View from 30,000 Feet!
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the “Fostering Hope Forum” in Anchorage this weekend. It was a very powerful conference with some amazing speakers from all over the US. I found myself reflecting a lot on the adoption story that each one of us have walked through on our way to a relationship with Jesus as our adopted Father. That truth played itself out in a very powerful way as my wife and I had the oppurtunity to listen to a pastor from Texas teach on the theology of adoption and orphan care. He talked about a 30,000 foot view of the problem and taught on the theology of adoption and orphan care. The dilemma is obvious that there is a vast need to care for orphans and the staggering statistics numb us to the reality of each individual need. Jesus also has a passion for Orphan care and we learn about this in over 45 verses that reference the churches call to action. This is very inspiring and very noble to embark on this adoption journey in a real and tangible way but what does it look like in the “real world”. This has become a hot topic and received much publicity in the news media. There is a general desire to see the social injustice rectified and this desire manifests itself in many different ways. We see Hollywood making it sexy to rescue children from third world countries and and an emphasis on adoption making its way to pulpits nationwide. This has been coupled with a young generation of Christians that are willing and motivated to answer the call and move into this ministry with their families. This is where I believe we have to be very ready as a church to teach, equip, and partner with these families in this process. The theology of adoption and laying the foundation is imperative to assure that families and church bodies know how to respond to these children from hard places and if it is right for them. God has adopted us as sons and daughters into an eternal family, he did not do this simply through addition but by giving his only Son for us. God gave his family to us in a sense. This was a point that really resonated with me as I listens to Pastor Jason Johnson from Texas speak about the theology of adoption. “Its not about us giving a family to these children from hard places, it’s about giving our family to these children fully as God has done for us.” So these children come to us from hard places and broken homes but the biological parents are not the enemies. “And if they are not the enemies then we are not the heroes”. I was so impacted by these statements when I heard them. I have often heard people say things to us about our daughters like “they are so lucky to have you, you truly rescued them, you guys are heroes”. I have always had a knee jerk reaction to disregard theses statements because they do not describe our hearts at all. My wife and I have often said that our beautiful girls have rescued us, we are blessed beyond compare to have them in our family and learn about Gods love for us through them. What we have learned is that these tangible relationships of adoption in our family have taught us that God is truly the hero in all of this by giving us opportunities to experience his love for us and our adoption into his family. So I encourage everyone considering Orphan care to prayerfully seek God, study the theology, be part of a community that provides equipping and training to walk down this very challenging road. In the end the view from 30,000 feet is that the heart of adoption is written on all of our hearts by are Creator and in the giving of yourself and families the rewards are beyond compare.