Last week I had the privilege of attending a pro-life conference in Orlando, Florida, hosted by Heartbeat International. Among the keynote speakers was Pam Tebow, mother of famed football quarterback, Tim Tebow. As I sat among the hundreds of professionals and volunteers committed to taking the message of life to those most vulnerable to abortion, I was filled with joy to see Christ exalted in that room. It occurred to me that, this passion and desire to see life fulfilled, comes from the Author of life. My purpose for going to the conference was to facilitate a workshop on adoption for other attendees. So with laptop and power point in hand, I set off to my training room to share what I am surrounded by daily – adoption. The title of my workshop, “Debunking Adoption Myths for Pregnant Teens,” certainly drew interest, but it was people’s excitement about adoption that was most interesting to me. I sometimes forget that adoption is still the least popular option for women facing unplanned pregnancy, and the material that I have shared dozens of times, is still new to many.
Upon my return home, I wrapped up the week with a marathon of the program “Decisions, Choices and Options” at a local high school. My co-leader and I had been invited to present to seven different classes of ninth graders. The students, though typical teens, were attentive and even offered comments and raised questions. After the presentations, several students came up to me and proudly shared that they were adopted. As an adoptive mother, it was affirming to hear these young people announce their adoptions with pride – not with shame or loss – that we so often hear about in the world.
The whirlwind of excitement that last week brought also brought personal feelings of inadequacy. Why would anyone want to listen to me? In fact, there was nothing stunning about me or my presentations, but what captivates people, I believe, is the message of adoption itself. Truly, it is a message that is filled with hope for everyone. When we consider what adoption means, we cannot ignore that God Himself speaks of our adoption into His family through His Son, Jesus. When we turn to Christ, we have the promise that God will not leave us as orphans. May I never grow jaded to all that adoption is.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18