Over the course of a year, God was leading us along in learning more about adoption and seeing how we personally could be involved. I was working through the information I received and was aware of the growing burden I had to help expectant mothers who were in a difficult circumstance. While God was doing these things in my heart, he was working in Matt’s heart too.
Adoption can often be thought of as a female thing. It’s the woman who initiates it, etc. But it has been so encouraging as we’ve been more involved in the adoption community to see men who are passionate about following the biblical command of helping orphans. It’s not just a woman thing!
Matt attended a Sanctity of Life service in January 2013 that left quite an impression on him. He heard a Bethany Christian Services employee talk about the need for adoptive parents in the state of MI. He saw that by adopting from birth, we could help prevent another child from entering the foster system down the road.
Around the same time, he read J.I. Packer’s chapter on adoption in Knowing God. His first response was new found gratitude to God for bring him into his family as a co-heir with Jesus, having the full rights of a son. He saw the opportunity for our family to be a living, breathing representation of the gospel. Once far off, now brought near. Barriers dividing, like ethnicity, broken down. A diverse family, united in spite of the challenges, because they are loved equally and extravagently by their dad.
Adoption changes everything – for us inwardly because we are secure as God’s children and for how we view all of life outwardly because this is our Father’s world. He has left his dearly loved children with an inheritance that equips them to carry out his will in his world. What were we waiting for?!
“[A]doption…is the highest privilege that the gospel offers…In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship—he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the Judge [justification] is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father [adoption] is a greater.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God)
“Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption… If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God)