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God's Gift of Family GraceGod's Gift of Family Grace
by Phil Ware

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Sometimes the stories behind the scenes are the main story. Our church was packed, and the excitement was electric. But the best story on this Mothers' Day was unknown to most in the crowded sanctuary. Crammed onto one big row was a family only the Lord, through His grace, could pull together.

More than two decades earlier, a new Christian found out she was pregnant. She had found the Lord as part of a campus ministry at a major university. While her parents wanted her to come home so they could care for her — but only if she would leave behind her new church commitment — this young pregnant woman decided to stay with a family involved in the campus ministry. After much prayer, she lovingly decided to share her daughter — we'll call her Erin* — with a Christian family longing to adopt a child. This was no small decision, but one she believed would bless Erin and honor her commitment to the Lord.

Now on Mothers' Day Sunday, more than two decades later, this mom sat on the same row at church with her parents. Joining them was Erin, the daughter she placed through adoption so many years earlier. Also joining them was the case worker who helped with the adoption process. Even a member of the family where Erin's mother had lived while she was pregnant was part of the group. The day before, they had all been together with Erin's adoptive parents celebrating celebrating her graduation from college.

Such a sweet, God-provided reunion happened because of two powerful loves — love for the Lord and love for a baby. Only now, the baby was a young lady who graduated from college the day before and was bringing her big, extended family with her to her church. Those of us who knew could barely speak because of the emotion and lump in our throats. What a sweet blessing of grace. What a beautiful glimpse of the reunions that will be ours in heaven.

While I can never know the depth of love or emotion that goes into a woman's decision to share her child through adoption, I deeply appreciate it. That's why I am on the board of a group that helps make these kinds of opportunities for birth moms, babies, and adoptive families possible.

Several years ago, I began to give a gift to honor each of my dads on Fathers' Day. Yes, that's plural — dads. My physical father died 28 years ago and my mom re-married a great, godly man who is also my dad. Rather than spend money on a tie my father would never use or on golf balls my dad would lose, I decided to give a gift to Christian Homes and Family Services, in honor of my dad, to help an unborn child find a dad and mom through adoption. Now I encourage other folks to join me in this effort through a program called "Tied to Life."

I believe that it is absolutely crucial for those of us who are pro-life to also make sure we are providing the opportunities for birth moms and babies to know that life means an opportunity to become all God has made that child to be. So I'd like to encourage you to join me in taking part in being "Tied to Life"! You can find out more about it online:

I believe that it is absolutely crucial for us!
And if you are already supporting an endeavor like this, then I want to encourage you to use Fathers' Day as a time to give them some additional support.

Either way, I can assure you from this Dad's point of view, I couldn't ask for a greater gift on Fathers' Day than a bucket of chicken, a few hours to watch the US Open, and an envelope that says I'm "Tied to Life"!

* Out of respect for her privacy, we have not used her real name.

Do you have a personal story of adoption's blessings?

Do you have any personal messages you would like to share with a birth mom considering adoption as a good thing for her baby?

I'd love for you to share it with me on my blog:

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      © 2008 Phil Ware. All rights reserved.

      Title: "God's Gift of Family Grace"
      Author: Phil Ware
      Publication Date: May 19, 2008

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Phil Ware Phil Ware is minister of the Word at Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. For the past 10+ years, he has also been co-editor of HEARTLIGHT Magazine. For more details, click here.

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