Just like your kids, I’m sure, my kids love to play imaginary games. Sometimes it’s Chris & Becca (or Mom & Dad), sometimes it’s Mud-Man and Fixer-Guy, or Teacher and Student, or Doctor Office and Sick Kid, or sometimes it’s Adopt An Orphan. Nobody teaches kids how to play make-believe, it just kind of flows from what they see, hear, and learn in the world around them and it reveals a lot about what they are learning! They act out our values and worldviews as theirs are being shaped!
The first time I overheard them playing Adopt An Orphan, I was surprised and humbled. Where had they learned how to love the abandoned like that? It made me question whether the value they were literally playing out really came from our house or if they had caught it at church. Either way, I was proud of their hearts, but it made me think about my own.
How much do I love the abandoned and how does my life prove it?
Loving people is hard, but loving the abandoned takes love to a whole new level.
Loving the abandoned chooses to take the risk of being sacrificial, even if it’s never returned.
It chooses reconciliation at great personal cost.
It’s a love that chooses to be unconditional in the face of conditional feelings.
There are countless relationships that display this type of deep love, but one of the clearest is seen in adoption.
There are no guarantees of requited love or an easy transition for the abandoned child into a new family.
Many times adoption means choosing to love a child with past scars and wounds, whether physical, emotional, or both.
Adoption chooses to intentionally sacrifice time, money, emotion, and even relationships with other extended family members for the privilege of loving a child.
When you take the time to really look at what adoption means and what it costs,
it paints a fresh coat of beauty all over the gospel.
It also gives us a new appreciation for the fact that Jesus, the Almighty God wrapped in flesh, allowed Himself to be born into a situation where someone would need to choose whether or not to adopt Him.
Can you fathom it?!
The mastermind Creator behind the grand rescue mission to restore His people back to Himself and He willfully chose to be so desperately in want that He needed to be adopted by a human man, Joseph.
How incredible that the God of the universe would choose to be adopted in order to relate to us in one more beautiful way
and paint a picture of how He longs to adopt us as His own.
It’s no wonder the concept of adoption is written all throughout scripture, from the Old Testament to the New. It’s no wonder that God’s heart is close to the brokenhearted, the abandoned, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless.
It’s because He’s been there!
Not all earthly adoptions turn out beautifully. Some kids move from one bad situation only to inherit a different kind of negative scenario. Some adoptions, though meant for good, bring heartache, but unlike broken human love, God’s adoptions have a 100% success rate. The inheritance of those who choose God’s grace-filled gift of adoption, inherit sonship with all of its privileges. I can’t say it better than Paul in Galatians 4:4-7:
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 (that’s us!),
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons,
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying, “Abba! Father!”
(literally the sweet, intimate name of “Daddy”!)
So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
And right there is the beauty of Christmas and the truth of Easter all tied up in the incredible concept of adoption. Jesus gave up everything to win us back to Him, no guarantees of our requited love, no assurance that we would choose to accept His gift, but regardless of the risk and the extreme cost, He chose the sacrificial love of adoption for us anyways.
He chose to abandon Himself for us, the abandoned.
That’s a Merry Christmas, people!
*This post was written in honor of my very dear friend, Brie and her husband Josh Brown who are beginning to walk through the process of adopting a little girl from Haiti. Not every Christ-follower is called to adopt, but as Christians, we are all called to love and support adoption because we ourselves have been adopted by our Great Rescuer. Please hold up this precious family in prayer and consider supporting them by purchasing a beautiful handmade scarf from Brie’s Etsy shop.
All proceeds go towards bringing their daughter home!
Here is a link to Brie’s Etsy Shop, Arms Toward Home!