When Mandy and I mention we are adopting 2 kids we get many strange looks and, honestly, we understand why. Here are some reasons:
- We already have 3 kids. Most people in the Bay area have 1 or 2 or none.
- We are in our early 30s. People in their 30's are usually just starting to think about marriage or maybe kids.
- We don't own much. We rent our house and don't have much in savings.
- 5 kids don't fit in regular vehicles :)
- 5 kids are not easy to take care of. In fact 3 kids are not easy.
- Adopting older kids means they have many deep scars and abuse to overcome.
The ultimate reason we are adopting is because we sense God calling us to do it. I know it's hard to understand that when you don't know God, but after following Jesus for many years, we are confident that obeying Him is always the best choice.
Aside from the calling, there are many things that God used to shape my heart throughout the years and prepare me for this calling. Here are some of them:
My mom and dad are some of the most loving and selfless people I know. I grew up in an extremely generous and outwardly focused home. They raised us to always value others above ourselves. It doesn't mean I was always like that. In fact, a big chunk of my life was all about me. But the example of my parents engrained that value in my heart. My dad secretly helps and financially supports more people that anyone else I know. Most of the time I only find out years later. My mom has probably the biggest heart of anyone I know. I have so many memories of her serving food to street kids and going out of her way to help people in need.
A LIFE PRINCIPLE
One of the principles that Mandy and I have most embraced in life is that "you should do for ONE what you wish you could do for ALL" (thank you Andy Stanley). If everyone thought of life that way, most of the world's biggest problems would be solved. So instead of letting big issues like poverty, lostness, sickness... freeze us from doing anything, we just do our part - do for 1, even when you can't do for all. We can't save every kid in every orphanage, but we can bring 1 or 2 home.
I grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil where there are hundreds of thousands of children and adults living on the streets. Every stop light they come to your car window asking for a piece of bread. You see them under every bridge, washing themselves in sewage water, digging through trash to find a little bit of food. They didn't choose that life. It's not like many homeless in America, whose bad choices led them to homelessness. Most of these kids in Brazil living in extreme poverty were just born into that reality. Those images have never left my heart and mind.
On a personal and practical note, the only reason God knows we can do this is because Mandy is an amazing mom. I am so blessed to have a wife that understands the significance in investing in our children. You can build a great business, make a lot of money, buy a lot of toys, but all of that is meaningless when you die. When you have kids, they are your biggest disciples. Investing in lives is more significant than anything else. My wife gets that.
I can't read the Bible without being challenged to love sacrificially. I hear God speaking to me through it about my selfishness and His fatherly desire to rescue and save humanity. The amazing thing is He wants to use us in that mission to change people's eternities. If Jesus was willing to give up His divine privileges, empty himself of Glory, and live a servant's life on earth, then I can give up some of my comforts to help others.
TO READ MORE ABOUT OUR ADOPTION, GO HERE: WWW.SANTOSADOPTION.COM
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27 (NLT)