As I write, I’m well aware that we are in Passion Week leading up to Easter Sunday. In addition to my preparations for preaching and leading at this weekend’s worship services I am also trying to prepare for my family’s big Easter celebration.
I am looking forward to spending time with my extended family. This is one of the few times of the year we all try to gather together for a meal and fellowship. I have three siblings living in Oklahoma along with their spouses and children. My mother also lives in the area. With more than 20 family members present, there is a lot of noise and busyness making for a pretty lively gathering. Easter is one of those big family days. At least that’s the way it’s always been for me.
This past Saturday on the northeast side of Oklahoma City, First Southern Baptist Church of Guthrie was invited to partner with Council Road Baptist Church of Bethany to serve at an OKDHS adoption fair. I have served at six of these events.
It was an odd experience for me this year to have some of the foster kids recognize me, smile, and say hello. In normal circumstances, being recognized and greeted is a pleasant experience. However, the reality is that the reason some of them recognized me is because they have been at multiple adoption fairs over the last few years – still without getting chosen for adoption.
If they are in a Christian home, they will observe Easter, but not with family. They will do so with the knowledge that they are the outsiders – the ones who don’t belong … really. How I long for each of these kids to have permanent families.
I believe our Heavenly Father wants this too. Imagine if Christians began to see adoption in light of the command of Jesus to carry a cross and identify with His sufferings. How many more undesirable older kids would be changed from legal orphans to sons and daughters?
Many people get on the road to adoption because their hearts are stirred by an emotional appeal. I’ve been there and done that. But the truth is an emotional appeal is not something that will sustain you in the long run.
Adoption is hard. It’s difficult filling out the paperwork and waiting for approval. It’s stressful to wait for the right child to be placed in your home. And just when you think the biggest challenges are over because you finally have the child in your home, you soon realize the difficulty and pain have just begun.
Many times, adoption is choosing to pick up a cross and bear it with joy and determination. A cross is something that is done intentionally for the honor and purpose and glory of God, though it may cause you suffering and harm.
The real tragedy of Easter this year is that there are many Christians who will look internally and celebrate God’s blessings; yet, will not look externally to bless others who do not have a real home or family. May God’s grace continue to wake up His church, and may all those children desiring to be picked, discover the love of God in Christ through His people as they open up their hearts and homes.
May Christians choose to bring children in and change them from orphans to sons and daughters through adoption. Oh, and I hope some kids will have new Easter outfits purchased by their new moms and dads this time next year. If you want to find out more information on fostering or adoption, please contact me at 405.503.4092 or email email@example.com.