October is Double Impact Month at Antioch Adoptions – give now to help families adopt children right here in our own backyard!
Did you know adoptive families can grow unexpectedly? Ours did – we have five adopted children, but about 11 months ago we adopted our second son. We loved the idea of finding a baby who needed a home (at some point down the road), but when Malachi moved into our home, he had just turned 7 (years, not months).
He had experienced things no child should experience and had been in about 10 foster homes over 3 years of his short life. While we were planning his transition into our family, we began to learn more about his story. The more we learned, the more we ached and longed to have him with us – so we could hug him, pray with him, let him know it was all going to be okay. It was a beautiful time of trusting that God had called us to something bigger than we could do, but also that he would equip us for it.
In Deuteronomy 7, God is preparing the people of Israel to cross the Jordan River and take possession of the promised land. In anticipation of this epic moment, God assures Israel in Deuteronomy 7:6-8,
“The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery…”
At the heart of the gospel is God’s unmatched love for HIS people – his treasured possession. We cannot begin to comprehend God’s love, both because of its depth and because it does not at all depend on what we bring to the relationship. God makes it clear – he has chosen us because he loves us, not because we have earned it. In fact, we are pretty undeserving.
Antioch Adoptions is passionate about seeing God’s people adopt foster children into their families, but it has less to do with the good morals that will be taught in these homes (though this is a great thing) and more to do with the fact that individuals whose lives are touched by the radical, life-giving love of God – so vast that it is beyond any man’s understanding – that these individuals will have a unique ability to care for hurting children in a way that reflects the love of the Father, saying, “I love you because I’ve chosen you.” That is, the heart that is changed by the gospel can’t help but live out the gospel.
One of the most remarkable ways in which I have seen my wife grow to be more like Jesus is in a growing capacity for this sort of Godly love. After that time of learning, preparing, and longing for our son to join our home, Malachi moved in. We were less than an hour into his first stay at our house when he got upset about something that seemed insignificant to the rest of us and screamed, “I hate you! I hate this family! This is the worst day EVER!” and stomped to what is now his bedroom and slammed the door shut. We have had many of these episodes since that first one. They hurt. They still hurt each and every time they happen.
In these moments of feeling the sting of hurtful words or actions, I have seen my wife beautifully reflect the love of the Father as she says, “I have chosen you as my son, and I love you.” Sure, there’s part of her that wants to volley an insult in return, but her gospel-transformed heart sees herself in his shoes – in desperate need of the safety and security of the Father’s love. So she chooses again and again to love him to the measure with which she’s been loved, not according to his merit.
Neither of us do this perfectly – sometimes we wonder if we’re doing it well at all. But, I have no doubts that one day Malachi will see that the most compelling picture here on earth of a perfect, loving, heavenly Father is actually… his mother.
-Randy, Adoptive Dad and Church Partnership Liaison for Antioch Adoptions