburban truck.
- Send darling children off to college.
- Retire at 50 and get a cute convertible. (light blue, yes, I was specific)
- Then between Caribbean vacations, travel from grandchild’s house to grandchild’s house, passing out hugs and sugary cookies.
So, why in the heck am I passing out Chick-fil-a nuggets to the non-English speaking little Brazilian in the backseat?
The fog in my mind clears as I remember that the dark-eyed little girl in my SUV is our 5th child Andreza. Laughing at myself, and my daydream, I remember I am already 50, have 5 children, 3 of whom are adopted and I am NOT in a light blue convertible!
Ha, the things two 18 year olds can come up with while dreaming of the future. What those two dreamers didn’t know was that God’s plan for them was more than a timeline with black and white bullet points. His plan was to be richer in color and deeper in joy. And the bullet points He designed would pierce their hearts with love and compassion. Propelling them into the uncharted fields of the fatherless and through Him, they would have the adventure of their lives living out authentic Christianity.
This is our story. Or is it? You see adoption is at the heart of God and the Gospel. It was His rescue after the fall, to find us and in our lost, lonely state. With His compassion and great sacrifice, He would take us as His own, to become part of His family forever.
BUT SERIOUSLY LET’S BE HONEST
It all sounds so wonderful and mushy doesn’t it. Are you wondering what came over us? Were we bored, or just want an adventure, or thought, “Wow this is very Christian to do”? The truth is we didn’t pray for years or weigh the cost. (probably should have Ha!) We had our family and our bullet point list was going very well thank you.
It actually happened in a moment. God, in one of His finest moves washed compassion, outrage and love over our hearts. And dare I say anger? Yes, I do. A righteous anger that any precious, innocent child would be mistreated abused or abandoned. I can’t tell you the depth of emotion that comes with knowing that a child could be left alone at night on a street, or found hiding under a bed in terror. Lonely, unloved, confused and abandoned. I can hardly type the words without tears. How could there ever be an orphan? How could it be that adults in this world would not rush to the aid of a child?
I know that when adoption is written about people often make the “if you are called to adoption” statement. Now, I am not into guilt trips or manipulation. I just know what the Word says. Here is the hard truth:
James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress.”
If you are a child of God, then there are orphan brothers and sisters of YOURS that are in distress. We are all called. Listen to the voice of the Father. What is your part? Don’t be afraid to peer into the faces. There are many ways to help and creative options to answer the cry of the lonely.
DID YOU KNOW
Psalm 68:6 “ God sets the lonely in families”. No one should be lonely or abandoned. Yet there are millions of children worldwide that find no arms to hug them and no kisses to wash away the tears. Just in my state of Texas alone, there are 13,111 orphans. And astonishingly there are 27,000 churches in the same state. What if only half of the churches found 1 family who would adopt. ONE family that was surrounded by an entire church family, that had the love and support of people who wanted to experience James 1:27. The lonely in Texas would be set into the family of God. The thought stirs my heart. Such pure religion would abolish orphans in the largest state in America!
Yep I know them all; many have probably rolled off my own lips.
- “The economy”
“Of course, God doesn’t need a good economy, our youngest was adopted in the “year of no paycheck” at our house.
- “I’m 50”
“Perfect, God says, there are lots of older kids that will appreciate your love and care”
- “Older kids have too many problems”
“Nothing is impossible for God. Don’t believe all the “too hard” reviews.
Older kids are a joy and blessing.
- And my favorite: “God, I’m tired”
To which He replies “I didn’t say don’t get tired. I said rely on me when you are tired. I’m with you, get going Missy”
So what have you got planned for the rest of your life? Want a front seat to the awe and wonder of a life changed by love and belonging? That life might be yours. Expand your own little world by finding your place in James 1:27. Then get out a pen and consider some new bullet points to the “way it’s supposed to go” list by adding: – God, you pick.
This post is a part of our feature series this month on adoption and foster care. Learn how you can help make an impact during National Adoption Awareness Month in November and find ideas on teaching your children about the plight of orphans in the world with our Guide to Teaching Your Children about Orphans