Every year at Opportunity Camp I am blessed to work with a 100+ of God’s most precious children. This year, our 45th year in existence, we are serving almost 140 children who are in the social services system. Many of them are in foster or group homes, but not all of them. Some come from single parent or low income homes.
One camper has been with us for the past eight years. Often this would mean he has been in foster care for the past eight years, but not in this case. This young man was adopted when he was six months old, having been born to a mother addicted to drugs. He is one of the fortunate ones.
Too many of the kids who enter foster care never get out of the system. That’s not to say they may not have good, loving foster parents. There are many good, loving people who serve as foster parents. But for kids who never leave the system, they may grow up not ever really feeling wanted. As they age into their teen years, they realize their chances of being adopted are greatly reduced.
Men and women can become biological parents without much intentionality beyond the sexual encounter that produces a baby. It’s fair to say some have become parents by accident.
I have never anyone who became an adopted parent by accident.
Adopted children do not magically show up as the result of a one night stand or a failure to use birth control. Adoption requires a choice and takes time and effort. It’s an intentional decision to bring another human being into your home and family.
I have a great respect for those who choose to reorient their lives to accomodate someone else. In fact, the world needs an increasing number of compassionate Christ-followers who will accept the call and challenge of adoption. I’ve seen first-hand at Opportunity Camp the difference adoption can make.
The idea of adoption is also used to describe how God brings estranged family members back into the family.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba,Father.'” — Romans 8:15
We can speak of being born again, saved, converted, transformed, restored, renewed … and all of those are good and right descriptions of redemption.
The idea of adoption remains one of my favorites.