Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Heart for Adoption

July of 2012 marked the one year anniversary of our adoption journey. A journey that has been an emotional roller-coaster; bringing both euphoria and heart break, laughter and tears. This ever changing spectrum of emotions has only served to strengthen my resolve for adoption and focus my vision of adoption. As an adopted child myself, I have always had a heart for adoption and the desire to pass on the gift of adoption. Yet it always has seemed something that is only on the horizon of my future. However, as I push into my mid-thirties that horizon has become an ever-present reality. In the blink of an eye my children have grown from tri-cycle engines sputtering around the house to effervescent youth experiencing the joy of living. I often wonder where the time has gone. My heart swells with pride as I watch them grow but aches watching the sand of time empty out of the hour-glass of their time in my home. There are few things that bring me as much joy as being a parent. However, the joy of parenthood is not motivation enough to pursue adoption. Nor is it to bring 'wholeness' to our family, though often it does.  The chief end of adoption is to bring glory to God by infusing the gospel into the Christian family. The gospel of Christ that declares a lost sinner a child of God by the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father. Christian adoption embraces an unknown child with the same love and compassion of a naturally born child. Genuine adoption brings the orphan into a fellowship of unconditional love and grace by virtue of the gospel. The gospel that says that true religion is to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27). The gospel that declares that true righteousness is seen in the pursuit of justice for the fatherless (Isaiah 1:17).  It was the metaphor of adoption that Paul used to demonstrate the process of bringing sinners into full membership in the family of God (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5). Yet, sadly, I have not always appreciated the richness of this metaphor, even as an adopted child. I often looked at the material blessings and lack of want my parents provided as the role of adoption. Adoption can change the trajectory of a child's life but if it only changes the social status of the child it has missed the mark.  True adoption brings a child into fellowship with their new family but more importantly with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3). My heart is to bring a child into the love of an earthly family and pray that he grow to know the sweet fellowship with our Heavenly Father. It is my prayer that in this adoption journey that I learn to lead my family toward adoption with that goal in mind. Not to see adoption as an opportunity to once again rock a baby of my own to sleep, to savor the smell of a clean baby immediately after bath time, or to feel the flutter of butterfly kisses from a sleepy toddler. All these are the pen-ultimate goals of adoption. The goal of adoption is to bring a child into my home because that child needs to be shown Jesus. To see Jesus in how I love my wife. To see Jesus in how I deal with my own failure. To see Jesus in how we worship as a family. To see Jesus in how we deal with the circumstances of life.  I pray that one day I can look my child in their eyes and say, "Just like Mommy and Daddy brought you into our family as a child, Jesus brought us into God's family." I pray that when someone asks me why I am pursuing adoption I can say, "I adopt because God has adopted me into the family of God."  I pray that my extended family will see the essence of the gospel when they feel the love for a baby they hold in their arms that came from the womb of another woman. I pray that when people see the metaphor of adoption played out in my family they see the Father of Adoption who sent Christ to accomplish it. It is to this end I strive. I cannot say that the past year has been easy. In fact at times it has been painfully tedious and exhausting. However, I pray that I can one day stand in the congregation of the righteous to declare that God has brought a child into my home. It will be on that day that I will continue to plead that God would adopt my child into the fellowship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I pray that as I write these words they will cause my heart to trust the author of adoption when the days are long, the financials overwhelm, and doubt creeps.  May I remember my own adoption journey that declared me a Partyka and my spiritual journey that declared me a child of God so that I do not lose heart.

soli deo gloria

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