Keith was adopted by the grace of God when he was three weeks old. I was four weeks from birth myself. He always teases how much older & wiser he is because he’d been in like three different homes through the adoption services before I was even born. I’ll tell the story from two sides: his birth mother, & then his parents’ side.
Keith’s birth mother had never married. This was her second son & she was alone. She knew she couldn’t care for another child, so in an act of great selflessness, put him up for adoption. When Keith was in college, she contacted him for the first time. They’ve met & talked a few times over the years. She said she would have called him Brad. His last name would’ve been Morgan. It’s really strange to think about how different his life could’ve been. When I came into Keith’s life, we invited her to the wedding. She came with her boyfriend (they married soon after us) from Minnesota all the way to Ohio! She stayed in the background; just wanted to be there. Now, anyone could tell she was Keith’s mother – they look exactly alike! They even smile sideways the same way. Since first contact, she’s continued to call Keith’s mom every once in a while & we’ve exchanged Christmas cards a few times, but that’s about it. I do want to share about Keith’s half brother, though. To me, it sheds a floodlight on God’s grace in Keith’s life.
Rob, Keith’s biological half brother, struggled though out life. He got into drugs & the party scene. We never got to meet him because, at age seventeen he killed himself by letting the car run in the garage with the door shut. He audio taped himself as he sat in the car his last minutes. Keith & I listened. He sounds so much like Keith it’s eerie!! He looked like Keith, too, except with dark hair (long in the back in the 80’s fashion) & he was really pasty looking – his eyes looked so empty & sad. He was so utterly lost. My heart breaks even writing it out. I say all this to compare & contrast his story to my husband’s…
Keith’s parents had been married a few years when they started the paperwork to adopt a baby & spent nine months praying for God to give them a child. They got the call & had Keith in their arms within a day. He grew up going to church every Sunday with both sets of grandparents in the pew beside him, along with two generations of aunts, uncles & cousins. At age nine, he gave his heart to Jesus & was baptized. He went on to go to Liberty University (his parents & grandparents had long supported Liberty ministries) where we met. Our lives would both be completely different if Keith had not been adopted.
Every March 10th in our home we celebrate Adoption Day – a practice Keith’s folks started the day they officially adopted him. For me, it’s a day of reflecting again on God’s incredible love for us. To be able to see directly how much it changed Keith’s life to be adopted into a God fearing home vs. Rob who was raised in a single parent home without God, is stunning.
I am so thankful for adoption. It’s a beautiful picture of what God has done for us. We were born into sin. We had a miserable life of pain & foolish pointlessness to look forward to, until Jesus came to bring us hope! Because of Him, we can become sons of GOD!! “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1) That is incredible! We are, when we receive Jesus as Savior & Lord, adopted into God’s family. He is our Father! What a wonderful Father we have in Him. Everything about our lives are changed. Thank God He chose us, for without Him, we are utterly hopeless.