Monday, January 21, 2019

Wonders of Adoption

Within the next couple of weeks, two of our grandsons will be celebrating their birthdates just days apart (separated also by about seven years). My wife and I have been blessed by a dozen grandchildren in all, and each is unquestionably very special to us. But these two little boys – brothers – are unique to our family. Because they’re both adopted.

Mac and Cam, in some ways very
different - but in the most important
way, very much alike.
Whenever I see Mac and Cam, I marvel for several reasons. First of all, even though they don’t carry any of our DNA, they are definitely as integral to our family as any who share in our bloodline. The court and legal papers say so – and even more important, our hearts say so. They belong to us, and nothing they could ever do can change that.

Second, they are part of our family because their birth mothers made selfless, courageous decisions to let them be born and then find a loving home for them where they enjoy a mom and dad who love them unconditionally. The birth moms were “pro-choice” – they chose to reject abortion and then chose a couple to provide them with a secure, nurturing home.

In an age when many in our society seem to view abortion as an option of no greater consequence than taking out the trash, adoption is the viable – and ultimately, Scriptural alternative. Interestingly, the words “abortion” and “adoption” are very much alike if you simply transpose two letters, a “d” for a “b” and a “p” for an “r” One represents death; the other stands for caring, merciful life.

Whenever the topic of adoption comes up, I also think about how intrinsic that term is for the heartbeat of the Christian faith. For instance, Ephesians 1:4-5 makes this intriguing declaration: “…[God] chose us in Him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”

That passage alone could provide the grist for a number of sermons, but for our purposes here, it’s interesting that it says God “predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.” Clearly the basis for this was Jesus’ death on the cross as atonement for our sins, and His resurrection, giving us access to God the Father. 

But this isn’t the only place the term is used. In Romans 8:22-23 the apostle Paul writes, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

Earlier he states,For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15). Then in the next verse Paul adds, The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” This speaks to the assurance we can have as followers of Jesus, the unchanging, eternally secure relationship we have when God welcomes us as members of His divine family.

So as we prepare to wish them both a very happy birthday, I’m so thankful that in these two sweet little grandsons we have an everyday, visible reminder of two things: a very practical, humane solution for unwanted pregnancies, and the eternal truth of our relationship with our Lord. 

In human terms, our boys are both secure in the love and unwavering acceptance of their mom and dad, as well as our extended family. And even more, as disciples of Christ we have all the privileges of adoption into God’s everlasting family – a choice He made on our behalf. The Lord reached out to us because He desired to have a relationship with us. This was something we did not and could not initiate, but one we can and will appreciate. Forever.

No comments: