If you have adopted or been closely connected to an adoption, you understand with great clarity that it is far more than a legal matter, far more than a mental decision, far more than an emotional commitment. Adoption, at the core is spiritual. Adoption, true adoption, reaches into the depth of your soul and changes who you are forever.
I read a number of definitions of adoption this morning and many said something along the line of ‘taking as your own’. That definition bothered me a bit. That tiny little two letter word ‘as’ just seemed to be what the whole definition pivoted on. Finally I found a better worded definition. It simply said ‘make your own’. That says it properly.
Adoption is not raising another’s child ‘as’ your own. Adoption is raising your own child. Adoption is becoming the parent to a child you have made your own. Your very own. That changes everything.
So many times people look at adoption as a second chance for people to have children and for children to have parents. A second chance as in if the best and original plan couldn’t work out, maybe this one will. You know, kind of like a consolation prize. Can you see how dangerous this mentality could be?
Second chances are wonderful for those who have made mistakes, somehow failed, stumbled and fallen, come up short, betrayed a friend, broken a promise or committed a crime. Second chances are a result of forgiveness and restitution. But, second chances are not what adoption is about. My children are not my consolation prize and I am not theirs.
As a Christian I am always eager to know what the Bible says about a subject and it speaks about adoption. Look at this one verse and consider what it says for a moment.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5 NLT)
In advance, as in, always was the plan. He wanted to bring us to Himself. He wanted to and it brought Him great pleasure. Great pleasure.
Not being God, I didn’t have this foresight and had no idea as a young married woman that was trying to navigate the land of infertility that there was a plan in place. I viewed every attempt as a failure. I didn’t understand then. I understand now.
These seven children were always meant to be mine. They didn’t need a second chance and neither did I. We needed to find each other and love each other and make each other our own, not ‘as’ our own but our very own. The plan was made in advance and it has brought me great pleasure.
I am thankful that God loves me with a Spirit of Adoption. I am able to smile at my children’s imperfections and take great pleasure in them because they are my own. I treasure the security that comes with knowing He takes pleasure in me with all my imperfections. I am His own.
Every Tuesday in September, October and November, I will be hosting a Small Group called ‘Spirit of Adoption’. If you are in the Birmingham area and know of a mom who is involved in or interested in adoption or foster care, please let them know and I’ll be glad to answer any questions. Prayers for this brand new group are greatly appreciated. Thank you.