From: kippaherring on
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http://www.canadianchristianity.com/christianliving/081222adoption.html

Adoption - more than trendy
Deneen Holder

Adoption has become almost trendy in Hollywood today. As a result of
this trend, the plight of orphans in our world has been highlighted
and adoption has been introduced as a means of making a difference.
Adoption of a child from a developing country has an additional
element of compassion and opportunity for the child. Globally there
are between 30 and 100 million orphans in the world, many as a result
of war or disease. Should the Church be responding to this crisis? We
often think of adoption as a blessing only for couples that have
suffered the heartache of infertility. Interestingly, many couples
that have journeyed down the path to adoption after facing infertility
feel that it was by divine design that their adopted child/children
came to be in their families. Is adoption something that God cares
about deeply and calls Christians to take an active role in?
Furthermore, is adoption something to consider, even for families who
already have children?

A sense of belonging is not far from any of us. "Éyou have received a
spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba, Father!" it is that very
Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God."
Romans 8:15-16 James1:27 says "Pure and undefiled religion before God
and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their
trouble..." It is the church's responsibility to care for orphans.
Singer/songwriter, Steven Curtis Chapman, a recognized advocate for
adoption, and a father of six children (three of whom are adopted),
states "it is not just a duty God calls us to, but also an invitation
to experience a deeper understanding of who He is. It really is this
divine, incredible invitation. God's saying, if you want to find me,
this is where I said I'd be. You will find me in the suffering. You
will find me in the least of these. You will find me in caring for the
orphans, in caring for the widows.' It's an amazing invitation."

Adoption is indeed one of the most profound ways the church can care
for orphans, something very near to God's heart. As Curtis Chapman
says, "adoption is the visible gospel." As a theme adoption is woven
throughout the bible., indeed Jesus himself was adopted and raised by
Joseph. There are other notable examples such as Esther and Moses
whose mother, Jochebed, lovingly placed him in a basket among the bull
rushes. She made an incredible personal sacrifice in order to give him
a future that she was unable to provide for him because of her
circumstances. Another courageous woman, the Pharaoh's daughter, drew
him out of the water and became his mother. Both of them loved him,
and God used each of them to fulfill His plan.

These are amazing stories about orphaned children who were not only
precious in the Father's sight, but who were also chosen by God to be
instrumental in His plan of salvation for His people. Placing these
children in a family was an essential part of God's plan to position
them to fulfill their destiny.

Psalm 68:4-6 describes God as "Father to the fatherless, and it is He
who sets the lonely in families." Who is lonelier than a child without
a parent to care for them and love them, to rejoice with them in their
successes and encourage them through their failures, to tuck them into
bed at night and hold them when they are scared? God knows where every
fatherless child is, and He loves each one. He has a plan for their
lives, and He wants to place them in a family. He desires to give them
a home where they can experience His love for them. He wants to
position them to fulfill their God-given destinies.

Although adoption is not the only we can express care toward orphans,
it surely is a the most profound expression of care. There is
opportunity for Christian families to provide love and a home for a
child who may not hear of God's love otherwise, and to make known
God's plan for salvation and redemption. Some children are hidden in
orphanages around the world; others are hidden in foster care here in
Canada that are living without a feeling of being loved. There are
also courageous mothers, like Moses mother Jochebed, who are making
the heart-wrenching choice to place their newborn babies out for
adoption. All of these children need a family of their own, and a
place to call home.

For those who feel that they have room in their hearts and home for an
orphaned child, why not simply ask God if adoption is right for you
and your family. For those who would like to be a part of God's
invitation to care for orphans through adoption but are not in a
position to adopt, there are many ways to support others who are able
to. Indeed Christian agencies such as World Vision capture the spirit
of adoption in sponsoring a child.

International adoption, in particular, can be very costly, so giving
financially can make all the difference for some families. Other ways
of supporting adoptive families are through baby showers, baby-
sitting, walking with them through the difficult times, sharing in
their joy in the triumphant times, and most of all, helping to point
these children to Jesus and His unfailing love for them.

The road of adoption and parenthood can be a difficult one, with
unexpected challenges and disappointments, but it is also one of
unspeakable joy. God's heart is toward the orphan. For those families
that He is inviting to take part in this amazing miracle, His present
and future grace is sufficient for each and every step of the journey.

Helpful resources on the subject of adoption:
http://www.hopeadopt.org
http://www.sunriseadoption.com
http://www.fotf.ca/tfn/life/articles/cpcs.html