A blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter, I looked like the perfect blend of my mother and father. As others commented on the likeness, my parents smiled inwardly knowing that it was their heavenly Father who had chosen the custom matching of their adopted daughter as He had "made a home for the lonely" (NASB) or, according to the King James Version, had set another solitary in a family (Ps. 68:6).
A Story of Adoption
Older when they commenced the adoption process, Oliver and Mary Ennis were willing to commit to nurturing a child. Eventually, they welcomed to their home an abandoned child with pneumonia. She had lain so long on her back that the back of her head was bald. As you may have surmised, I was that abandoned child.
Since Christians are, through God's grace, accepted into His family without limitation or restriction and enjoy all of the rights and privileges bestowed upon His children, they should readily grasp the concept of adoption.
Celebrations were important in the Ennis home. I recall well the January evening when I arrived at home and found the dining room table set with Mom's best linen and china. Lying across my bed was a new "fancy" dress, and my favorite black patent leather shoes were awaiting my feet. I was ten.
I was not their birth child, but I was very special because they had chosen me. That evening, we were celebrating the day that I joined the Ennis family. Dad's explanation made my subsequent transition to salvation smooth. Salvation was like being adopted into God's family.
How could I not desire heavenly adoption when my earthly adoption was so wonderful?
A Theology of Adoption
A biblical basis for adoption is concisely stated in James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
Adoption, by definition, means to "legally take another's child and bring it up as one's own." Since Christians are, through God's grace, accepted into His family without limitation or restriction and enjoy all of the rights and privileges bestowed upon His children, they should readily grasp the concept of adoption.
Adoption imagery is infused throughout the New Testament. John 1:12–13 affirms, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." Furthermore, the placement of Moses, (Ex. 2:1–10), Samuel (1 Sam. 1:1–2-2:21), Esther (Est. 2:7), and Jesus (Luke 2:4, 41–50) into families was a part of God's sovereign and perfect plan.
An Application of Adoption
Orphans teach us about the love of God, call us to sacrifice, and challenge us to value Christ-likeness above our comfort. Not everyone is called to adopt, but within the Christian community, there are probably more individuals who should consider it, given that adoption is our story, too! And all of us should support it, whether through prayer, giving, or offering to babysit.
Many churches will emphasize Orphan Sunday on November 2. As the date approaches, are you willing to ask your heavenly Father, "What do you have for me in relation to adoption? Open my eyes to see the beauty of my adoption in Christ." His response might change the course of your life—just like it did for one blond-haired girl all those years ago.
Have you ever considered the fact that God adopts His children? How have you been affected by adoption?