Posted by: JennyRain | October 2, 2009

Children of our hearts

I was profoundly affected by a broadcast I listened to this morning. 

My typical morning routine was interrupted by an attack of exhaustion and I slept in. Because I was later than usual leaving for work I was able to catch a broadcast about a family who has embraced adoption as a privilege and a calling from God.

Adoption is close to the heart of God.

This statement, made by Dr. Russell Moore, father of two adopted boys from Russia and author of Adopted For Life, is what grabbed my attention.

It arrested me because we are all adopted by God. It has caused me to give pause because if it is true that God has adopted me, what impact does that have on my life – especially on my life as it pertains to children?

See, I have never been one who is wild about the whole “pregnant” thing.

Being fat for nine months and all of the fun “side effects” that pregnancy entails like running to the bathroom all of the time for a variety of reasons, not fitting into your clothes, carrying the equivalent of a house around on your stomach, swelling to the size of Mt. Rushmore, hormonal imbalances that cause grumpiness, crying for no reason, fatigue, well … you get the picture. How is this beautiful? I have had colds that have less impact than pregnancy appears to have!

preg

Now, I know pregnancy is a beautiful thing – I have watched countless friends go through it and seen the joy they have experienced, the fulfillment they have found from being natural parents, the incredible love that has been experienced as the couple goes through the pregnancy process together – love they never have experienced before. I just have not really felt that urge to “embrace” the whole pregnancy thing whole-heartedly when there are so many kids in our world who are already here who may never experience the love of a family.

Psalm 68.5: God sets the lonely in families

But adoption? Now that is a conversation I can enter into.

To me, adoption is something that is so beautiful. Adoption is truly so close to the heart of God. I have seen the orphanages in South America and Africa and they are horrendous. I have read the stories of babies abandoned in Asian countries simply because they are “the wrong” gender, and its appalling.

chinese%20child3

For in You, the fatherless find compassion – Hos 14.3 

All over our world we have children who are neglected, abandoned, and unloved, that need a family to come along and tell them, “We want you to become a part of our family. We want to love you. Before we even met you, we knew you were a part of us.” It is what God has done for us – given us a home and a family – and every time I hear of a family doing this for an unwanted child, it pulls at my heartstrings.

The families who do this absolutely amaze me. Truly, as Dr. Moore expressed in the broadcast, this is about the Great Commission itself because, as he says:

“I stand back and say I’m interracially adopted.  I’m brought into a Hebrew family of the Lord Jesus and He is not ashamed to call us brothers the book of Hebrews says.   This is a picture of the gospel taking place when you have pastors standing up and saying we believe that there are unevangelized children in orphanages and in North America and around the world who need to hear the gospel.  They need to hear it not just one time in a gospel tract or in gospel presentation but every day of their lives from Christian families.  That is a Great Commission issue.” 

So to those families and churches who are participating in adoption, or adoption ministry – thank you for the impact you are having on the lives of so many children who need a loving home.

Thank you for the questions you have caused me to continue wrestling with as I examine how this will play out in my life. Thank you for exposing me to resources like Hope for Orphans where people like you are sharing the message so people like me can do something to help.

On those days when it feels only like a struggle, and not a joy, know that your ministry to the world is touching people you may not ever meet.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you – John 14.18

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – Eph 1.5

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Responses

  1. So, the God you speak of decided that it would be my destiny to be adopted by abusers?

    Not my God.

    • Cricket –
      Thankyou for the courage to share…I am so sorry that you have experienced this – my heart breaks to hear your story. I am also so grieved to hear that this experience has left you with an impression that God would desire to place you in a situation like this – I agree with you in that I do not believe abuse is a part of God’s plan. Thank you again, for sharing…
      Jenny

  2. I hope that you continue your education as you prepare yourself for this ministry to orphans by learning from such orphans who have been so adopted. I was one as were many of the authors of the anthology put together by transracially, transnationally adopted persons: OUTSIDERS WITHIN: WRITING ON TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION.

    Theologically I pick a bone with Dr. Moore in respect of the adoption in Christ, to which all Christians are participant (with faith). That “transracial” adoption that he claims is on another order and equally may (or actually) involve already those children in whatever orphanage or other place may live. They do not require your or Dr. Moore’s adoption for the adoption from above. They are different things.

    This horizontal adoption must take into account a series of facts: money corrupts the system that finds children, some are not at all truly orphaned; transporting a child into another culture far away cuts them off from part of themselves and too many adopting parents ignore the significance of that. Their history is disregarded. The fact that the children are sometimes placed where there is no one like them physically makes their body experience awkward…and can and does contribute to feelings of low self-esteem and body image troubles. Another fact is pervasive racism in America…which if one is white one may well ignore, but as a person of color rises to haunt.

    Please read the volume referred to above. Adoption is hard for many reasons, most of all for those unseen reasons or reasons ignored. The adoptee will outlive you (God willing) and have their own opinion of everything that was done in his or her life.

