Answering the Call
How knowing God's heart and seeing Jesus' example should cause us to step out in faith and foster or adopt
By Jamie Schumacher
November is National Adoption Month, a time when adoption advocates hope to turn your attention to the need for families to say yes to taking in a child and making them a part of their family. But, what happens when November is over? There are some that will remember the speeches and special events, but most move on to the next thing.
Orphans and vulnerable children are still there though. Every day, they wait for someone to rescue them. To keep our attention on the plight of the orphan and the importance of adoption, we need to turn our eyes toward Scripture to hear what God thinks and see Jesus’ example.
GOD’S HEART FOR THE ORPHAN
In Exodus 2, you can see how God used adoption to protect Moses from death by placing him in the home of Pharaoh, the very one who wanted him killed. You can see God’s heart for the vulnerable orphan in several other places in the Old Testament:
“God in his holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows. God provides homes for those who are deserted.” (Psalm 68:5-6a)
“He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow.” (Deuteronomy 10:18a)
“Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17)
“Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.” (Proverbs 31:8)
I don’t know about you, but when I repeat something, it’s usually because I think it’s important or I don’t think the message landed the first time. We know that everything God does is holy and just, so we can trust that his repetition of this message means it’s important and he knows we will easily forget it if not reminded.
Jesus was adopted by his earthly father to fulfill the prophecy that the Messiah would come from the line of David.
He lived out God the Father’s message to speak up for those who have no voice and to care for the vulnerable. Jesus sacrificed earthly comforts to serve the sick, the poor and needy as he preached the gospel.
Jesus cared about children. When the disciples wanted to turn children away, he said let the children come unto me.
He carried a heavy burden as he walked the earth, knowing that it all would end in a cruel death. But, he did it because he loved us and wanted to do the Father’s will. He did not accomplish this in human strength, but rather in the strength of his Father. He paid the ultimate sacrifice to adopt us into the family of God and give us new life.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE NEED OF THE ORPHAN
There are so many children waiting for a family to call their own. Would you be willing to step out in faith to say yes to a waiting child?
I know not everyone can take a child into their home, but I am convinced that many are called and few respond. If we focused on God’s heart for the orphan and chose to follow Jesus’ example of living a sacrificial life, then there would be more children placed in forever families than sitting in a shelter or orphanage.
Saying yes to a child is scary. There are a lot of unknowns. The task can seem daunting, and it might be easier to look away so we don’t have to think about the problem.
Saying yes to a child will take sacrifice and service. It will take you out of your comfort zone, but you do not do this alone. God, who has called you to this, will give you the strength you need.
As believers, we are not called to a life of comfort. The American dream is not in the Bible. When you choose to take in a child and step out of your comfort zone, it will be hard. But, even more, it will be beautiful.
As you seek to live like Jesus by caring for children who come from hard places, you will see God work in incomprehensible ways – ways you would never have experienced living a casual and comfortable life.
Earlier this year, my sister and her husband adopted a beautiful 17-year-old girl named Kirsten. She had been through so many hard things in her short life and longed for a family who would say yes to forever with her. When they were asked to take her in, they could have said no. They already had two foster children, so you could say they were “doing their part.”
My sister and her husband said yes because they love Jesus and they love people. They know that any trials or challenges that may come pale in comparison to what Jesus did for them. They understand that any sacrifice is small compared to the joy and fulfillment they find in serving Christ.
How will you respond to God’s heart for the orphan and the example of Jesus’ life? Have you ever thought about becoming a foster or adoptive parent? If so, what is keeping you from saying yes? If you are ready to say yes, contact Soteria FAM to get connected with someone who can help you get started.