The act of adopting a child allows us to be God’s hands and feet for those children who have no family to call their own.
I did not wish to adopt my three children, my three daughters from foster
Does that sound harsh?
You see, my first child died at birth from a disease called Anencephaly. Years later, my wife and I were blessed with three healthy children. I felt that if I adopted these three children, I would be taking them from others who biologically could not have children. So, adoption was not part of my plan.
Yet, it was part of God’s plan for me, for these children, and for my family.
And for that, I am very blessed, very rich indeed.
When we adopt a child, we are modeling God’s example, as He has adopted us into His family, so should we do the same with others. The act of adopting a child allows us to be God’s hands and feet for those children who have no family to call their own. We also allow God to work through us to use our story of adoption to affect and touch the lives of others. After all, when we adopt a child from foster care, our friends, our family members, our church, and others are watching what we do. This act of changing our family for ever may inspire others to do the same. Indeed, I pray that my own children, both biological and adopted, both inspired and called to help others in need when they grow older. Surely, God sheds a tear every time a child is harmed, every time a child is abandoned, and every time a child is orphaned. When we adopt a child that has been abused, that has been abandoned, and that needs a family, we are adopting not only for ourselves and for the child, but we are also adopting for Him. After all, God equips us with the wisdom, compassion, love, and strength to allow us to bring His children into our own family.
God’s call is clear to us. He is very concerned about those who are in need, and commands us to care for these. He wants us to look after those who are sick, those who have no food, or water. He wants us to pick up His cross and follow Him. To be sure, nowhere in the Bible does it say that we will have an easy time doing it. Never the less, the call is clear. As followers of Christ, this is what we are called to do.
God’s call for us to be adoptive and foster parents is clear throughout Scripture, as He tells us to take care of His children. Let us look at Matthew 25:35–36, and see how it applies to children in need; children who are in foster care, or who are waiting to be adopted.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
God has placed within us a call to ease the suffering of children who are in need, and to ease their suffering. Certainly, as ambassadors of God’s son, we must stand up for children, these helpless and defenseless children, as Jesus would do for us. Think of it as an expression of our love for God, and living the faith of Christianity in our actions. At the purest essence, God is love, and for us to live for God, we need to live for love. To be sure, one way to live for love is to live out our love, show this love in our actions, our beliefs, our thoughts, and our words. Bear in mind the words of 1 John 4:8.
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love
Rescue the weak and the needy, and deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Do these words ring true to you? Do these words speak about foster children? Do they sound like children who are ready to be adopted? They certainly do to me. Children in foster care are weak. Children available for adoption are needing someone to be loved. Most importantly, children in foster care and adoption need to be rescued. This is what adoptive and foster parents do; we rescue them by providing a safe and stable home for them. We clothe and feed them. We provide clean beds and a safe environment for them. But, perhaps most importantly, we are to love them. We are to love them as God would have us do so for his “weak and needy.”
The adoption of three children from foster care has led to so many adventures, challenges, joys, and experiences for my family. Just because we signed some paper work, making the children legally ours, does not mean that the new discoveries and challenges fade away. On the contrary, we are learning new things about these children on an almost daily basis. Perhaps the greatest discovery my family and I are learning is that the amount of love one can hold in a heart never seems to end. My family has not only grown in size from these adoptions, they have grown in love, as well. Surely, my cup runneth over. Surely, I am blessed.
Dr. John DeGarmo is an international expert on parenting and foster care, and a TEDx speaker. He has been a foster parent for 17 years, now, and he and his wife have had over 60 children come through their home. He is a consultant to foster care agencies, child welfare organizations, and legal firms, as well as a speaker and trainer on many topics about the foster care system. He is the author of several foster care books, including The Church and Foster Care, and writes for several publications. Dr. John has appeared on CNN HLN, Good Morning, America, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, and elsewhere, He and his wife have received many awards, including the Good Morning America Ultimate Hero Award. He can be contacted at drjohndegarmo@gmail, through his Facebook page, Dr. John DeGarmo, or at The Foster Care Institute.