Thursday, November 24, 2011

God Sets the Lonely in Families

It was our second date. My wife-to-be and I were browsing books at Borders and making small talk. She was talking about her family and her childhood. She said something about her birth certificate and I told her mine was the same.

She was stunned, unable to process what I just implied. In all her time praying to God for a husband who is like this, from there, does that... one prayer always stood out, that he would understand her like no one else could. And my nonchalant comment sealed the deal in her heart. (Me, I was slower on the uptake. It took me a couple more months to recognize what God was doing.)

You see, I could understand her like no one else could because like her, I am adopted.

I admit I have selfishly held this post back. November is National Adoption Month. I've been wanting to post something. I have friends who have adopted. We've made efforts to get tied in to the local Foster system. And there are a hundred other better reasons to post this than my own selfishness. Because writing this is hard. It exposes emotions, and I don't like to feel. But today, Thanksgiving, I realize I am thankful for nothing greater because I see God's divine providence at work in my life and my wife's through our adoptions.

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27, emphasis added)

So as I thank God today for my family and the course my life has taken I cannot ignore the role my adoption played. So I thank God that I was adopted. And I thank God for my friends who have adopted or taken in foster children from the inner city to China and everywhere in between. I thank God on behalf of all those who now have homes who otherwise would not.

But the work is not done. Davd Platt shares in Radical Together how he approached the county Department of Human Resources to find out how many families it would take to meet all the adoptive and fostering needs in the county. He was told 150 families. When he invited his congregation to a later meeting if they were interested in serving in this way (after preaching from James 1:27) 160 showed.

I heard on the radio the other day that there are more Christian Churches (broadly defined) than there are foster children in North America so if every church only took in a single child, that need could be completely eliminated. I have trouble believing that when I see the needs in my own community. In California there are 63,000 in foster care and 12,000 children waiting for adoptive families.

And so I thank God for those who are presently moved to meet this need. One of my blogger buddies, Jason Stasyszen is going through the process to adopt from Japan. You can follow that progress on their Facebook page. Here's a video they put together. (grab a tissue)

Thank you God for blessing me with a family who loved me and raised me. Thank you for the same for my wife. Thank you for bringing the two of us together. Thank you for those who have hearts for the fatherless. Move our hearts to not be ignorant of their needs. Thank you for the many blessings you have given us so that we can share them with those in need. Amen.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families
" (Psalm 68:5-6)


caryjo said...

My mother was adopted back in 1920 at birth.

My husband and I were involved at an orphanage in Uganda. Our Ugandan "son" has adopted and/or kept several of the orphans over these last years. There is a full heart for them among many people. Have friends here in Omaha who have a number of orphans, from Vietnam and Korea... a Korean girl had been found in the trash there and even though she is still in serious physical and emotional trouble, her family is faithful to her. So many can be blessed and saved through that "legal" choice.

Am so happy for you and your wife. What a blessing to be blessed.

Fatha Frank said...

Amen, Caryjo. I'm encouraged to hear that about your mom and how that sympathy was passed on to you. Always encouraging to know we're not alone who have this on our hearts.