During this trip to Africa to visit ministry partners, I visited friends who traveled to a foreign country to adopt kids. When I met their kids, I experienced that they were funny and fun to be around, I love their laughs! And based on the kids pre-adoption history, that could very well not have been the case. Thanks be to God for this family. But due to some governmental issues beyond their control they are not able to leave the children’s birth country and go home to the parent’s home country. (Their identity and location are withheld for their well being and to prevent complications.)
While I was there I gained a fresh reminder of how much God loves us and the sacrifice He was willing to make so that he could adopt us.
See, these friends left the West and moved to Africa to take custody of the kids while the adoption process was completed. They got their kids out of the orphanage and set up housekeeping and began the process of becoming the mom and dad for two little ones who had been shuffled from one place to another for most of the young lives. This process has a lot of pitfalls and risks, lots of rules and paperwork and on many occasions requires enormous faith. After lots of meetings, check ups, paperwork and such, the kids became theirs. The kids had passports issued from the parent’s home country, funds were available to get on a plane and fly home. But the children’s home country, like many countries around the world, halted the departure for all children being adopted to Western countries.
The family was… stuck.
They are not alone. Many governments, from all over the world, including Russia and China, are putting tall roadblocks in the path of Westerners who want and are willing and able to meet the huge criteria to adopt. So my friends live in Africa, with their kids, waiting to leave and following up on every hint of hope of a way to get out. It is an incredibly hard life both from the aspect of waiting and living life in a desperately poor country.
But I’m not really writing about them, I’m writing of how they have reminded me of how much my Heavenly Father loved us. So much so that he sent His only begotten Son. He was willing to pay a great price and undergo incredible suffering so as to adopt us. He chose us and brought us to Himself. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you cost Him an amazing price.
What I I’ve learned from my friends is that their love for their kids is greater than the suffering they are enduring. Jesus’ love for you is greater than the suffering that He was willing to endure for you. What an incredible thing to consider. To step down into poverty, into oppression – voluntarily – because He came to pay the price that we may be adopted.
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6 ESV)