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ElizabethAnn

When Christianity & Adoption Intersect

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Yesterday I was pleasantly pleased when my pastor's sermon was on adoption and how the church as a body should support birthfamilies and adoptive families.

Grace Ann and Jack were part of the special music, as someone sang the two of them sat on the stage quietly playing. After the song, a friend spoke a little about our journey as a family.

Beautiful service if I do say so myself.

How awesome! You must go to a great church!

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Yesterday I was pleasantly pleased when my pastor's sermon was on adoption and how the church as a body should support birthfamilies and adoptive families.

Grace Ann and Jack were part of the special music, as someone sang the two of them sat on the stage quietly playing. After the song, a friend spoke a little about our journey as a family.

Beautiful service if I do say so myself.

How awesome! You must go to a great church!

I do and it has gotten better. It helps that my pastor and his wife were looking into adoption a few years back.

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From PACT comes this inspiring article, A BIBLICAL VIEW OF ADOPTION. Text appears below in case the link goes bad.

A Biblical View of Adoption

by Chené Tucker, MSW, LCSW

The decision to relinquish a child for adoption or to adopt a child is one that has multiple implications. For many clients, particularly those in the Christian tradition, questions regarding the "biblical acceptability" of placing a child through adoption are often present, whether they explicitly bring up the issue or not. In dealing with a woman considering making an adoption plan, it can be very helpful to direct her to the Bible as a means of helping her to access and integrate the spiritual implications of her adoptive plan. For adoptive parents and adopted people, the Bible has many examples that can help them to see how God used adoption to place children in a particular home for a divine plan and purpose.

Where is adoption addressed in the Bible? The story of Moses, a familiar biblical hero, is an excellent introduction. Born at a time when Hebrew newborns were being killed by the Egyptians, Moses was spared death when his mother sent him downstream in an ark covered with bulrushes. The daughter of Pharaoh found the crying child when she was bathing at the river's edge and decided to parent him, after returning the child to his birth mother to be nursed and weaned. The story of Moses, found in Exodus, is a classic example of adoption.

The story of Moses also supports the view of open adoption. The mother of Moses knew who was parenting her child and where the child was residing. Likewise, the daughter of Pharaoh met the birth mother of her child. Moses later moved away from his adoptive parents and began to identify himself as a Hebrew, returning to his people. This can be seen as a type of reunion. Obviously, Moses knew enough information about his background and roots to have an appreciation for his cultural heritage. In this example, God used the rerouting of Moses' life through adoption for a divine purpose. Moses became a liaison between his own people, the Hebrews, and his adopted people, the Egyptians. Through God's power, he would lead his people out of years of bondage and oppression into freedom.

A second biblical example is taken from the book of Samuel. Hannah, an infertile woman, was desperate for a child and prayed to God. A priest, observing her distraught nature, investigated. Upon learning the nature of her request, he prayed that the God of Israel would grant her wish. She committed in her heart that the child she would bear would be dedicated in service to the Lord all the days of his life.

To her delight, her prayer was answered. When the child was weaned, she brought him back to the priest and placed him in his care for a lifetime of service in the temple. The scriptures mention that after placement of the child, Hannah "made him (Samuel) a little coat and brought it to him from year to year."

Again, in this example, we see a type of adoption. A child was placed in the care of another party. Contact, though minimal, was retained on a yearly basis. The birth mother, Hannah, knew where the child was and to whom he had been given. As the story continues, we see that Samuel grew up to become a mighty prophet and leader for the nation of Israel. We see how God allowed the rerouting of a young man's life for a divine purpose.

A New Testament biblical example of adoption is that of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and spoke of His heavenly Father as God Almighty. According to the scriptures, Joseph, Mary's husband, was not Jesus' birth father but his stepfather. Jesus always knew where He came from and who His "birth father" was. As Jesus was later crucified and resurrected, He "returned" to His Father in heaven. This could again be viewed as a type of reunion, an adopted person being reconnected with his birth family.

In these three situations, we see an absence of secrecy regarding birth roots. Contact was maintained after adoption, particularly in the story of Hannah and Samuel.

The Bible can be a powerful tool in helping adoption triad members to integrate their adoption experiences into their faith. For the birth parent, it can help give a sense of "permission" to relinquish a child, knowing that adoption is scriptural and visible in the Bible and that God allowed and approved adoption, both then and now.

For adoptive families, it can help to answer questions about the validity of openness in adoption from a scriptural standpoint. It also demonstrates the way in which God used adoptive placements to enable children to fulfill a God-ordained plan, as well as to bless parents with a child.

Lastly, to adopted people it gives a message of God's sovereignty over the life of the individual. God in many cases has used adoption placement as a vehicle for His divine plan.

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Thank you Elizabeth, you always find the most interesting and thought-provoking articles.

Melanie :)

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From the Christian Examiner... a father who adopted explores the spiritual aspects of inheritance: Finding Jesus in an Orphanage. (Text appears below in case the link goes bad.)

ADOPTION: Finding Jesus in an orphanage

by Russell D. Moore — BP

----------------------------

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When my wife Maria and I at long last received the call that the legal process was over, and we returned to Russia to pick up our new sons, we found that their transition from orphanage to family was more difficult than we had supposed. We dressed the boys in outfits our parents had bought for them. We nodded our thanks to the orphanage personnel and walked out into the sunlight, to the terror of the two boys.

They'd never seen the sun, and they'd never felt the wind. They had never heard the sound of a car door slamming or had the sensation of being carried along in a speeding automobile down a road. I noticed that they were shaking, and reaching back to the orphanage in the distance.

