Adoption An Earthly Enactment of a Heavenly Concept

August 01, 2003 | Jere Patzer

An Earthly Enactment of a Heavenly Concept

Our family will never forget the day in l985 when we headed to the airport to pick up our new little girl. Two excited "big" brothers stood eagerly in the concourse, one carrying a Cabbage Patch doll and the other a teddy bear. Sue had her camera out and ready while I tried to look like adopting a baby was no big deal. Anxiously we watched as the passengers left the Guatemalan airplane. Finally we saw them: Alcyon and Ken Fleck, founders and directors of International Children's Care, and that dark-eyed, 17-month-old little pixie we named Carissa. By the time we left the airport she was walking hand-in-hand between her brothers. God was connecting our hearts in a miraculous bond that would last throughout eternity.

Recently the four of us sat and watched as Carissa walked down another aisle. This time she was in an academy graduation gown and for a moment that airport experience seemed not so long ago.

Since Sue and I joined the great adoption fraternity, we have learned that there is an amazing number of Adventist Christians who are personally involved, in one way or another, with adoption. Actually, we probably shouldn't be surprised. After all, the Bible tells us specifically that we should take care of the orphans (James 1:27). And Ellen White reminds us that if we do that we will be especially blessed (Christian Service, p. 163-4). And then the Apostle Paul tells us that "in love God predestined us to be adopted as His sons [and daughters]...according to His pleasure...." (Ephesians 1:5). That wonderful analogy becomes even more real when a family experiences the joys of earthly adoption.

Our family has learned much in the last 18 years—not just about a little girl that needed a home and a home that needed a little girl. But even more about a heavenly Father that loves us so much that He expanded His cosmic family to include us. He has even let us take His name as Christians. Adoption is truly a heavenly blessing that His earthly children can experience here and now.

As you read the special feature beginning on page 6, I know your heart will be touched.

Jere D. Patzer is the North Pacific Union Conference president and writes from Vancouver, Washington.