Friday, November 18, 2016

Adoption and the Powerful Call of Hope

"Our" Leo is still hoping for family to adopt him before he ages out
in 2 years at the age of 14. Picture from
where you can read more about his story.
When I was first moved to work overseas it wasn't out of some sense of guilt or pressure to do something that I didn't want to do. It was out of excitement to see what God can do and joy to be a part of His Kingdom work, a work that has eternal fruit. 

I couldn’t imagine what else I could possibly want to do with my life.

I heard stories of others who left their home, their family, their country and all that was familiar because they saw God's plan revealed in Scripture to bring all nations to Himself and had faith in His extravagant promises. I was inspired, encouraged, and filled with longing – I wanted to be a part of that!

It was perhaps a bit naive considering I was only 9 at the time, and I can certainly think of some other things I could do with my life now. I sometimes think wistfully of how I could live for Kingdom purposes back in our home country. 

But that motivation, however naively it began, remained essentially the same through years of developing and maturing until it finally came to fruition in our family's move overseas 8 years ago. And it keeps me here now despite plenty of struggles and a complete loss of that naïve vision of what overseas life would look like. 

Now more than ever, it is this hope in the promises of God that holds me here and gives me strength to press on through the struggles and disappointments we face each day. And not to press on only in a determined, gritted-teeth kind of way, but also to have an abiding sense of excitement and joy in looking toward the reward.  

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. 

In that same way I have found myself completely captivated by stories of another kind, full of hope and joy in proportion to the pain that is overcome. Stories of redemption that show the deepest wounds being healed. That show the power and glory of the Redeemer. 

Beautiful stories of adoption

I’m sure I am somewhat naïve on this point, too, not having adopted myself. But I’ve followed closely the adoption journeys of various friends and I am deeply aware of the pain and loss that bring the need for adoption. I have watched and hurt and prayed over the struggles of bringing a traumatized child into a family and over the brokenness that puts children in a position of needed to be adopted in the first place. And I have rejoiced in tears and in awe over the redeeming and transforming power of God both in the lives these precious, valuable children and in the families they join.

So this month as we seek to raise awareness for children who are in need of the love and protection of a family, I don’t want to highlight the great need or the great responsibility we have as followers of Christ to care for these children. Those points are important to consider, for sure, but need and responsibility don’t work alone to move us to action. 

The powerful forces that draw us out of our comfort zone and actually move us to action are hope and faith.

And, you guys, they don’t disappoint. No one can promise smooth sailing when you follow Christ out on the seas of life. In fact, as followers of Christ we are promised the opposite. But hope and faith will sustain you and give you peace and joy through the storms because they will assure you that in the end Christ will overcome and it will be more than worth it!

I don't believe there is a biblical mandate for everyone to adopt, though I do recognize the biblical calling to lay down our lives to care for the "least of these" in our world. This includes orphans and the unwanted children whose lives we seek to protect while they are still in the womb and ought to protect when they make it all the way to birth. 

I understand that care can take many different forms and not everyone can adopt. But I am staggered by the great privilege and joy of being part of God's redemptive work through adoption. 

It is the hope and joy of stepping out in faith to follow God and seeing His leading and provision that compels me to earnestly plead - don't miss out on His amazing work because of fear! Maybe, for you, that could mean His work through adoption.

If you have any interest in adoption at all and would like to be connected to some stories I've mentioned please let me know.

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