Words By Emma Lackey
What do Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Nelson Mandela, Mike Tyson, and Steve Jobs all have in common? These famous people were all…adopted! The topic of adoption interests me because just before Christmas, I gained two new cousins through adoption. The Bible says that we are to “look after orphans in their distress” and “defend the cause of the fatherless.” My aunt and uncle already have a biological daughter but they wanted more children. My aunt was adopted herself, so she understands the importance of adoption in a special way. From their experience, my aunt and uncle told me about the adoption process.
Once people know that they want to adopt they contact Children’s Aid Services, also known as CAS. They complete a police check and attend mandatory adoption classes. After the classes are finished, a case worker is assigned to conduct a home study. They ask the couple lots of questions about their individual histories as well as their personal lives together. The couple must also get their home child proofed so that it meets safety standards. Once they pass the home inspection, the couple fills out a form indicating the type of child they would like…age, gender, ethnicity, and whether or not they are willing to adopt a child with disabilities. The case worker then submits their file for consideration at CAS. The people at CAS decide which parents and which children are the most compatible. Placing children into the right family can take a long time.
For my aunt and uncle, it took almost a year before they got “the phone call.” They were told that a pair of siblings, a boy and a girl, ages two and one, needed a family. The biological parents were unable to care for the children, so they had been in foster care since birth. Foster care is a temporary home where children are placed until they can be reunited with their biological parents or adopted into a family. My cousins were living in different foster homes, so they hadn’t really even met each other. My aunt and uncle were able to spend time with the children while they were in foster care. The adoption became official a month after “the phone call.” The children were given new names and became part of a new family. CAS calls this the “forever family.”
Adoption is something good that people choose to do, but it can be very complicated and difficult. Adoptions are either open or closed. My aunt and uncle have chosen to have a closed adoption. This means that the biological parents will not be able to initiate contact with the children. When the children are older, they can decide whether or not to seek out their biological parents. My aunt and uncle also have to decide when they will tell their children that they are adopted. Many adopted children struggle with feelings of abandonment, especially if they discover that their biological parents are still living. There’s no way to predict how my cousins will react when they find out.
Although human adoption isn’t perfect, the Bible uses it as a picture of our relationship with God the Father. God chose us to be adopted as His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will. To all who receive Him by believing in His name, He gives the right to become children of God. When we receive Jesus we are no longer slaves, but sons and daughters, and we receive the full rights of His children. This means we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. We are entitled to all the spiritual blessings that are in Christ.
I’m glad that I have been adopted into God’s “forever family,” and I’m excited to see what He has planned for my new cousins. Their adoption will always remind me of God’s unfailing love towards His children. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!