Throughout November, we will have a series of guest bloggers contributing to "Every Child" in honor of National Adoption Month. Today's blog was written by Mike Hamilton, adoptive parent & president of U.S. Operations at Blood Water Mission.
Mordicai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died (Esther 2:7 NIV).
November is National Adoption Month. Adoption is interwoven into the story of so many individual lives in our country and around the world—directly and indirectly. Adoption also takes on many faces—domestic, international, multiracial, special needs, foster children, or orphans. Each adoption is unique in a multitude of different ways. But in the end, it’s about creating family.
Our own personal story is one of prolonged infertility followed by a clear call to adoption as God's desire to form our family. We are blessed with five wonderful children—each with their very own unique story, personality, and gifts. Our two oldest children were adopted domestically from what many would see as "traditional" stories. We were blessed to have them join our family in the early moments of their lives. Our oldest daughter, now 16, was placed into our arms 36 hours after her birth, and at the birth of our oldest son, who is now 13, my wife was in the delivery room and "cut the cord".
Our youngest three children were adopted as a biological sibling group from Ethiopia in 2009. These adoptions were in response to God breaking our hearts for the orphan and calling us to a deeper place of obedience and trust in Him. The boys, now 10 and 7, and our little girl, age 4, were orphaned due to the devastation of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.
Through this journey of adoption, God has created our family to be a multicultural family with many different stories, lessons, joys, and hardships. It has been deeply good and deeply stretching . . . for each of us. We have had everything from belly laughs about outrageous stories of goats, cigarettes, and eating dirt in Ethiopia (another story for another time) to heartbroken cries from the hearts of each of our children over losses they have experienced— and everything in between. Adoption is awesome, beautiful, joyous, adventurous, gratifying, enriching, meaningful, affirming, and life-giving. Adoption is also hard, ugly, hurtful, lonely, complex, and life-sucking.
Just like life. Just like biological parenting. Just like family.
Bethany Christian Services believes strongly in family preservation where possible. We share that philosophical view, both domestically and internationally. Still, God has proven He can and does choose adoption to write the stories of redemption for some children . . . for some families. Families like ours. And though He’s not finished yet, we see adoption as a beautiful picture of how our God loves to pursue, rescue, and restore individual stories that began in brokenness.
Just as Mordecai was called to adopt Esther, we have been called to adopt Madison, Matt, Nate, Kiya, and Kalu. I don't know if anyone in my family will be in a royal position or called upon to save the lives of many. I do know that God has a plan for their lives . . . a plan that involved the intersection of the seven lives in this family . . . for our good and His glory.
To read more from Mike, follow his blog at tackledandsifted.com or follow him on Twitter at @mikehamilton63.