If anybody understands God’s ardor for his children, it’s someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us. God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.
Home is safe, home is familiar, home is where we bring our family and where we celebrate birthdays and mourn loss and where we rest. Home is what children who have been orphaned lack. So we go through mountains of paperwork and fund-raise to cover adoption fees through spaghetti dinners, car washes, t-shirts and bracelets. We encounter foreign and domestic governments and we pack up and travel halfway around the world to bring children home. We choose to respond to God’s heart and His earnest desire that every child have a home, a mom, a dad, a hope. Every relationship we see was originally created to be a reflection of Christ and his church: a father and his child, a husband and wife, a brother and sister, two friends. It’s all supposed to be a reflection of the unconditional love Jesus has for us. And so it is with adoption. We bring children home, just as God is always drawing us home, to His heart, to His intent for His children.
Last week I had the privilege to be at a homecoming for one of our adoptive families. Dozens of family and friends were gathered at the airport, and there was a palpable excitement in the air. After a year-long adoption process, 16 year old Jon was finally coming home to his family. The plane landed. The group rose and gathered their colorful “Welcome Home!” signs. Of course, Jon and his mom were the very last ones to come through the big glass doors, so everyone spent about ten minutes standing anxiously, expectantly until finally they burst through the door and into their family’s arms. After years of living in an orphanage, Jon has a home and his family has finally filled that empty spot at the table and in their hearts.
Now, he will always have someone. And they will always have him. He takes their name. They welcome him for life. Is anything more beautiful?
After the hugs and tears had *somewhat* subsided, we gathered around and prayed and thanked God for this beautiful thing called family. Then we gathered our things and went home.