I whispered to Sergei, now Timothy, "That place is a pit! If only you knew what's waiting for you: a home with a Mommy and a Daddy who love you, grandparents and great-grandparents and cousins and playmates and McDonald's Happy Meals!"

But all they knew was the orphanage. It was squalid, but they had no other reference point. It was home.

We knew the boys had acclimated to our home — that they trusted us — when they stopped hiding food in their high chairs. They knew there would be another meal coming, and they wouldn't have to fight for the scraps. This was the new normal.

They are now thoroughly Americanized, perhaps too much so, able to recognize the sound of a microwave ding from 40 yards away. I still remember, though, those little hands reaching for the orphanage. And I see myself there.

The doctrine of adoption doesn't simply tell us who we are. It is a legal entitlement, one we are prone to forget. "If children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ," the Spirit tells us (Romans 8:17).

I don't know about you, but "inheritance" was something I, growing up in my working class world, never imagined would apply to me. An "inheritance" was something rich people left for their kids — for the spoiled trust-fund heirs who might speed around Malibu in their sports cars. It's hard for us to imagine the place of inheritance in the world in which our Bible was first revealed.

In the world of the Bible, one's identity and one's vocation were all bound up in who one's father was. Men were called "son of" all of their lives (for instance, the "sons of Zebedee" or "Joshua, son of Nun"). There were no guidance counselors in ancient Canaan or first-century Capernaum, helping "teenagers" determine what they wanted "to be" when they "grew up." A young man watched his father, learned from him, and followed in his vocational steps. This is why the "sons of Zebedee" were right there with their father, when Jesus found them, "in their boat mending their nets" (Mark 1:19-20). When your father died, the vocation belonged to you, to pass on to your son.

This inheritance structure is a picture of something deeper, more real. The Bible identifies Jesus as the One who inherits the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel. He is the One of whom it is said, "You are my Son" (Psalm 2:7), who is given "the nations as your heritage, and the ends of the earth as your possession" (Psalm 2:8).

The Bible speaks, paradoxically, of our adoption in Christ as a past event, but also as a future one. "We wait eagerly for adoption as sons," Paul writes, and he tells us what that looks like: "the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23).

We legally belong to our Father. But, as long as our bodies are dying — as long as the universe is heaving in pain around us — it sure looks like we're orphans still. We know that we're children by faith, not yet by sight.

This is why "suffering" is so important. It isn't some self-flagellation, as though someone in a monastery in the Sahara is necessarily any holier than someone who's not. All believers in Christ, the Scripture teaches, will suffer -- all of us. You will be glorified, Paul says, if you suffer with him. The problem with too many of us is not that we don't suffer, but that we assume that only Third World Christians or heroic missionaries are suffering. My boys didn't know that they were suffering in Russia; they would feel it as suffering now.

We get too comfortable with this orphanage universe, though. We sit in our pews, or behind our pulpits, knowing that our children watch "Christian" cartoons instead of slash films. We vote for the right candidates and know all the right "worldview" talking points. And we're content with the world we know, just adjusted a little for our identity as Christians. That's precisely why so many of us are so atrophied in our prayers, why our prayers rarely reach the level of "groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26). We are too numbed to be as frustrated as the Spirit is with the way things are.

"I know you think this terrestrial orphanage is home," our Father speaks through prophets and apostles and consciences and imaginations, "but it's a pit compared to home." Or, as the Spirit says through the Apostle Paul's adoption teaching: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).

I want to see that orphanage one more time. When the boys are a little older, maybe 12 or 14, I plan to make the trip again, with them. I want them to see, to feel, where they came from. It's hard to imagine now what they'll think of it. They'll probably hate Russian food as much as I do — and look forward to slipping off with me to the McDonald's in Moscow when we can find it.

At the orphanage, I'm sure their eyes will widen as we walk up those cracking steps into that horror movie-looking front door. They'll probably go limp inside, just like I did, when they see all those abandoned toddlers peering out from the corners of the doors inside. Maybe they'll try to replay in their minds the circumstances of the nights they were born. I'm not sure what all they'll think of the orphanage.

But I'm quite sure they won't call it home.

Russell D. Moore is dean of the school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He is the author of the forthcoming book "Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches" (Crossway).

Published, February 2009

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I received a text today from my best friend who was at the Southern Baptist Convention today. The SBC passed a resolution this morning in support of adoption to encourage it, educate about it and to celebrate it.

Read about it here.

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A Christian author talks about why she sought reunion with not just her birthmother but her birthfather, as well: What It Means to be "Heard, Seen, Known"

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Christian music would have a huge Void if Mark Schultz's mother would have had an abortion. Instead she gave him up for adoption. Look how God has blessed his life and all of the people he has reached with his ministry. Praise God for Mark and pray for those contemplating abortion that they will choose life! God Bless

Love the story about/behind this video. The adoption language is not always "correct" within the song but message is moving and so clear. Thought I'd share with you tonight. God Bless..Enjoy :)

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I actually got to eat lunch next to Mark Schultz a few years back when I was on a committee to get a adoption agency in our town. We were able to talk about our adoption experience with Grace Ann and his own adoption. He is a great guy.

He is coming to do a free concert in September for a yearly festival that we have in our town.

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Thanks Dyna!

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This pastor is finding adoptee restoration to be her special area of ministry... Check out her site, here: http://www.adopteerestoration.com/p/my-perspective-on-adoption.html?m=1 then share your thoughts?

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An excellent read about God and adoption:

http://mommymeansit.com/go-in-adoption/

  • Upvote 1

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It is a good article, just read it on FB where Ellen shared.

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