Many times when I share that I am adopted, this crazy diarrhea of the mouth thing happens to the person I'm talking to. It's as if they need to fill the space of being uncomfortable. They say things like, "wow, you're so lucky" " I wish I were adopted" " aren't you glad you weren't aborted" " I have a friend, of a friend, of a cousin once removed who's adopted, so I'm basically an expert on adoption"
The list could go on, on. There are ones that cut deeper than others and the one that really hits me in the gut is the story the church tells of adoption.
Me: I'm adopted
Non Adopted person in conversation: Oh, that's wonderful, we are ALL adopted through Christ
Wait what? So you are telling me that you and I are the same. You know exactly how it feels to be adopted? I'm so terribly confused and if I'm honest angry because NO....no no no not the same. I think people who love us want so badly to say the right thing and make us feel like we are not alone. Its like when someone dies and they are told " God must have needed them more." Diarrhea of the mouth wanting to fix and justify. God doesn't take our loved ones because He needed them more.
Telling an adopted person, we are ALL adopted through Christ, as if that's the same thing....as if spiritual adoption and adoption realities are the same feels like I have cancer. When I share my cancer scars, treatments, fears, pain, triumphs, battle wounds and someone with zero cancer in their body comes in with a chipper grin and declares WE ALL HAVE CANCER. We who actually have the lived experience, are like what on earth are you talking about.
There is a difference between a spiritual adoption and modern day adoption.
Let's look at the context of the word adoption used in the Bible The word adoption in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word huiothesia, which means the placing of an adult son and refers to the formal act of recognizing the maturity of an adult son. So at this time it would be considered a right of passage and the word huiothesia would bring to mind the ceremony of toga virilis, in which a fourteen year old boy would go through a ceremony with the adult male members of his family. During the ceremony the boy would take off his garments and they would be replaced with the toga virilis "the robe of man." At this milestone in the boys life he has now transitioned from boy to man. He could now conduct business in his own name, buy and sell property, marry, could vote in the Assembly.
When God calls us adopted as sons through Jesus Christ we are promised we are loved, desired, belong. Each of us are created with a need for love and affirmation. He promises that although life may throw challenges, detours, and heartache....His love is the love of a Good, Good Father. It means you always have a place to go back to....there's no place like home.
Often times the Bible and "God's plan" is used to create a fairytale script about adoption as if God has been using a fairytale wand and granting those desiring too be parents with a child, but zero explanation or even a care for the amputation of mother and child.
They say Jesus was adopted! Yet Jesus was raised by his mother and God never abandoned his role of Father? Mary was never shamed or coerced to give up her baby.
They say well Moses was adopted! Moses' birth mother "makes an adoption plan" ( remember there were no adoption papers, lawyers, money exchanged), when the king of Egypt institutes his version of ethnic cleansing. "Every boy that is born, drown him in the Nile" Exodus 1:22 The Message. Tell me what would you do? Jochebed was a brave mother, and it is not very often we hear her name when we speak of adoption. She places him in a basket and sends her young daughter Miriam as a lookout. She didn't abandon her motherly instincts of protecting her child. As the story goes the Pharaohs daughter adopts Moses and when biological little sister approaches she hires Jochebed to nurse the infant. And we later find out that Moses found his birth family, reunited, and destroyed his adoptive family home. Modern day adoptees would be labeled angry and told I'm sorry you just had a bad experience.
The really crazy thing myself and others who wrestle with the Biblical truth of what the world tell us the Bible says about adoption, is that we are all searching for that Bible verse that says take the child and forget the mother. In fact the verses I read say to help Widows and Orphans. The word adoption is found 5 times in the Bible. Of course we understand that there is a need for those to love and care for orphans as your own when there is abuse and neglect. Sometimes mothers don't want to mother, but the church should not be preaching that if you are unwed, young, struggle with drugs. you are poor that you are unworthy of getting help and care. It shouldn't be preaching that those waiting are entitled to your baby. Our modern day churches have taken adoption into their own translation and it says God cares for those who are infertile, but not the mother and child. We have created God's plan in adoption in our image and desires. How does care for the widow and orphan translate to paying thousands of dollars, forgetting about the mother, and getting what you want....a baby? This is an unpopular view to speak out loud, and as I type I think of those waiting, yearning, desperate and prayerful. That breaks my heart. Life would be easier with a God with a magic wand. We would never know our side of the pain of being abandoned or in the dark waiting. I'm not certain I will ever fully understand. That is the beauty in faith, because if I didn't question, if I didn't wrestle, if I had God all figured out I wouldn't need God. I do....I need God. Everyday I need him and declare Thank you! You're a Good, Good Father!