Today, I would like to write a word of encouragement to those seeking to adopt because sometimes you need those! James, the writer of the book of James in the Bible, was Jesus' earthly half-brother. James' parents were Mary and Joseph. Although Joseph was not Jesus' biological father (as Jesus was miraculously conceived from the work of the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, thus Jesus was both fully God and fully man), Joseph raised Jesus as his earthly son. Another way to state this is that Joseph adopted Jesus. 'Jesus' identity as the Christ, after all, is tied to his identity as the ancestor of David, the legitimate heir of David's throne. Jesus saves us as David's son, the offspring of Abraham, the Christ. That human identity came to Jesus through adoption' (Adopted for Life, Russell Moore). Years later, James wrote a now well-known verse in the book that bears his name, 'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world' (1:27). Russell Moore continues in his book to say, 'How much of this 'pure and undefiled religion' did James see first in the life of his own earthly father? Did the image of Joseph linger in James' mind as he inscribed the words of an orphan-protecting, living faith?' (p. 75). Wow. When I read these words earlier this week, I was breathless thinking about God's plan in adoption! Joseph is often seen as a secondary figure, in the background of the manger. But he was so much more than that! And James was greatly impacted by his father's heart for adoption.
As I sit thinking about these amazing truths, I hope they are an encouragement to you on days when you believe God is calling you to adopt, but others are discouraging you from following this call. The reason I specifically shared James 1:27 today is because earlier today, Isaac, Emma, and I were literally visiting 'a widow in her affliction' and this widow told me that I could not adopt because that would be unfair to Isaac and Emma and the education we need to provide for them. Even after I told her that we believe God will provide for us, she continued to tell me we should not adopt. So, to summarize, while I was exercising 'pure and undefiled religion', I was told by the recipient of that gift, not to visit an orphan is his/her affliction to make him/her part of our family! If you are on a journey to adopt, you can probably insert your own outlandish story here!
There are sometimes unexpected bumps or discouragements on this blessed journey to adopt. There is a spiritual battle for your heart and your children. But, if you truly believe God is calling you to adopt, if you have sought out godly counsel, are in a stable marriage, and believe you have 'room at your table', remember that over 2000 years ago, a man named Joseph overcame much greater obstacles and trusted God, by faith, to fulfill centuries old promises of the Messiah coming through David's line, his family line, through adoption. And realize that you are in great company.