Andrew Jones has posted today on something that Andrea and I have talked about a lot in the past: adoption. He relays a question (originally posted elsewhere) on why America has 155,000 children in foster care when there are so many Christians in that country?
“Some wonder how this is possible in a country with Christian families. Surely, there are 115,000 missional families in America, right?”
The idea is pretty simple, and it’s a challenge that Andrea relayed to me after a 24-7 Prayer leadership conference nearly 2 years ago: if we are a people of the love of God, a people of sacrifice, then surely we have to meet the challenge of unloved, abandoned children by opening up our own homes? I don’t remember the name of the speaker at that 24-7 conference, but I remember the statement: that it is almost a duty of every Christian family to adopt.
Perhaps that’s too extreme; lets not go about putting millstones around peoples necks here. But what better witness is there to the love of God than to adopt others in our families, as He has adopted us into His?
I remember Conservative MP Anne Widdecombe giving an interview on abortion where she challenged the view that there just weren’t enough people willing to adopt the thousands of children aborted each year. She said something on the lines of:
“bring them all to me; I’ll take care of them”
The sentiment is simply that we as church should reach out to love, accept and give home to those abandoned by our society (not that Anne could personally adopt over 100,000 children a year!). And so we should. A similar sentiment is expressed by Shane Claiborne in Irresistible Revolution, where he highlights the disparity of people living rough on the streets while Christians have houses with spare rooms…
Challenging stuff. I don’t think Andrea and I are in a place where we could adopt right now; life is just too crazy (and we’re only beginning to work out journeying together). But I know that we will think seriously on it, we will come back to it: whether or not we have our own children, I know we will seriously weigh the possibility of adoption and fostering. We of all people know the importance of loving family, and long to create that to others who through no fault of their own have not experienced this.
The parents of some friends of mine did this. Clive and Beth Houghton wrote an amazing book talking about their experience adopting a young Mexican boy. It shows the power of ordinary, broken people seeking to do something extraordinary; trying to reach out in love to those who need it most. It also shows how hard a road that can be. But they did it, and after the days of that story, they went on and did it again, bringing 2 adopted children to join the 4 of their own already in their family. Its well worth a read.
The point of this post isn’t to say this is something easy, or to be taken lightly. Its not to guilt-trip you into doing something you’ve never considered. Its simply to get you to think and wonder, as Andrea and I continue to do, about how we best express God’s love to those who need it most.