In less than three minutes, Vermon Pierre explains how adoption mirrors God’s love for us. The following is a lightly edited transcript.
What do I say to Christians to awaken them to the importance of adoption and foster care? Well, I think there is a holistic way of approaching this that we vitally need. It really begins with looking at the full gospel story. God is setting his love upon us before the foundations of the world, setting his love upon people who were in darkness.
I like to tell people that we were the people in the back of the filing cabinet with the red stamp saying: Do not adopt. You look at the file on humanity and it says: Prone to rejection, prone to running away, prone to disobedience. There is no reason why God should have loved us and yet God did love his. He set his love upon us and it was a redemptive love to reconcile us to himself, to restore us to himself and restoring a people to himself. We were meant to be part of the family of God. We fell away and God still brings us back to himself.
When we do that well, we begin to understand that these are sort of themes and values that play out in everyday life. Adoption and foster care are some of the most practical ways in which that plays out — setting our love upon people who often are considered unlovable. My wife likes to say it is like hugging broken shards of glass when you engage in foster care. You are hugging people and bringing into your family people who are deeply hurt and yet our love set upon them is redemptive and restorative. Adopting someone to your family certainly mirrors God’s adoption of us.
But reconciliation also brings the lens further out and we begin to understand how we should also be concerned to see people stay within their families. And I think there is a stream of thought that needs to be pushed more in that direction as well. How do we help families stay together? How do local churches come around families? Foster care and adoption is great, but in many ways it is an individualistic approach. A whole church approach is: How do we come around a broken family and help children stay in those families? All of those flow very much out of this fuller understanding of what God has done for us and all the different ways where we are keeping families together, whether we are fostering them for a temporary period of time or adopting them into our family. All of these are different ways of ministering the love and grace of God to the people in our midst.