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Every single adoption story involves a choice. Technically speaking, our adoption story began about 12 years ago. Holly and I wanted children but we were unable to conceive, so we began filling out paperwork at an adoption agency in Memphis, TN where we lived at the time. Nine months later, we welcomed our first son into our family, only not by adoption. Two years later came one girl, then another, then another. As the noise in our bustling household increased with each child, the call to adopt became harder to hear. But it didn’t go away entirely.

It was April 2016, and Holly and I were celebrating our anniversary with a short getaway in the Windy City. We had a lot on our minds. My email inbox was filled with correspondence to and from a guy named Mike Lindell about a senior pastor position at some church in Poquoson, Virginia. We decided to spend the weekend praying, thinking, and investing in one another. Part of that included listening to a little book called You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan.

As we were driving up I-65 just north of Lafayette, Indiana, looking out the windows at the dozens of white wind turbines dotting the landscape, we heard these words that would change our lives forever:

“Sometimes people are paralyzed by fear of failure. They are so afraid that they might do the wrong thing that they do nothing. We need to learn to err on the side of action, because we tend to default to negligence. Why not default to action until you hear a voice from heaven telling you to wait? For example: Why not assume you should adopt kids unless you hear a voice telling you not to? Wouldn’t that seem more biblical since God has told us that true religion is to care for the widows and orphans (James 1:27)?[1]  


Or to put it another way, instead of asking why? start asking why not?  


The rest, you could say, is history. Within a few months we had decided to plant our family at Poquoson Baptist Church, partly because we knew that this was a place that would allow us to obey the Lord’s calling on our lives to adopt. Within a month of moving to Hampton Roads we made the choice to begin the application process with our adoption agency. Two years before our son Ezekiel was even born, we made a choice that would lead us to adopt him.

I believe there’s a profound parallel between most adoption stories and the adoption of all believers in Christ. Consider Ephesians 1:3-5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.

Before the first sunrise, before the first flower bloomed, before the first bee buzzed, before the first planet spun into orbit, before the first dog barked, before it all began, God chose to love you. Christian, don’t let that sentence pass you by with a yawn. Before you breathed your first breath, God chose to adopt you into His family. It was not because of anything you did or would do. It was sheerly because of His grace.

This choosing, predestining love is often called the doctrine of election. About this doctrine, Charles Spurgeon famously said this: “I believe in the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.”


[1] Francis Chan and Lisa Chan, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity (San Francisco: Claire Love Publishing, 2014), 16.