Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Adoption "Culture"

Yesterday I mentioned Dorothy Bode, the mother to a beautiful multi-ethnic family through the miracle of adoption. I learned more about her today in this interview:

http://www.carolinahopeadoption.org/blog/archives/80

She and her husband are parenting nine children, ranging in age from 11 years down to 6 months – three biological, and six through adoption.

What stood out the most to me in her interview, however, was her description of their home church (Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis) and its “adoption culture.”

A significant part of our adoption journey is that our family has been blessed by spending the past 12 years as members at Bethlehem. Over the past 16 or so years God has established at Bethlehem a culture of adoption that embraces the truth that it is the heart of the gospel. God adopts us into his family through Christ and God blesses with the earthly expression of that act as we embrace the children He brings to us through adoption. As a body at Bethlehem we are all connected to the adoption of children - either by opening our homes, helping to cover the costs (the MICAH and LYDIA funds and individual members) or serving in covenant care for each child the Lord brings into the fellowship.

As a family that has adopted 6 times in 7 years, it is amazing to see the community at Bethlehem rejoice with us over each child, be he/she number 1 or number 9. And it is a humbling testimony to watch as they respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading as each of our adoptions is prayed for and paid for, exactly as the Lord intends. A part of what God has deeply established at Bethlehem, and which is particularly precious to me, is that he is creating families blended from every tribe and tongue – to the point where we hardly notice anymore.

I read this and all I can think is: WOW. What an awesome ministry and testimony that church must have to its own members and the community around it, as they embrace families and children of all races and backgrounds. And what an awesome support network for the many adoptive families in the church! I especially appreciated the sentiment that the church family rejoices “with us over each child, be he/she number 1 or number 9.” Could this be said of us and our churches?

Lest you think that Dorothy’s family size is unique, I recently visited a blog by a Christian mom to 9 children, ages “teen to tots” and many also adopted transracially. If I understand correctly, they are still waiting to adopt two more boys from the country of Ghana! She recently posted some excellent information on the international adoption process. You can read her blog here:

http://steppinheavenward.blogspot.com/

No two families are the same, and not all of us are called to either adopt – or adopt so many – children. But I love that God is a God of variety and that He creates our families in every color, shape and size. To GOD be the glory!

3 comments:

Heather Amundson said...

Stephanie,

Doug says that's John Piper's church. What a great church that must be!

Heather

Deborah said...

David & Kristin were at Bethlehem for several years and I saw the same thing when I was there with them. The church they now attend (closer to their home, as they're out on the western side of the cities) is MUCH smaller, but has the exact same thing going on...it's incredible. :)

Michelle said...

We're been very blessed with the support (financial, physical and prayerful) we've received from our church.

When we adopted our first child as a newborn we felt so blessed with all the prayers and financial support.

Then we adopted a sibling group of 3 and were overwhelmed at the outpouring of generosity and love.

Several members of our church have let us adopt them as grandparents for our children since we have no biological family members living in the state. It's a huge blessing to us and our children.