United by Adoption

One of the benefits of social media is meeting new people. I have been fortunate to meet many men and women who inspire me as a follower of Christ. Among them is my guest this week, Christina Dronen. She and her husband Eric started Finally Family Homes where they seek to give justice, hope, and a future to aged out foster kids in the greater L.A. area. Their work is inspiring and challenging for the Body of Christ. I encourage you to read her post and consider ways you can support her with prayers and finances. 

How I View Family

I made up my own phrase, well re-phrasing of how I view family. It is said, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family is blood and is always more important. But I say “Spirit is thicker than blood,” meaning our connections in Christ, as believers who are “one in the Spirit”, are more important than shared genetics.

It is said, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family is blood and always more important. But I say “Spirit is thicker than blood.” Click To Tweet

Scripture backs me up on this one.  As Jesus said in one of the more difficult Scriptures to hear, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, and even his own life–he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26). To hate, here, means to value or love less than, meaning less than Jesus.

And in Romans 8, Paul addresses us as “brothers” saying in verses 15-17 “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father! ’ The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

One Big Family

We are family in Christ – our greatest allegiance is to our Father in Heaven, Christ the firstborn, and to our brothers and sisters who are one in the Spirit, by adoption. This doesn’t mean we should neglect our own families or not love them, but that we should seek to get our greatest sense of belonging from unity in the Spirit.

What difference does this perspective make in our practical lives?

For me, it means the brokenness in my upbringing doesn’t define me. My Father defines me. It means that I reach out to my brothers and sisters in Christ when I need support or to feel connected to a community. It means, as one who has been adopted, that I have a special compassion in my heart for the orphan and widow – those without family support in this life. And it means I want more than anything to bring my blood only relations into Spirit relations. I want to build the bond of connection in Christ with my children, who are at first only connected by blood.

The Facts of Foster Care

My connection to my adoption in the Spirit has also moved me to reach out the orphans in my community, Los Angeles. At least 400 foster youth per year just in Los Angeles go from foster care into the streets – never having connected to a family or home enough to have somewhere to sleep when they turn 18.  Over 1000 former or current foster youth sleep on the streets on any given night. These kids want so desperately to be grafted into a family and will accept whatever “family” pursues them – gangs, human traffickers, etc.

How I Responded

So with my faith community I’ve started an organization to offer an alternative family to these kids, providing food, shelter, guidance, and community. I want more than anything for them to be grafted into the family of Christ. I want them to know that though blood has failed them, though government has failed them, it isn’t over yet. The strongest bond of all, the Holy Spirit, is there for them to enter in and be connected to “Daddy, Father” in Heaven and to brothers and sisters on earth through Jesus.

As James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

What Can You Do to Help?

Please join me in praying for Finally Family Homes as we approach opening our first transitional home in Santa Clarita, CA. Please pray that God would provide the right place, that we would connect to and serve the kids who would benefit most, and that God would bless our crowdfunding event starting on May 15th – that we would get all we need to furnish and house 6 young women in need.

 

About:

Christina is a wife and mother of three, a writer of parenting Bible study guides, and the founder and Executive Director for Finally Family Homes – a nonprofit ministry helping youth who are aging out of the foster care system.

 

 

29 thoughts on “United by Adoption

  1. Christina is a favorite of mine. I’m working on reading her book.

    What a fantastic ministry! Everyone can find a place to belong in the family of God.

  2. Chip, thank you for getting the word out about this important ministry! Christina, I will be praying for you and the entire Finally Family ministry! I really appreciate your teaching about Holy Spirit bonds, as these are the only bonds that will last for all eternity. Spirit-bonds are definitely the strongest!
    We have 2 biological daughters and 1 adoptive son. Adoption is a beautiful way to create a family. With the help of God, a five year old little boy stole my heart that day.
    I cannot imagine any of my children with no place to call home. I’m praying for your new transitional home outreach and will be sending financial support to your Crowdund project. May God bless you and all the young people who will be held in this safety net of love.

  3. Beautiful and powerful, Christina. My heart joins you in praying for this cause…this great effort to help these foster kids who age out. I’ve expressed to you several ways this hits “home” with me. The girl at a middle school FCA huddle where I spoke who prays for a Christian family to adopt her and take her to church (pray for Leah). And more recently, speaking at schools in VA, a young man, Ivan, asked me to pray for him and his biological father who went to prison for drugs. It left Ivan fatherless and in the system. I respect and celebrate your work in California and among all the Leahs and Ivans of the world who hope for a better future.

    Love this, “…it means the brokenness in my upbringing doesn’t define me. My Father defines me.” While I wasn’t in Foster care or adopted, my upbringing was steeped in brokenness of family and heart. So thankful to be adopted by my heavenly Father at sweet sixteen! Thanks for this, Christina and Chip!

    1. I echo all this, Karen. What a huge need in our world to care for the orphan. This is Kingdom work at its best. Thanks for your help and support for Christina.

  4. What an amazing ministry! I’m praying for success for you, the children, and the house to be provided for the six women you are ministering to. I love your message about the spirit, “I say “Spirit is thicker than blood,” meaning our connections in Christ, as believers who are “one in the Spirit”, are more important than shared genetics.” If we could all see people as our brothers and sisters, how different would the impact be?

  5. Such an important topic to learn about as believers. It’s so easy to simply tithe – and that’s it – when it comes to giving our resources. But caring for the widows and orphans should go beyond writing a check. Thanks for inspiring us to get on our feet and DO something!

    1. It is an important topic. I remember when my wife worked in adoption and foster care. It’s a huge need in our world, and it’s wonderful when the Church steps in. It’s powerful Kingdom work.

  6. This is wonderful. ADoption is wonderful. Fostering is wonderful. My family has been touched many ways through adoption. I am doing Legacy Link-ups all summer. In August, the theme will be adoption. You can signup on the blog to get a reminder so you can link up a story or two. http://www.mandyandmichele.com/blog

  7. Thank you for doing this important work. As a foster and adoptive parent, I have seen firsthand the dangers vulnerable children face when they have no family to fall back on. Kids aging out of the system is a huge and heartbreaking problem. Blessings to you and I’ll be praying for Finally Family Homes.

    1. I know, Katie. It is heart-wrenching to see kids in situations like that. It’s awesome what Christina and Eric are doing. Thanks so much for your prayers and support.

  8. So good! I love this line especially.. it is SO true: “our connections in Christ, as believers who are “one in the Spirit”, are more important than shared genetics.”

    1. That’s a wonderful line. We share something deeper and more profound than blood. We share the Spirit of our Maker. It’s a wonderful thought. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I will most definitely be praying for this ministry! My husband and I are praying about foster care and adoption as a direction for our lives. I admit that I’m a bit overwhelmed by the idea, but the Lord seems to be making it clearer and clearer to us that our ministry will involve adoption in some way, to love the orphans and show the love the Father has shown us in adopting my husband and I into His family. <3

  10. Thanks so much again Chip for letting me guest post here & thanks all for your kind and encouraging words and prayers!!

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