‘Oh, that’s wonderful…So why again are you adopting?’
This seems to be the most common response that we receive each time we tell someone that we are adopting. Then, almost without exception, the next question is, ‘So, why are you adopting from Ethiopia?’ Both of these questions are certainly appropriate; and ones that deserve proper answers. However, it seems that many times when friends and family have asked these questions, they expect an answer like, ‘Well, I was asleep one night and I had a vision of the ancient land of Cush, and the Lord spoke to me saying, ‘Go!...’
However, no such vision has ever occurred. In fact, we have had no ‘supernatural…super-spiritual’ experience which has in some way served as our ‘call’ to adopt from Ethiopia. Rather, through prayer and reading of the Scriptures, Kimberly and I are convinced that our LORD has called us to pursue international adoption in the county of Ethiopia. Although there are many reasons why we are confident in our call to adopt from Ethiopia, there are at least five that that are clearly and sufficiently revealed throughout the Scriptures, and worthy of further exploration.
1. The Scriptures command all Christians to care for widows and orphans.
The first, and, perhaps, the most scriptural reason we have to support our decision to adopt is the biblical command to care for widows and orphans. James 1:27 states, ‘Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress…’ Yet, this truth, of protecting the fatherless and the widow, is present throughout the Scriptures. Even in Deuteronomy, Moses speaks of ‘the orphan and the widow who are in your town’ being allowed to come and eat and being satisfied, ‘in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do’ [Deuteronomy 14:29]. Later in Psalms [146:9] and Isaiah [1:17; 23], the LORD reiterates this sentiment, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, stating, ‘Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow’ [Isaiah 1:17].
Most certainly this biblical command to care for widows and orphans finds its rooting in the biblical principle that we are to care for those who cannot care for themselves. This principle also holds true in our own salvation. God saved us when we could not save ourselves. In his nighttime meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus tells the Pharisee, ‘…unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ The Greek root of the word translated cannot is the word dunamis, meaning ‘power or ability.’ In other words, Christ was saying that, ‘unless one is born again, by the sovereign, gracious power of almighty God, he does not have the ability to see the kingdom of God.’ Therefore, we, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ were once no different than the widows and fatherless. Moreover, were it not for the gracious, lovingkindness of our Heavenly Father, who chose us to be His children through adoption as ‘sons’ in Christ, we would have remained fatherless, dead in our sins, and rightfully condemned for eternity.