    • Mark
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom about the other side of the story, I have begun to make myself aware of the ugly side of adoption and know there are some awful stories. I also believe we have just as many young children in America who need loving families to come along side of them – whether that is through formal adoption, or mentoring relationships.

      Additionally, if I left the impression that some type of person to person adoption would be a prerequisite for a God to person adoption – that was not my intent at all.

      Dr. Moore talked today about how children who are adopted out of country DO go through a “double-identity-crisis” – of which I know that if you are adopted out of your race – there are many obstacles a child and their family must face. Many of my friends who have chosen to adopt have really tried to keep this in mind as they have considered it.

      Again, thank you kindly for your wisdom…it is greatly appreciated,

      Blessings & Peace+
      Jenny

  3. “I have seen the orphanages in South America and Africa and they are horrendous. I have read the stories of babies abandoned in Asian countries simply because they are “the wrong” gender, and its appalling.”

    Did you also read the stories of the children in Guatemala who were stolen from their families to be sold to Americans for adoption by soldiers? Did you read the story about government workers taking babies from Chinese families against their will and sending them to America for adoption because they made money off of it. Do you know that a lot of the children in those so called orphanages still have living family members who would love to take care of them but our too poor? Why doesn’t the church help those communities become strong enough to take care of their children so they don’t have to lose their families and leave their home country and everything that they know? Why don’t the people who are willing to pay $20,000-$40,000 to adopt a child that needs to be “saved” from a life of poverty donate that money to a charity that can help all of the children in that orphanage instead of just taking one out of it? I think that is what God would want. He would want us to make the unselfish choice and help more people.

    • Hi Heather,

      Yes, I have actually been to guatemala twice and have seen not only the poverty there, but many of the children who are now roaming the streets because their family did not have enough food to feed them. I also have a girlfriend who has adopted a child from Guatemala.

      These SAME people have also chosen to give back their money and more importantly their TIME to work with these Guatemalan villages to help encourage, rebuild, and educate these families so that they can prevent these types of travesties (children being sold) from happening in the future. One of my girlfriends is ministering full-time in a Guatemalan village working with the children there to educate them into a better future. She has dedicated her life to it.

      Unfortunately, this situation – child trafficking – which is what you are talking about – does not only happen in foreign countries – it happens right here in the US. Children DAILY are abducted, or run away and become trapped in the world of child-trafficking.

      Many churches are beginning to take an active stand against this – for example, the PureLife conference just did a walkathon to raise money to STOP child trafficking (see http://www.purelifenyc.org/ for details); Several friends at my seminary also were so inflamed by the vast number of children being trafficked through the ATL airport alone – that they set their lives to getting the word out that it is happening and hopefully be a part of the change – see my blog for details (https://jennyrain.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/setting-the-captives-free-sex-trafficking-hits-home/ ) – it is appalling when we realize this is not just happening overseas – it is happening HERE in America too!

      And jsut for the record – I AGREE with you whole heartedly!! I believe, as you do, that God DOES want us to make the unselfish choice – which is why so MANY of my friends have chosen to get involved – both through adoption, through offering money, and many by offering their very lives to advance the cause of the welfare of children.

      Blessings & Peace+
      Jenny

  4. as both a christian and an adoptee this kind of rhetoric makes me really angry. Being adopted by god and earthy adoption are not the same thing. being adopted by god does not involve loosing your name, your culture, your bloodlines, your history and being forced to be bought up by strangers with no genetic mirroring to you.

    I can’t imagine god wants adoptees to go through the pain of being adopted

  5. Anonadoptee,
    Thank you, I can not imagine what it is like to walk in your shoes as an adopted child. I do appreciate, however, you weighing in on the topic of adoption from an adoptee’s perspective and appreciated what you wrote about it on your blog. It is important to me – that both sides of the story be told here.

    http://antiadoptionuk.wordpress.com/

    Thank you for having the courage to share… Blessings & Peace+
    Jenny

  6. Dear Jenny,

    The “double identity crisis” that Dr. Moore talked about…can you say something more about it? What does he advise and what are the implications for transnational adoption?

    • Hi Mark, This is what was discussed on the Family Life Broadcast – for the entire manuscript, the link is below. Dr. Moore talked about the importance of taking the children back to where they were born to make sure that the element of their identity that connected to their culture of origin was a part of who they became and were becoming.

      Bob Lepine says this: “Children who have been adopted often face this dual identity crisis in their adolescent years. Every adolescent is saying who am I? A child who has been through an adoption is saying who am I really? How are you going to address that with your kids?”

      So I was mistaken – Bob Lepine actually covered the Double or Dual Identity Crisis.

      Here is the link for the broadcast – it also includes the actual audio content and other resources: http://www.familylife.com/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=dnJHKLNnFoG&b=3832113&ct=7496609

      Hope it is helpful to you! Thanks for asking!

      Jenny


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