Ever since we met, my wife, Kristin, and I have talked about adoption. We knew after we were married we would have biological kids, but we also knew that we would add to our family through adoption.
Our heart for adoption flows out of the gospel that is very clearly highlighted in this passage in Galatians…
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 4:4-7 NLT)
It might sound cliché, but we want our lives be driven and dictated by the gospel. I believe that not just the way I pastor but the way I parent, the way I manage my money, and the way I interact with my neighbors comes from the gospel. When I understand what Jesus did for me and that he has redeemed me and given me life, I should want to live my life in response.
For our family, one response to the gospel that we felt called to was adoption. We believe God has a heart for adoption and we should, too. I don’t say this as a guilt trip or to make it sound like we responded out of obligation, this is something that brings us joy and has been an absolute blessing to our family.
I love that I have seen God accomplish something that he put on our hearts. I love that my family represents the diversity of God’s creation. I love that I have a visual reminder of God’s faithfulness, provision, answers to prayer, and his adoption of me every time I look at my daughters.
Let’s be honest — we often get asked the same questions… Was it expensive? Yeah, it was, and both times it required saving, a second job, and fundraising. Everything worth doing requires a significant investment. Are there people who don’t like the skin colors combined together in our family? Yeah, there have been a few of those conversations and I am sure there will be more. Could one of my adopted kids rebel someday? Yeah, and so could my biological kids. I am only slightly kidding when I say that sin nature is not limited to those who are adopted. I don’t mean to come across as if I haven’t given these things thought, but I want you to know I have spent time watching God grow me through these questions and the conversations that flow out of them.
Are their risks involved? Simply put, yes, there are, but risk is in the eye of the beholder. As a family, we decided that living out the gospel and the heart of God is what we were called to do. Risk is based on fear and there is no fear inside the perfect love of Jesus. God’s love was big enough in my life to adopt me and save me and I want to pay that forward in my family through adoption. – by Mark Artrip
Mark Artrip is lead pastor at Movement Church, a Grace Brethren church in Hilliard, Ohio. This story first appeared on the Flinch Conference Blog. To find out more about Flinch Conference, the national conference of the Grace Brethren fellowship, which will be held July 23-26, click here.
Send Mark a note of encouragement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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