“Did you adopt him?” I heard a voice behind me ask yesterday.
Turning around, I saw a beautiful little dark-skinned girl about seven years old.
“No, I gave birth to him.”
I turned back to my 18-month-old, who was thrusting his chest out over the steep playground steps, laughing because he knows I get scared he’ll fall.
“How many kids do you have?” the girl continued.
“Did you adopt any of them?”
“No, they all came from inside me.”
“They came out of your tummy?”
“Actually …” But deciding it wasn’t the time for a lesson in biology, I answered, “Uh … yeah, they did.”
“Are you adopted?” I asked.
“Almost,” she replied. “My mom just has to go to court one more time, and then me and my brother and sister will be adopted.”
“Wow, that’s exciting!”
“Yep, and we’re going to have a great big Jesus birthday cake. Getting adopted means you get to have a party and have cake.”
“Well that’s awesome, I’m so happy for you.”
“Yeah,” she said, then she quickly lost interest in our conversation and ran away.
A few minutes later, my friend C. came over and we started chatting. She had just come through her three-year-old’s very public temper tantrum without losing it, and she was so happy.
“That was real. That’s the Lord working in me, because I can’t hold it together like that. That’s progress,” she said with a big smile. I smiled back, genuinely happy for her because I know how hard it is to navigate those things.
C’s son is adopted too. It was a long process for her family, and I only know minimal details. I don’t know the specifics of how she and her husband came to adopt, but I know she is operating in a realm where she has tapped into the heart of her Father.
Ephesians 1:4-6: “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
It seemed like everywhere I turned yesterday, I was running into adoption stories. Only four of us showed up for moms’ group, and the other three had all adopted. Again, I haven’t pried too deeply into their stories, but each of these women deals with some pretty major special needs. A two-year-old with severe delays, a pre-teen with attachment disorders who doesn’t want to be around his family, a wheelchair-bound 18-year-old with down syndrome and cerebral palsy. And yet, a deep well of love in these women’s hearts to provide a family for their children. Isn’t that what God does?
Psalm 68:5-6a: “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.”
One mom put it this way: “I want to be there for the kids who are tossed out, because I was one of those kids.” Oh, the sweet, sweet story of redemption. That God takes our broken places and makes them new again. That we can be for others what others weren’t for us, because God Himself fills in the gaps. He paid the ultimate price to give us a seat at the table of the family of God.
My friend R. and her husband are in the final stages of adopting a 17-year-old boy with down syndrome from Ukraine. It seems like the noblest thing a family could do. She says people ask her why they’re doing this, and she shrugs and says, “Because that’s what God tells us to do. James 1:27 says that pure and undefiled religion before God is to care for the widows and orphans and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. It’s pretty simple, really.“