We’re about to become grandparents—again, and in a totally new way for us. Our daughter Grace and her husband Joshua are traveling soon to Korea to collect little Jude. They already have three biological children – Elijah, age 6, and his twin sisters, Ava and Audrey, age 3. But now little Jude is coming our way. Recently Grace posted a blog on her own adoption-news website, Distant Cries, answering the question, “Why are you adopting?” I asked her if I could post her response here too:
When Josh and I were dating in high school we both thought it would be absolutely wonderful to adopt one of those cute orphan babies that you see on TV and that we met on high school mission trips. Then, in our marriage, we thought “we will totally do that one day.” Years later, when we thought briefly that we may not be able to grow our family biologically, we considered the option much more seriously. After graciously being given 2 more amazing babies as an answer to our prayers for one, we came back to Adoption with a new perspective.
We firmly believe that “like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth; blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Ps. 127:4-5a) We knew our quiver wasn’t full, but what if… what if we, instead of just having another baby, provided a home for a baby who otherwise would not ever have one. There are at least 147 million orphans in the world, with thousands being added to that number every single day. Every 15 seconds, another child becomes an orphan because of AIDS. They grow up in orphanages and age out of the system, being let out into a world completely ill-equipped to live affectively in it or protect themselves from it.
Yep, bringing one of those babies home would be a sweet way to fill up our quiver.
Then something happened. Our hearts were flung wide open to the truth of spiritual adoption. Yes, social justice is incredible. It’s desperately needed. But what if adoption is about more than social justice? It so is.
It’s about preaching. As we reach out to a lost, orphaned, unloved child, as we bring him safely home into a loving, safe family, as we give him both a family heritage and a future inheritance, we are preaching the Gospel. Just like our boy Jude, Josh and I were orphaned children. We were lost. But Father God reached out to us even though we were so far away. He loved us, and He provided a way to bring us safely into His family. He gave us both a heritage and promises us an inheritance, through that sweet brother of ours, Jesus.
A stretch? Not according to Scripture. “For those who are led by the Spirit are children of God… the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. 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…” (Romans 8 )
Josh and I grasped the depth of our own adoption. We saw what real adoption is. And our hearts ached to display the Gospel in this way to those around us.
So as we ache for Jude to be home, we’re reminded of God’s aching for those who are far from him. As we desire to give him a family, an heritage, and an inheritance, we’re reminded of how deeply God wants to give these things to his children as well. And as we bring that boy home, knowing we will love him every bit as much as we love our other children and will never think of him as “the adopted one”, we’re reminded how unconditional our adoption into the family of God is.
And we know this is more than social justice. This is a matter of life and death. This is the Gospel.