I’m a writer, and in typical writer’s fashion, sometimes I can’t exact get my thoughts together when I’m sitting at home. So, instead of just staring at my laptop, whining to myself and grinding my teeth as I try (and fail) to stitch together words that make sense, I usually just grab my stuff and head out into the world to try and find inspiration.
I ended up at a coffee shop near my house. Posting up in my normal spot, I ordered a black coffee (because, what else would I get?) and settled into an unsteady groove. Let’s be honest—maybe it wasn’t my best work. Then I realized that there was a couple sitting across the room, crying silently as they held each other.
It immediately got my attention and I couldn’t help but pause the music playing through my headphones to eavesdrop. As it turns out, the couple was meeting with a social worker, who was in the midst of explaining adoption to them. They were worried that they wouldn’t be good enough parents for an older child, a kid around 10-13 years old.
“What if our child doesn’t love us as much as we love them?” The woman broke down.
The social worker paused, and then reached out to hold her hand. “Everyone’s dealing with something. Love them through it. Then, don’t stop.”
I noticed the man was holding his wife’s hand and clutching his Bible in the other. He hadn’t said anything yet, but he was crying. This couple JUST started the process of looking into adoption, but they’re already emotionally committed and ready to sacrifice a lot. And it was so, so apparent that the Lord was calling them to something great.
The man finally spoke. “How soon can we start meeting some kids? It’d be cool to go play football, or basketball or something.” The wife smiled and says yes, it would. Smiling, the social worker relayed that they could go today, if they wanted.
After an hour or so, they left. But the coolest thing I heard while I was sitting there listening? The social worker was adopted as a child. When the couple was crying and upset, the social worker stopped them and told them that being adopted changed her life—the best thing that EVER happened to her.
“I’ll always be grateful that a family loved me enough to pull me out of tragedy. And then they KEPT loving me. I couldn’t understand it.”
So they were gone. And I was left sitting in this coffee shop, a little teary-eyed and fighting to pay attention to whatever it was that I should’ve been doing. The entire story was so moving and particular to this couple, and it reminded me that it IS possible to put the highest good of God and His kingdom first. Just might take a little self-denial and sacrifice to make it happen.
Adoption is such a strong example for putting another’s needs above your own. And it this whole situation—this conversation that I had the luck to overhear, all of it—reminded me of the relationship that we have between us and the Lord.
The deepest AND strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of people adopting and trying to take care of children, but in God adopting us. In the fact that first and foremost, the Lord adopted us:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
The cool thing? There is a real sacrifice for those who do the adopting. Maybe it’s providing a place to live, and food, and shelter. There are costs associated with adopting. It’s a lifetime thing—you don’t get to just quit whenever it gets hard. It comes at a cost and sometimes that cost is astronomical. You don’t stop being a parent until the day you die. It’s a responsibility that carries a heavy burden. It’s a big deal.
But think about that for a second—God adopted US. He knew that the cost would be seeing His son on the cross. He knew that it would suck, it would be painful. But He also knew that adoption was the only answer to save a people like us.
The Lord knew that by giving us free will, we might reject Him. And that was true. Christ was rejected and spat upon and crucified. And in that moment, I envisioned the Trinity close together—weeping for us, for all of humanity together.
“What if our children don’t love us as much as we love them?”
Today, I’m grateful for a God that knows we struggle and loves us in spite of it. For a God that CHOSE to adopt me into His family. For a God that keeps loving me and doesn’t have plans to stop.
Alex Anderson, @accentshift