I’m grateful to share another guest post this morning from one of our adoption supporters. I should point out that I’m the one that assigned this task and gave the title to this series. I can assure you none of these amazing individuals are sitting there thinking, “I gave a boatload of money to adoption. Look at me.”
This particular couple, Brian and Dorean have given extravagantly to our family. They would be mortified if I shared details, but I will tell you that one of our children would not be in our home were it not for their obedience in giving an enormous gift in the 11th hour. A 6:30AM email in January of 2009 stating, “The check is in the mail,” allowed for our daughter to be plucked out of place of bondage and hopelessness and brought into a place of hope and healing. And they continue to pour in to our lives, with their love, prayer and with finances. A couple we didn’t even know at the time that their first adoption gift arrived at our doorstep, have now become family.
Why do I financially support families who adopt?
I have been told that I have given a lot to support some couples who have devoted themselves to the rescue of orphans; to families becoming the redemptive hands of God in the lives of the most defenseless of children. At the end of each fiscal year, I have a number showing the amount I have given in support of those who are, in turn, giving the priceless gift of themselves. When I look at what I can give, and compare it to what I see being given, mere money in any amount doesn’t seem to be so much.
I give what I have because I Love.
I love God and I believe the Bible tells us a lot about what God is like. Love is the character and nature of the God of the Bible; persistent, undeniable, inexhaustible Love. It is in Love that God knows us and permits us to know Him. It is His love for His creation that drives Him to intervene in supernatural and miraculous ways. To experience the presence and miraculous intervention of God in His creation, seek Him where His Love is being poured out in abundance.
The Love of God makes us all simultaneously wretched by comparison and yet infinitely precious. There is no more vivid demonstration of the kind of Love God shows us, than for a child in hopeless circumstances to be plucked from incomprehensible despair by a mom and a dad who say, “I choose you, and I’ll give you life in my family.” In that moment, it is God’s Love that is flowing, and miracles abound. Children get well. They thrive. They learn. Their wounds heal. They overcome the insurmountable. They connect. They are transformed in one act of selfless Love from wretched to precious. To witness this is to see God’s Love in action. To facilitate it by paying a few adoption expenses or offering some ongoing financial support is to participate in the miraculous.
It’s not religious fanaticism or hyperbole, it’s real. God’s Love moves in creation, and I get the chance to not just witness it, but to be in it. I love. Of course I give as much as I can, as often as I can, to as many as I can.
I give because the need is urgent.
I am a dad, and my kids have grown. Looking back, the time to raise them was so short. There was only one day for the first steps, the first communion, recitals, driving, college, and no waiting around for dad to get ready for the next need or crisis. Children are on the clock and the calendar without let up.
Orphans have a special kind of urgency; their childhood is at risk until they have a secure, nurturing environment to live in. They cannot just wait around until a willing family with sufficient resources can take them in, especially when the needs include medical treatment or accommodation for chronic disability. A candidate adoptive family could say, “We don’t have a comfortable surplus of resources right now, so it’s wiser for us to wait and save”, but each day of delay is a day lost for an orphan that will never come back.
I believe God provides for my needs, and when I have an unexpected surplus, I ask God what it’s for. I have never heard God say, “It’s time for more personal security by paying ahead on your utility bill” or “A big-screen TV would sure be sweet on the family room wall”, but I have felt Him move my heart for the urgent plight of orphan children. When I can give right now to help willing adopters care for even one more child than they have the means for, I can feel the pleasure of God and the nearness of His Love being freshly poured out.
I give because the ministry is so real.
I love and respect the institutional church, but I wonder at church priorities sometimes. Of course it’s important to have a big enough building, and I accept the necessity of staff salaries. Sometimes it feels a little disconnected when 90% for church revenue is building, grounds, staff, and bureaucracy, while 10% is foreign mission organizations and charities with their own buildings, staff, and bureaucratic needs. At what point does the church stop making excuses about care for the widows and orphans?
On the other hand, a dollar given to a family that is caring for redeemed orphans goes right to work in Kingdom purposes. It is a cup of cool water offered in kindness to allay thirst. It is clothes for the naked. It is a visit of comfort in a prison of unmet need. It is so real. It’s so now. It is 24×7 365.
Why would God want to involve me in providing for the care of orphans in someone else’s family? I firmly believe it is because God loves me, and desires for me to share His heart. When He appoints abundant resources to my stewardship, and invites me to be involved in His provision for these families, it is so much about His heart, and my heart. It is our original purpose. It is God training me for dominion of creation in His image. It is about tending the garden.
I don’t believe in an eventual day when I face God in judgment, and must answer for how generous I was with the church building campaign to build a gymnasium addition that will also have six new Sunday school rooms and a commercial kitchen for catering weddings. I do believe on that day I will be asked about the ten talents, and what I have to show for it. “I helped some families care for orphans they adopted, and I loved to see how you provided for them,” I’ll say. The kids with Down syndrome that otherwise would have been aborted or left to premature death unloved. The ones injured before birth with drugs or alcohol. The ones born in illegitimacy or crime. The ones who couldn’t wait for a family that had saved up enough money to care for them in their own abundance. That’s what I’ve got. I can already hear God saying “Yes, I already knew about that.”
I give for the reward
I believe that God exists, and I believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. One who is earnestly seeking God must consider how to maximize the probability of finding Him by deliberately looking where He is likely to be found. Giving to support the redemption of orphans is practically cheating – like shooting fish in a barrel – because God is there in miracle-working power, in majesty, in grace, in Love.
I have written of myself, confident that some will identify with my experience, and many will not for lots of reasons that are valid and legitimate; I acknowledge you and bless you.
Jesus, teaching his disciples said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 NKJV)