Redemption is a powerful word and concept for myself and my family. A simple definition of redemption is: “To rescue or deliver from.” It is also my short answer to the question, “Why did you adopt?”
My wife and I met working at a summer camp for children, and children have been a part of our relationship ever since. Before we married, we had conversations about being foster parents and adopting. After we wed and had our first son, Isaiah, we started taking classes to become foster/adoptive parents. During those classes we decided that it would be best for us to wait until our children were a little older. Five years and two children later, God began to teach me what redemption was really all about. This lesson started with the sudden and tragic death of our oldest son, Isaiah.
The night Isaiah died, my wife asked me to lift his lifeless body and place him in her lap so she could rock him one last time. In that moment, and millions of moments since, I cried out for God to rescue and deliver me from the pain of death. I was in desperate need. The kind of desperation that cannot be described, it can only be felt. I was humbled to the place that I needed God’s intervention to get out of bed some days. Over time, God faithfully and intentionally answered my prayers of desperation. Death had lost its sting in my life and spirit. My wife and I began to love the freedom that came from trusting in Christ to get us through each day. We actively began to place ourselves and our family in situations that were beyond our abilities and broke us out of our comfort zones. We acknowledged that seeking comfort and ease also limited our ability to experience and participate in the redemptive work of Christ.
Our desire to adopt was rekindled with a new twist. We now wanted to adopt not only because of what we hoped to give, but also because we wanted to allow God room in our lives and family to continue His work in us. We decided that adopting a sibling set of two would put us way out of our comfort zone and provide plenty of opportunities to both give and receive lessons of redemption. So, God added a sibling set of three to our family, ensuring that we would be dependent on Him day-by-day. I am glad to share that God has used adoption to constantly remind me that I have been spiritually redeemed from my selfishness, pride, laziness, jealousy and so much more. He also used it to remind me that I need Him to get through each day, and that redemption and sanctification go hand-in-hand. I am also honored that there are moments when He uses me in the lives of my children to show them that He has the power to rescue and deliver them from their past trauma and (like me) from their own shortcomings.
Adoption can be messy and complicated. If you stop and consider what adoption is and why it is needed, you realize all adoptions start from a place of loss and desperation. And that is the perfect environment to experience God and His redemptive love. That is why I love adoption.
In celebration of National Adoption Month, we wanted to share the above piece written by Daniel Carlisle, and adoptive father and Social Worker with FCNI. Every adoption, every foster parent, has a story; a journey that led them to serve others in such a remarkable and challenging capacity. And every one of these stories should be shared—needs a chance to inspire us all to look within ourselves to see how we can give more. We thank Daniel, and the thousands of parents like him, who heard the call and stepped bravely forward to answer it by becoming an adoptive or foster parent. We celebrate you and your special families this month by thanking you for being who you are and doing what you do with love.
For more information on how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, please call us (805) 781-3535.