Far too many children are discarded, abused, and neglected in our country and all around the globe. These children are left without families to love them, provide stability, and raise them to honor God and serve their fellow man. We applaud people that are willing to step forward to be adoptive or foster parents. Without them, many children would just bounce around in the system, growing into adulthood without any anchor or moral compass. But, there are still so many children that need a real family. By giving you a brief glimpse into our adoption story, it is our prayer that we will encourage you to prayerfully consider this life-changing ministry.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will ... " Ephesians 1:4-5, NASB

We always knew, from verses in Ephesians, Romans, and Galatians, that we have been "adopted" by God. We did not know Him or seek Him, but He reached down and chose us to be part of His family. But the meaning of that passage never hit home until 1983, when God gave us our fifth child.

Barbara and I were in New York City, about to speak at a marriage conference. We received a message to call a friend back in Little Rock-an obstetrician. For three years we had prayed about the possibility of adopting a child, and we had mentioned it to this doctor. When we called him he said, "We've got a baby for you. We have a teenage girl who is having a baby girl right now and she told us some time ago that she wanted the baby raised in a good Christian home. We thought that yours might be a likely one."

Soon we found ourselves conducting a family conference by speakerphone with our four kids. "Hey kids, how would you all like to have another baby?" The unanimous cheer went up, "Yeah!" They didn't even need to vote on it.

So we returned home to a newly enlarged family. The little girl's name was Deborah and she has been a wonderful addition to our family. We believe she has been divinely placed in our home. We adopted her-making her our own. This is the same model of unselfish love that God set by adopting you and me. We are His. We have been redeemed, placed in the family, and given His full inheritance!

We believe that Christian couples would do well to prayerfully consider adoption or foster-parenting. What better way to take a pro-life stance? What a powerful legacy for the next generation!


Excerpted from Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. All rights reserved.

Dennis Rainey is the executive director of FamilyLife, an organization founded in 1976 with the goal of effectively developing godly families, one home at a time. Parents of six children, Dennis and his wife, Barbara, have written numerous books, including best-sellers Moments Together for Couples and Starting Your Marriage Right.

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