It was a little over 33 years ago that my wife, Susan, and I decided to pursue adoption. After many attempts at pregnancy through natural means, infertility helps, etc., we decided that we should look into adoption. That caused a flood of emotions. I wanted 12 children and Susan wanted 2. Now, we were hoping and praying for one.
The cost was exorbitant! How do you adopt on a pastor's meager salary? So, we went to the county social services where we lived and pursued the possibility of adopting a child. After many questions, like how old, what race, gender, etc., we were told that we should never expect to adopt a child two years of age or younger. "We will put you on the list?" "How long is the list?" "You are about number 100." Lord, we need a miracle!
While waiting for the slow wheels of government to turn, many thoughts can cross your mind. God, what have we done that is so terrible that we cannot have a child naturally? God, can we really love a child that is not our flesh and blood? God, am I prepared to take in a child and love them like they deserve to be loved? This is me being real!
Many of those questions were answered when I searched the Scriptures to see what God had to say in answer to my many questions.
Ephesians 1:5-6 reads, "In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
My Heavenly Father adopted me through His kindness. That means a perfect Heavenly Father adopted an imperfect me with all of my sin and shame and DNA, etc. Wow! And He freely bestowed on me His grace. So, I guess I can love a child that is not my flesh and blood. And Jesus did nothing wrong. I was the one who had sinned, yet He adopted me. And yes, He will give me the strength and the capability to love another person's natural flesh and blood.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 took on new meaning for Susan and I throughout this process. It reads:
"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you."
Wow, Lord! Does that mean what I think it means? I didn't necessarily do anything wrong to not have a child naturally? Do you mean that it is just a part of your plan for my life? You are going to allow us the privilege of adopting a child and loving him or her like they need to be loved by a parent? Do you mean that you had this all worked out before we had any idea what Your plan was? What a God!
God made that decision so easy for us. Within one year we were moved to the top of that long list and were able to foster a child with the intent to adopt. That had never been done in Pennsylvania! We were to be the "guinea pigs". God still works miracles today! And what a blessing it has been!