This past spring, my wife and I took classes to become licensed to adopt from the Missouri Children’s Division. We went in to it with the thought that we would be willing to take on a sibling group that was about the same age as our kids. So, when we got the call this past week from our adoption specialist that they needed a home for 2 kids, a 2 year old girl and a 1 year old boy, all we could say is, “This is what we signed up for.” Now, we have doubled the number of kids in the house as well as taken a leap back in development by taking in a 1 year old. When we got hit with the stomach flu mid-week, I had to call my mom for help. She flew up to stay with us for 2 weeks. We are getting the hang of things slowly, but being sick is not helping the situation.
Why would we do this? Do we have a disposition for lots of kids? Do we have a Messianic need to become martyrs for some cause? Are we insane?
For me the first step was a conviction that if I see that I can do good and fail to step up, I am sinning. I knew that adoption and foster care is a serious need in our community, and I felt convicted that if I didn’t at least explore if adoption was possible for us then I would be serving my own idols of comfort and security. Later, I heard a presentation on the sex trafficking industry in our country and internationally and I felt a strong emotional shift. Hearing about how children are exploited and abused, I felt that I had to do something, what ever was in my power, to stop this cycle. I knew that in our community, children were being sexually and physically abused by their own parents. If I could provide a safe home for them then I knew that it would be worth what ever I had to sacrifice to make it happen. When Sarah and I moved into the city of St Louis, we were blessed (through the failing housing market, and the persistent decay of St Louis) to be able to buy a home that was larger than I ever imagined possible. We knew that this blessing was not for us to indulge in our own comfort, but to open ourselves up to taking care of the lonely and fatherless.
So here we are. This is what we signed up for.
In the story of the Exodus, YHWH saved his people from slavery to the Egyptians. They cried out to be delivered, and their Redeemer brought them out of slavery. They were brought out of a place where all their needs were met, but they were no free to worship or free to be the blessing that was promised to their patriarchal ancestor, Abraham. So YHWH delivered them. He delivered them in to wilderness where they had to depend completely on the Lord to sustain them. Even to the point of miraculous water from a rock and bread from heaven. This is where Sarah and I are now. We asked the Lord to deliver us from slavery selfishness, materialism, and fear, and he brought us out. Now we are in a position of total dependence on the Lord to provide for us. We have seen him sustain us through the service, prayers, and encouragement of his body.