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Chosen and adopted by God

Anna Heydon explains why fostering and adoption are important concepts and practices for Christians.

I enjoy looking back at photos of myself as a newborn, being held by my mum moments after she had given birth. I can trace the history of my life through photos of the two of us together, later joined by my sister after she came into the world.
But I know that for several my friends, photos of early childhood are harder to come by, and the pictures they do possess disclose a different kind of history. Perhaps their photos reveal various carers guiding them through different life stages; Or maybe their birth photos contain shadowy, almost unrecognisable figures, who bear no resemblance to the parents who consistently walked with them through childhood and adolescence.
Over 65,000 children in the UK are living with foster families (Fostering Network) and every 15 minutes a child comes into the care system in the UK (Home for Good). What the figures do not reveal is the human stories behind each fostering or adoption placement.                                         
Having worked previously with children with additional needs, including a number living in foster families, I have seen the difference that a stable, loving home can make to vulnerable children. I have seen the eyes of a child light up when their fosterer or adopted parent comes into the room. I have also observed some of the struggles and heartbreak of caring for children who have experienced trauma or chaos.
The Bible puts a strong emphasis on caring for those who don't have families, reminding us over and over again the importance of looking after those who don't have parents to nurture them. Fostering or adopting children or teenagers reflects the way that God has loved us.
God is frequently referred to as our "Father" or "Dad" in the Bible. But more than that, we are told that God chose us to be His children before the beginning of the world, that he adopted us as sons and daughters to be part of His family, and that He loves us unconditionally even when we cause Him pain.
God did not have to welcome us into His family, He could have looked in the other direction and walked away. He wasn't stuck with us; He made a choice. A choice for messiness rather than tidiness, struggle rather than an easy life, reaching out rather than apathy, love rather than indifference.
I am so thankful to God for making this choice for me, and for the fosterers and adopters who make these choices for the children in their care on a daily basis.
"I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" 2 Corinthians.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This article first appeared at: https://imaginenorfolktogether.org.uk

Anna Heydon 200AT

Anna Heydon is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth, a joint venture between the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund, a national organisation set up by the Church of England to combat unmet needs in communities.

Visit: https://www.cuf.org.uk/together-norfolk



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