Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Three KINDS of “Adoption”

I took my three kids, while their dad was at work, to an “adoptathon” two weeks ago. We came home with this cute little mutt you see in the picture. We named her "Cookie". She was rescued from destruction by a group that calls themselves “Planned Pethood”. (I think they could have chosen a better name, because, as far as I know, they never council [female dogs] to get abortions.)

Cookie is a good little dog and she hasn’t made but 5 piddles in our house in two weeks. She is getting the idea that outdoors is her toilet and not my nice carpet. John and I installed an invisible fence ourselves and we just started today training her with it. (She doesn’t like that jolt!)

All of this puppy activity got me to thinking. Why do they call it “pet adoption”? Is that really the best choice of words? Why not pet purchase … or pet domination … or pet slavery? (slavery won’t work, because they don’t do a darned thing constructive!) How about pets as sojourners? I mean, are we really adopting them?

When a family adopts a real child, that child becomes a real part of the family. We don’t tell the other kids, “Oh, she will only live for about 14 years and then we will have to put her to sleep.” Or “don’t feed that child! She gets the little round pellets in the bowl over there.” Would we ever refuse medical treatment and opt for euthanasia because it costs $500? . . . or put an ad in the paper: “free to a good home” because our adopted child wasn’t “working out”? Would a family ever put their adopted child in a cage? (not usually!) Even more absurd: would you take that child to the doctor as an infant and fix him/her to make sure he/she can’t reproduce?! God forbid!

Families that adopt children are usually a special kind of people, I think. They have abandoned the idea that they need to see their own likeness in the child they call their own. They take someone else’s biological child and value that child just as if it was birthed from their own loins. And that child is their child, even if it doesn’t look like them or have their disposition.

After pondering these things, I started thinking about the Heavenly Father and how he has used the concept of adoption to explain to us what He wants for us. He has used this word, this concept “adoption.” We are not all God’s children as some like to think. We are fatherless children by nature because of sin, but He has extended His hand to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. By His death, burial and resurrection for our sin, we can be cleansed from all sin and filth and brought into the family of God. He wants us to have this forgiveness of sins and everlasting life by becoming part of Christ, who is His Son.

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5)

Unlike our kind of adoption (of children not dogs), He doesn’t have just a small number of bedrooms in which to put a few sons or daughters. He can adopt many! Have you ever read how big heaven is? HUGE!!

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you . . . (John 14:2)

Furthermore, no human child has to be born twice to become a part of a loving human family … to become adopted … one birth is enough for a child to enter this world. (all the mothers said amen!) The new family just takes him/her home. God’s adoption of us is really something different than what we humans do with children. He somehow births us as a part of our adoption.

To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John 1:11-13)

Those who are saved or born again by having trusted Christ for His cleansing of sin have been adopted. As we grow in Christ, we somehow inherit His disposition and begin to “look” like Him (in our spirits) … even while in this flesh. We are REAL sons and daughters of God!

You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father(Romans 8:15)

Somehow, our future holds an even more complete assimilation into the family of God as He transforms our bodies into that which He was after His resurrection.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

So God’s adoption of us is not unlike our adoption of children, but it is so much more! He has rescued us from sure destruction! (I could write extensively about how God’s adoption of us is not like our adoption of dogs, but why?) OK . . . He doesn’t cage us, He wants us to reproduce, and He gives us all the best things to eat!


  • Loved your blog. Thanks for confirming the good, the true and the beautiful.
    Way to speak the truth of Chirst to all on blogger!

    Bless you in your bloggin' ministry!

    By Blogger Stacey, at 10/11/2005 12:49 AM  

  • I went to the mall, which had a pet store with a window and puppy play area out front. They had a litter of mutts on sale. So I went inside and asked the clerk, 'How much is that doggie in the window?'

    I ended up buying two mutts, but later they both ran away. Doggone.

    No, but seriously, my wife was struck with some similar thoughts last week. It just struck her how powerful it was that God had adopted us. Amen!

    By the way, she'll probably start blogging later this week, if she can set up a blog she likes.

    By Blogger loren, at 10/11/2005 1:35 AM  

  • Careful! Careful! There are some folks out there who will revolt at the idea that the adoption of pets is different from the adoption of human children.

    Nevertheless, it is SO good to have been adopted into the family of God!

    Thanks, Rose, for a good post.

    By Blogger Joe, at 10/11/2005 7:15 AM  

  • I think some use teh term companion. But that doesn't really fit either...hmm. Interesting.

    By Blogger Nettie, at 10/11/2005 9:38 PM  

  • mamchick,
    Thanks for visiting. Come back again.

    Why would you ever "buy" a mutt? Doggone! We will look for your "better half."

    I don't think those people are coming to my blog. :~) Your encouragement is a beautiful thing!

    Nettie, I forgot about the "companion" word. I can't think of a good word.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/12/2005 12:48 PM  

  • Rose,

    Great post! I guess great minds do think alike!

    By Blogger Steve Weaver, at 10/12/2005 1:37 PM  

  • Its nice to read an edifying Christian blog.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/13/2005 12:32 PM  

  • Dyspraxic said: "Its nice to read an edifying Christian blog."


    We've got some friends who adopted two kids. They once adopted a dog from the pound, and it wasn't working out, so they took the pooch back. A week or so later their kids started displaying all sorts of strange behavior. They weren't sleeping well, seemed to be on edge, yet seemed to be trying to be "extra good." Finally the parents asked what was up, and the kids revealed that they were fearful that they might be returned if they didn't behave. Good parents that they were, they encouraged the kids to realize that their adoption was not like the one for a dog. So you are right, Rose, pet adoption probably isn't the best use of words!

    BTW, both my kids are adopted, and it does bring a certain awareness of how God adopts into his family. My son is especially unique in that he has Down Syndrome. Even with his limitations, I truly see him as a son, and he enjoys the rights of any family member. Adoption is cool...

    By Blogger Sled Dog, at 10/13/2005 1:38 PM  

  • Steve,
    Is that how that works?

    Dsypraxic: (what is that word?!!) Thank you for the kind words.

    Sled Dog: Mush! How nice of you to stop on back. Your children are blessed, I'm sure. Your story about them and the dog is quite a tear jerker, the poor dears!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/13/2005 3:33 PM  

  • Just clarifying...the story about the kids and the dog from the pound didn't refer to my own youngins, just some friends of ours.

    I always threaten my own kids with a return to the pound when they are acting up!;-)

    By Blogger Sled Dog, at 10/13/2005 3:47 PM  

  • Sorry - I read the comment earlier and then went back and commented myself a while later ... the details sort of ran together. You were very clear right from the start. Sorry.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/13/2005 3:50 PM  

  • Great stuff, Rose. Keep it comin'...

    By Blogger Jeff H, at 10/13/2005 8:36 PM  

  • Rose~
    What does it mean to you... your children... and that cute little puppy of yours when the blogger Godfather says "Great stuff, Rose. Keep it comin'... "

    enjoying the family,
    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/13/2005 8:56 PM  

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