I have a memory from when I was 5 or 6 years old and my sister and I were playing a game that involved invisible bandits and cowboys. I was winning. I know I was winning because out of her frustration from an especially bad bandit-raid she yelled, "you suck, you suck, you're adopted!" Freaked out at this revelation, I ran to my mom and asked if it was true. She assured me that I wasn't and that my sister would be duly punished (news every 5 year-old younger brother loves). As I grew up I ended up having several friends that were adopted or foster kids. That weirdly formative moment with my sister sparked a root of compassion for kids that are adopted and that feel the potential hurt or pain of being raised by parents that aren't biological.
For me, the most radical part of adoption is that you are choosing to fully love a kid that is not your own. I love the metaphor that having a kid is like having a chunk of your heart ripped out and watching it walk around outside of your body. Adopting a kid then is like watching a chunk of someone else's heart walking around and and still loving it as much as your own heart. Adoption is a radical form of love.
Scripture: Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:4-5.
The radical love of the Father is the love that calls us sons and daughters of God. We, as followers of Christ, are adopted into the family of God. No matter what your earthly family looks like - good or bad - you are redeemed, renamed, and brought into the family through Jesus. We bear the family likeness by being holy and blameless. These are the characteristics of the family of God.
Follow up: How can you support foster kids or adopted kids in your community? How can you be a model of a loving father or mother to kids around you? (whether your own or not).
Further dreams: For years I've dreamt of starting a boys home. I would love to have a property with a large enough house on it that I could have groups of 8-10 boys live there throughout their teenage years with the goal of showing them Christ's unconditional love - regardless of where they've come from. Maybe someday my job would even be to empower and train churches or communities towards faith-based foster care or adoption. There is so much space for the Church to make an impact, lets start the conversation now! Who wants to help?