In a previous program called “Adopting Children from Hard Places” we developed the theme of how God adopts His people in His Son, Jesus Christ. We were reminded that we’re ALL, by nature, “children from hard places” because of the multiple effects of sin. But God adopts us! Then, in that very special program, we received what I regard as one of the most touching reflections of that amazing Gospel love as we got to know Mr. Paul English (and, through him, his wife, Judi) and as we heard his honest, very transparent picture of their experiences adopting children from hard places. I can’t commend that program too highly. It’s available in the archives at our website: visitthepastorsstudy.org.
Now, for this program, we’re going to delve into the more basic issue of Adopting Children Today. And I want to begin by using some of the writings of today’s guest to grip you with just a few of the sensitive, delicate, and deeply personal issues involved in the big picture we can very indelicately call adoption.
Heather Watkins is the wife of Eric Watkins, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine Florida. She and Eric are currently the parents of three adopted children: Kirra, Carl, and Liam. Knowing something of their story as adoptive parents, I deeply believe that their experiences are meant to help others who have adopted children, or who are considering adoption.
Listen to the sounds of a very full and deep heart in what Heather writes:
- Adoption is the life that follows death – death of the reproductive body, death of innocence, death of dreams, of families and of ties. And through that death is born a family that grows stronger because of that trial.
- All adoptions begin and have their foundation in pain and brokenness. As we look at the “Adoption Triad”: 1. The birth family and the birth mother (Who through different circumstances cannot raise the child she is bearing but loves her child so much that she is willing to make one of the most courageous sacrifices know to humanity: to give her child what she believes to be a better life, even if that means she cannot be a part of it.) 2. The adoptive parents (Who, in most circumstances, have come to this way of building a family because of infertility and in working through the sorrow of never being able to bear their own children – their children whom they had hoped to raise), and 3. The adoptive child (Who comes into this world through pain and brokenness and loss; and is truly the passive party, with no choice as he or she is given to a family whose name and life he or she will take on.) This “Adoption Triad” – the birth family and the birth mother, the adoptive family, and the adoptive child – becomes the heritage of each participant. And each participant must embraces the story as part of God’s will and as an expression of God’s love working in their lives for their good and His glory.
- It is not until we embrace the sovereignty of God and we are able to say, “God did this to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, because He always knows what is best, and He always does His will out of His love for us and for His glory”, that those in the “Adoptive Triad” will have true peace. Like Joseph when all was against him and after he had lost everything before he could walk the road and be what God had ordained for his life; like Hannah who truly embraced that the son she had labored so hard for with tears and with prayer was – above all – the Lord’s – so all parties involved in the adoption process must find peace with God out of the brokenness of their lives.
It’s hard to read or listen to these words from one who has felt all the emotions of this painful but beautiful thing called adoption without wanting to get away, to think, and to weep.
Adoption speaks to us of both a fallen world and amazing love.
In just a moment you’ll get to hear the one who wrote those poignant words – Heather Watkins – as she “visits the pastor’s study” to speak with us about Adopting Children Today.
Heather Watkins – welcome to A Visit to the Pastor’s Study….
Here’s a link to the full program:
Yours in our adopting God,