November 02, 2018

A call of love

A look into adoption and foster care by Jenaye Skjoldal

November has a special place in my heart for multiple reasons. For one, it’s socially acceptable to start listening to Christmas music … in my opinion. But more importantly, it was the month we were picked by our daughter’s birth mother, and it’s also National Adoption Month.

I recently had a conversation with a woman that went like this: Having learned we had adopted our daughter, she asked innocently, “So you aren’t able to have children?” I replied “Yes, we can.” With a perplexed look on her face she replied, “I thought only people who can’t have children adopted.” I explained how our daughter’s birth mother picked us, but again she persisted, “Wouldn’t the birth parents only pick those who can’t have children?” I explained that it’s about the birth family, and who they feel like they’re supposed to pick for their child. Since adoption became a part of our story, these kinds of conversations have been constant, creating opportunities for explanation and to minister to many.

There is so much that I could say about adoption and what Scripture says about this topic, but I will just focus on a few key points regarding God’s heart for the orphan.

As children of God, we have all been adopted.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family and bring us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

This verse, plus the fact that God sent His only Son Jesus to die for our sins, is just hard to comprehend. But it’s true! God wanted to adopt you into His family, the body of Christ. It not only was something He wanted to do, but it also gave Him GREAT pleasure! If anybody can present the best model of an adoptive parent, it is God to those who are followers of Christ. And in that, you can experience the grace, joy, and love that comes with being adopted into a family.

God used many people in the Bible who were adopted.

Moses was mightily used by God to lead the Israelites out of captivity from Egypt. He was adopted into King Pharaoh’s household because of the compassion of Pharaoh’s daughter (to see his full story, you can read the book of Exodus in the Bible).

Esther was used “for such a time as this” by God in an act of Divine bravery, to save an entire people group from being killed. Had she not been adopted into her cousin’s household, this opportunity may have never came to be (refer to Esther in the Bible to learn the full story).

God can take any situation and use it for His glory. Many conversations I’ve had around adoption include, “I don’t think I can do this” or “We aren’t ready to handle that.” God can handle it, and He can use you to steward a child’s life, ultimately pointing to Him and glorifying His name.

God’s heart is for the orphan

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

James said it–I didn’t. Actually the Holy Spirit told James to write this … but, who is keeping track? When Scripture is tied together, I always wonder why the writer was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write those parts together. For example, I think it’s interesting that after stating pure religion is to care for the orphan and widow in their distress, that James urges us to refuse to let the world corrupt us. Could it be that the world will try to convince us against the previous point James just made? There is a general stigma set by society around adoption, foster care, and birth families that Christians are called to influence with the Truth we’ve been given in God’s Word.

Maybe your heart is beating, or there are tears running down your face right now because you know God has placed adoption on your heart. If He has, I urge you to bring it to Him in prayer. Our family has never seen prayer answered in such tangible ways as we did while we were praying about clarity and guidance in regards to the adoption process. Talk to those you know who have experienced this or have connections to the foster care/adoption community.

There are many ways which God may call you to care for the orphan. It could come in the form of financially supporting a family who is adopting, looking into respite foster care which assists foster families to have a break or take a trip, or asking your local adoption agencies if they are in need of any supplies/resources. God may speak to you and call you in ways that you can’t even imagine, but know that He is faithful to be with you through whatever He calls you to (Isaiah 43:2). This is not a promise that it will always be easy or you will always feel blessed, but it is a promise that we serve a faithful God who is with us no matter what.

We pray that Christians would be an accurate representation of God’s heart for the orphan and how we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

If you would like someone to talk to specifically about adoption or foster care please email [email protected] with the topic “Adoption/Foster Care” so we can connect you with someone who is willing and waiting to talk with you.

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