Warning!!! This is an extremely LONG post. If you're reading just to find out what's going on with the chili cook-off and silent auction, scroll to the bottom. Otherwise, don't say I didn't warn you!
I was first introduced to adoption about four or so years ago when our friends Ben and Janet announced they would be adopting from Ethiopia. Obviously I was familiar with what adoption was in the legal sense before this, but it wasn't until I watched them walk through their journey that I actually began to really understand what it meant to adopt. And I emphasize "began" because I still don't think I can claim to fully comprehend all that true adoption involves. I am an amateur when it comes to this. Ben and Janet's experience showed me that adoption isn't just for people who can't have children "the normal way." It's not for people who tried and tried and just couldn't get pregnant. Adoption is a choice...a well thought out, calculated choice to bring a child into your home permanently - fully and completely part of the family. Most people who adopt yearn for this child even before they see him/her for the first time. They have a love for this child that can't be explained by a biological connection. There is something absolutely beautiful and almost supernatural about it. It truly is an amazing thing to see.
Watching Ben and Janet also made me begin to understand my status as an adoptee. Adoption in this life, in this world is a reflection of God's actions toward us. We, as sinners, were separated from God. No home, no Father. But God chose not to leave us this way. He chose to send his Son as a sacrifice to redeem us...bring us back to him. He chose us and because of this we are able to be called sons of God. Do you realize what this means? If we confess our sins and claim Jesus as Lord we will NOT be eternally separated, but will be included in the inheritance of Jesus Christ. All because he loved us so much he could not leave us in a state of fatherlessness (when you have your own blog you're allowed to make up words). Adoption in this world is again a reflection and an extension of what God has done for us.
One of my favorite verses when it comes to adoption (actually just in general) is James 1:27 which says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This verse gives evidence to the fact that God has a heart for orphans (and widows, but that's another post) and he has given us a command to look after them. Does this mean we have to adopt ourselves? Not necessarily... Maybe it means becoming a missionary and serving at an orphanage caring for orphans. Maybe it means continuously being in prayer for adoptive families in their journeys. Or maybe it means financially partnering with a family in the process of adopting. If we pick our heads up and look around we will find out there are people all over that are answering God's call to adopt.
This is how we got introduced to Danny and Amanda. They go to our church and I knew of them...that's about the extent of it. Then I heard they were adopting, and for some reason God pushed me way out of my comfort zone and I invited them over for dinner. We got to hear their story...about them, their family, and why they have decided to adopt. God gave me an instant love for this family...a burden for this family. They are constantly on my mind and I have an aching in my heart to help them bring their little one home. When I heard the adoption is going much quicker than originally thought, the urgency set in. So that brings me to the BIG point of this incredibly long post (so sorry if you've read the whole thing!). I really wish we could give Danny and Amanda the whole amount that they need to adopt this baby, but we just can't. But I can (along with A LOT of help from those around me) at least assist them. So a small group of us has decided to put on a fund raiser for this family...we are doing a chili cook-off and silent auction on June 26. Like I said, this is going to require quite a bit of help and donation of resources and time from lots of people. That is why I am humbly asking for HELP!! Please donate...whether it be time, chili, items for auction, or straight monetary donations...whatever you feel led to give, we would appreciate it immensely and you may never know the full impact your donation will forever have on this family. So please be in prayer about this and if you feel like this is something God has laid on your heart, email me, call me, send me a message on FB, and I can get more specific about what we need.
Lastly, if you are not in a position to give or don't feel like this is something you're supposed to do, please still consider to partner with us in prayer. Pray for Danny and Amanda as they prepare for this little one to arrive. Pray for their older children as they make this transition. Pray for the birth mother and her situation whatever it may be. Pray for the details of the event to all come into place. Pray we are able to get the word out and people will come and feel led to give. Pray that all needs are met - financial, spiritual, emotional, others we may not even be aware of. Whew!! I think I'll end there. Please get in touch with me if you have any further questions, comments, or just want to pray. Also, if I've totally screwed up what adoption means to those who have already done it, please forgive me. I told you I was an amateur.