This time of the year is very special for our family. The hubbub of the holidays has subsided, and we pause to celebrate the birthdays of several of family members, including two adopted grandsons. It’s an annual reminder of the courageous, selfless decisions of their birth mothers to bring them into this world and then, because they were not able to raise them, to entrust them to loving adoptive parents.
In the ongoing “pro-choice/pro-life” debate, often overlooked is the option of adoption, instead of abortion. If we “follow the science,” as we’ve been admonished so many times, we know that inside a pregnant woman’s womb is a living being – a human being – patiently waiting for the time it can enter the world and live without a sustaining lifeline called the umbilical cord.
So, despite the arguments, abortion is the taking of a life.
Sadly, many times women become pregnant and are unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility for raising a child – or another child, if they already have one or more. The alternative, some in our society insist, is abortion. But adoption – ironically the juxtaposition of two letters – is the better option, what we could term a win-win, for the birth mom, the baby, and the parents who adopt him or her.
Which brings us to our family. In addition to our two adopted grandchildren, we also have a son-in-law, now in his 50s, a highly successful entrepreneur who employs 60-80 people in his businesses, and is devoted to serving hundreds of clients. He’s also the father of two daughters and now the grandfather of a little boy. The lives of many hundreds of people have been positively affected the brave decision of a birth mother whom he was blessed to meet for the first time several years ago.
Abortion, therefore, isn’t simply a “personal decision” for a pregnant woman. Taking a long view, it literally is a life-changing decision for countless people, continuing many years into the future. Of course, adoption isn’t a simple, inexpensive option. To adopt a child often carries a cost that could total well into thousands of dollars. But how do you put a price on a life?
Rather than writing what might seem like a strident pro-life editorial, I’d like to offer a very different view on adoption – one presented in unequivocal terms in the Bible. Because it states that every person who is a child of God, who has been “born again,” as Jesus explained in John 3:3-8, has been adopted by the Lord.
Romans 8:15 declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom you cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” [literally, “Daddy.”] Eight verses later we read, “…even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
The apostle Paul writes more about this elsewhere, as in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Perhaps the strongest statement of all is found in Ephesians 1:4-5, which declares, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Earlier I mentioned the considerable expense of adopting a human child. But that cost, however high, could never approach what it cost God the Father to adopt us as His spiritual children. Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
To make provision for our adoption as His children cost the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ. So that Paul could write in Ephesians 1:7-8, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”
Across our nation, many thousands of childless couples would love to have the opportunity and blessing of adopting an unwanted child. Many other families with children would generously open their homes to adopt additional children. If only we could hear that option explained and advocated more often as this great social debate continues.
From the moment each of our grandsons was welcomed into our family and adopted, our lives were changed forever. Now we can’t imagine what our lives would be like without them. And for the birth mothers, they had the peace of mind knowing they had made the right sacrifice, seeing to it that the infants they carried into this world would grow up in safe, loving homes.
But even more, think of the countless men, women, and children whom God longs to adopt – for all eternity – because of the priceless sacrifice He has already made. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already spiritually oriented. But the question every one of us must answer is, “Have I been adopted? Have I truly accepted God’s invitation to become a member of His everlasting family?” If not, this could become the day of your own adoption!
* * *
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.