Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Adoption Thoughts

Amy and I have begun to think through the possibilities of adoption recently. It's always been something we'd leaned toward, ever since mentors, pastors, and close friends, (and even my own brother) have adopted. The beauty, both the practical and the theological (picturing God's adoption of His children) has left an imprint upon us.

In addition, the scriptures inform us to look after widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27). I'm not saying it is God's moral will for everyone to adopt-nor should you feel guilty if you don't-but with the plethora of references, coupled with the practice of the early church, it is probably something to at least consider.
Much of the evangelical church is pro-life, but I wonder how many have thought through the logistical issues of folks NOT having abortions on babies they do not want. If I'm against women aborting their babies, then the babies have to go somewhere, right? I mean someone has to take care of them, because not all women will have the same reaction as Keri Russell in The Waitress and immediately fall in love with their previously unwanted child.

I recently read this post on the CNN belief blog titled "My take on adoption: Christians should put up or shut up." In it he challenges the church away from simply engulfed themselves in the culture wars and toward doing something more tangible and biblical than arguing, picketing, or shouting. He writes:

In the United States, there are approximately 116,000 foster children waiting to be adopted. That means a judge has either severed the rights of the original parents or the parents have voluntarily signed their children over to the government.

To put this into perspective, we might compare the number of American orphans to the purported 16 million Southern Baptists who attend more than 42,000 churches nationwide. Quick math reveals that there are roughly 138 Southern Baptists for every child in the American foster care system waiting to be adopted. To say it another way, this single denomination has an enormous opportunity to eradicate the orphan crisis in America.

If you’ve spent any time in church, you’ve probably heard a sermon on Noah or Moses or David. But how many sermons have you heard on the biblical mandate to care for orphans?

Southern Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics — the Christian Church — can provide safe, loving, permanent homes for these kids. Our faith dictates that we fight for a better way in both words and deeds.

Some challenging, yet at the same time, fairly realistic goals. I'm not sure where our family's path will lead us: to closed doors, to surprised pregnancy, to a changed vision, to adopting, locally or internationally, or just diligent research?

I'm not sure how much Israel practically displayed that this is who God really is: "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation (Psalm 68:5)." But in whatever capacity, I think local churches can and may once again tell something about God simply through their actions.


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