Have you noticed the return of more feel-good stories on your social media feeds recently?  This past week, there were two posts in particular that caught my eye and brought me to tears.

Both were about adoption, which makes sense, since November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The first post featured a man who adopted a family of kids, who were orphaned and in foster care. The second story shared the delight of a mother who was reunited with her son, who she placed for adoption when she was a teenager.

The joy on the faces of the kids and the parents as they celebrated their new family connections overwhelmed me and filled me with both sadness and gratitude.

The sadness came from knowing that, as a woman who had an abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy as a 16-year-old teenager, I will never experience the joy of being reunited with my child here on earth. I consider women who have the courage to go through an unexpected pregnancy and to choose to place their child with an adoptive family as true heroes who need to be honored and celebrated.

But I also felt gratitude—gratitude in knowing that my sinful choice does not have the last word in defining me! While the judgment I deserve for ending the life of an innocent child should be eternal punishment, God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ affirms my adoption into God’s forever family, and that fills me with the hope and assurance that I will also be reunited with my child in Heaven.

This led me to revisit two of my favorite Scriptures on adoption:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:4-6)

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, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph. 1:3-10)

As I inwardly digest these truths, all I can do is praise God! These words pour forth the message of God’s pure love for us—His adopted children—and inspire gratitude for the gift of adoption.

These words are perfect for us to meditate on as we enter this week of Thanksgiving, as it is clear that we, as children of God, have much to give thanks for—especially His unconditional Love.

by Deacon Georgette Forney, Anglicans for Life President