Adoption Reflections

Posted: October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

This Saturday, October 26, our family will celebrate what we call “Adoption Day.”  This is the day that the adoption of our daughter, Olivia was finalized.  This day always makes me reflect on the incredible gift of adoption and the joy Olivia has brought to our family. When LeAnn and I pursued adopting a child, many personal questions came to surface as we entered into the process. As a pastor, one of the questions I asked myself was simply, “Does God believe in adoption?”  I discovered the answer to that question is a resounding “Absolutely!”

Even though the Bible uses the word “adopt” only about five times, it refers to the concept of adoption surprisingly often. And when it does, the Bible always presents adoption as a positive, gracious act that is part of God’s plan. Moses, for example, was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:1-10). Interestingly, his adoption, though sad for his Israelite parents, was part of God’s overall plan for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Esther was also an adoptee. We are told that when her parents died, Mordecai, her cousin, took her as his own daughter and adopted her (Esther 2:15). Interestingly, this adoption also led to a wonderful deliverance of the people of God! And in a way, wasn’t Jesus an adoptee? Joseph, who raised Jesus as his own, was not His biological father. This man of God was truly unselfish; he was willing to rearrange his whole life in obedience to God. Joseph gladly accepted Jesus, providing Him with all the love, encouragement, and guidance that a son needs from a father.

But the best and most important biblical adoption story of all is found in Romans!   

Romans 8:12-17 (NIV)   Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of (sonship) adoption. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

This is where adoption applies to everyone!  There is only one way for us to enter the Kingdom of God — we must become God’s adopted children through Jesus Christ.  The New King James version expresses this relationship beautifully:

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise and glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:6

Isn’t this incredible? God chooses us to be His adopted children, not because He has to, but because He wants to! In adopting us through Christ, He shows a depth of love unlike any other.

We adopted Olivia, raised her, taught her, and on October 26, 2005 she legally, and officially became ours.  But it was so much more than a simple legality.  She was our daughter!  We changed her diapers, nourished her, and held her.  We watched as she took her first steps and has never stopped since.  We smiled when she said her first words and we laughed as she said the cutest things.  Yes, we teach her and nurture her in order for her to grow up to be a godly young lady.  As a part of our family, she is protected, loved, taught, and is an heir of the Simmerman name just as her three brothers are.  She also comes under the discipline of LeAnn and me as her parents.  We will always be her parents!  We don’t look at her as different because she is adopted…she is simply our child along with her three brothers. When our family suffers, she will suffer, when our family rejoices, she will rejoice.  We even expect her to have the same responsibilities as her brothers in our family. 

In the same way God accepts us as His children.  He adopts us into His family, and makes us partakers of all the blessings He has provided for us, He provides protection, nurture, and love, He also gives us fatherly discipline (Hebrews 12:5-11) and God offers us a future glorious inheritance.

For those thinking about adoption, struggling with infertility or who want to simply enlarge their family circle, adoption is not second best. It is simply one way that God, in His wisdom, can choose for us to be parents. Whether one becomes a parent biologically or through adoption, the fact is that children are not a right — they are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3).

In my mind, Olivia’s place is to be called Daddy’s girl, to wear high heels and carry her frilly pink purses around and bring an overflowing abundance of precious little “girlyness” to our home.  She has filled a gap in our lives that only she could fill.  And LeAnn and I have dedicated our lives to raise her in the admonition of the Lord.  To guide her to the knowledge of who Jesus is and how He can be her Lord.  For you Christians out there, God has adopted you in His family for a specific purpose.  What is your place in the Kingdom?  What gap are you supposed to fill!  What unique gift has He given you to use to advance His kingdom?  Remember, according to Ephesians 1:6 it pleased God to adopt us…are you pleasing Him?

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