November is just around the corner and is National Adoption Awareness Month. As a church we want to promote adoption and help orphans in their need. Jason & Shawnda Kovacs and the Sanctity of Life Ministry Team will be hosting a Foster Care & Adoption Orientation Seminar this Sunday, Nov. 2nd, right after the Sunday meeting for Crossway.
We thought you would be inspired to hear from Jason through a interview with him about his heart for orphans and their personal adoption experience…
v Where did your heart for adoption come from? How did God speak to you and what did He say?
Shawnda had desired to adopt since she was young. I’m not sure I ever thought seriously about adoption until my time at Bethlehem Baptist Church where I met family after family that had adopted. Two things especially struck me. One, many chose to adopt trans-racially because that was where the greatest need was. Second, many adopted not because they couldn’t get pregnant, but because they saw it as a way to live out the gospel in a practical way. That had a profound impact on me and I remember deciding while I was still single that if God gave me a wife, adoption would not be a question. The only thing we would have to pray about is where God would have us adopt from.
Along with using the church and the examples of many families who had adopted, God also spoke to me through the Gospel. I began to see more and more clearly that our adoption is the pinnacle of the Gospel. It is amazing and incredibly humbling that God would justify a sinner like me, but even more amazing that he would adopt me as his very child! The adoption of orphans is one of the most powerful, living pictures of the Gospel you can find.
v Why did you choose to adopt the children you have? How did their adoption come about?
Shawnda and I started to grow our family by both pursuing adoption and getting pregnant, trusting God that He would give us a baby one way or the other in His timing. So much has happened in our adoption journey, as well as our desire to have children biologically. For a season, we thought we were going to adopt domestically, then internationally, then through foster care, and then through a private agency domestically. There was also a time when we wrestled with the possibility of being infertile.
To make a long story short, we finally got a phone call from our adoption agency that a young mother was placing her children for adoption…a 2 year old boy and 8 month old girl. We had been anticipating this call for what felt like years, but we were not expecting this. We had to quickly seek the Lord and conceive what this would be like. We were prepared, as any first-time parents can be, for our first child (singular) not two children and especially not a toddler! At that time, I couldn’t help but think we were crazy to consider this, but both Shawnda and I had a deep sense, as we prayed, that this was exactly what the Lord had for us! I still think we were and are crazy sometimes, but we cannot imagine life without them and rejoice in God’s goodness to us!
v What are your thoughts and encouragement to others about foster parenting/adoption/orphan care?
First thing I would say is look to the Gospel because it tells us that this is very dear to God’s heart, so it should be to ours as well. It should also be humbling by reminding us that we were once spiritual orphans adopted into God’s household. When our hearts are gripped with an understanding of what God has done for us in our ‘vertical adoption’, then scriptures like James 1:27 (“Pure and undefiled religion is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction”) will make more sense, and lead us to ‘horizontal adoption’ and other ways of caring for orphans.
I would also encourage looking at what the Bible says about caring for the orphan and the poor. The church has an incredible opportunity to reflect God’s heart and obey His Word — today there are approximately 132 million orphans worldwide, 500,000 children in US foster care, and 129,000 of those children available for adoption at no cost. No other group or organization has been divinely commissioned to care for them like Christ’s church. What an opportunity we have to experience the blessing of serving and investing in the least of these! (Matt 10:42) That said, not everyone is called to adopt or do foster care, but the scripture is clear that everyone is to have a heart of compassion for the orphan. The question is what does that look like for each of us personally? As folks seek the Lord in this, He will lead each of us in His will so that God’s mission is accomplished and His glory magnified in our mercy!
[Jason Kovacs and the ABBA Fund were recently featured in WORLD Magazine}
[An excellent video of University of Georgia coach, Mark Richt and his family’s adoptions]