I am guilty of using words like “amazing” – “incredible” – “awesome” for things that really are not truly amazing, incredible, or awesome. Sometimes, I use those words for things that are honestly, quite ordinary. So then, I am convicted when I do read something that is amazing, incredible, and awesome like what you will read below. It truly is all of those things because it reflects the awesome character of GOD whose love is truly all of those words.
Since it is national adoption month, the following is a true testimonial from an anonymous friend of mine that I would like to share with you. This is a TRUE story and it is amazing, incredible, and awesome. Enjoy:
Adoption has always played a pretty big role in my life. When I was eight, my family adopted two little boys from Europe. When I was thirteen we adopted another boy from Asia. So since I was a child, my parents have spoken of adoption as an illustration of what God has done for us; He has handpicked us from among many to be called His children whom He holds on the same level as His true, perfect Son, Jesus Christ. My parents did a great job of teaching us this, and I would spout it off to strangers in an arrogant way when I explained why my brothers didn’t look like me. I thought my family was so cool because of the international kids living under our roof.
As I entered high school, adoption began to hold new significance to me. Due to much rebellion, pride, and selfish actions of my own, I became pregnant. This left my family devastated. We had recently moved to a new state, my dad had a new prestigious job, and was an elder in the church plant with which we were helping. We were an upstanding family, always serving and loving others. As I saw it, I had singlehandedly destroyed my family’s image of the “perfect Christian family.” Though, my family never saw it this way. I can’t remember them ever treating me poorly or differently because of how significantly I had messed up, but instead I only received compassion, love, and forgiveness. They embodied Christ to me. I’d committed heinous sins, but after repentance, He saw me as clean, righteous, forgiven. Not only that, but He viewed me as if I had never sinned. This shook me to the core and drove me to my knees in humble repentance and adoration. I was the adulterous woman of John 8. And He did not throw stones or condemn me, but merely said, “Go, and sin no more.” God had used my sins to show me my desperate need for Him and drive me to repentance. I had been adopted into the family of God.
Because I was too young to drive, let alone get a job, caring for *Timmy (*name has been changed) on my own was not an option. Because of their belief in God’s sovereignty over all things, my parents graciously offered to adopt my child as their own. They believed God had given them this opportunity for a reason and they could glorify more Him through another adoption. In doing this, they freed me from the foolish decisions of my youth, and gave me the liberty to finish school and pursue a career, unrestrained. Through the years, I’ve watched my parents raise Timmy as their son, and God has graciously helped me to consider him as my brother. I’ve seen my mother forfeit her time, energy, freedom, and so much more as she parents and homeschools Timmy. I’ve stood by as my father has decided to work many extra years before retirement to help save for Timmy’s college fund. After all my other siblings are raised, my parents are still raising him, still spending their time and resources on youth soccer leagues, youth group trips, and pouring money into new shoes for his ever growing feet. They have sacrificed much. They’ve been drained emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. But they made the decision to adopt him; they knew the cost, and still chose him, accepted him as their own, and view him as equal to their biological children. And it has been beautiful to watch them display Christ’s love for the Church in this way.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” Romans 8:15-17
My family has known much grief. One of my adopted brothers made continuous poor choices that ended him up in the juvenile court system at age twelve. Due to the violence he committed within our home that threatened the safety of my siblings, he was found a “delinquent” by the juvenile judge and placed in a residential treatment center. As a result, he has not been allowed to return to our home. Through these past seven years, I have seen my parents shed many tears, share many hours of frustration, and lose many hours of sleep on behalf of my brother. Yet they continued to pray for and visit him very regularly. It has been a long, hard journey, but a beautiful one. My family, but particularly my parents, have yearned for my brother’s salvation and reconciliation with God and my family. I do not suggest that surrendering feelings of anger and betrayal came immediately, but rather it has been a daily battle to choose to forgive and love my brother, instead of choosing hatred, bitterness, and separation. By God’s grace, we are seeing a change in my brother, possibly the evidence of the Spirit’s work of salvation in his life. My brother is currently in the process of seeking reconciliation with my family. Just this week, he sent me a Facebook message asking to meet with me to work towards that goal. This just evidences the work of a gracious God.
Within the past several months, my parents have begun fostering a middle-school aged boy from a difficult home. It amazes me after all the hard things they have endured because of adoption, they are still able and willing to pour out sacrificial love on yet another child. How is this possible? Because of the sacrificial love that they have been shown from our Savior. They have a solid understanding of God’s sovereignty and His bigger plan of reconciling us to Himself through adoption. Adoption is a beautiful picture of the love and forgiveness He freely offers us. Just like Hosea continuously went after Gomer after being rejected by her again and again, Christ incessantly pursues His children. Not only this, but He views and treats them as if they’ve never strayed, and have always belonged to Him. I’ve grasped this Truth and have a greater appreciation for my adoptive Father, Abba, because of the examples of my earthly father and mother. Praise the One who saw me in my sin, and still chose to call me His own! Were it not for grace…
So there you have it. I was right – it is an amazing, incredible, and awesome story of redemption, grace, truth, love, and mercy. Wow. Let’s all love as this family did and still does.
-Pastor Mark E. Shaw (Happy Thanksgiving and Happy National Adoption Month)