Some people disdain adoption because you never know what you will get. The birth parents may have mental health issues in the family, maybe addictions are prevalent, perhaps the child has disabilities that won’t show up until later.
These naysayers don’t appreciate the ridiculous premise behind their statements. You cannot guarantee the perfection of a child you bear biologically any more than you can the child you adopt. Having children is a game of roulette.
So is the game of choosing your in-laws.
When I married Matt I chose him as much as I chose his parents. I knew that if he had been raised in a family that loved and respected the Lord and each other, then he would make a healthy husband. I didn’t know, however, that I better check out his brother as well.
For a while I wasn’t sure what I got myself into. Mark is a bit . . . different. He can spout off long monologues and dialogues from movies and shows, in all of the voices and accents. He enjoys practical jokes and puns. He wears shorts in all types of weather and to all kind of events. He plays board games, video games, and ball games. And all of these he does barefoot.
Mark gives one the impression that he is all about fun and nonsense, but over the years I have learned he is a sensitive, compassionate man. He loves his children immensely, coaching their games, attending their practices and recitals, and taking them on dates. He is committed to his wife and her family as much as he is to his own. And he loves the Lord.
He serves children and young adults at work, he teaches Bible classes at church, and he hosts studies at home. He knows all of the neighborhood kids and makes himself a part of their lives. He makes business decisions based on God’s Word. And he prays.
I know he prays because I have heard his son pray. Prayer is where the rubber meets the road. You learn to pray by praying, by hearing prayer, and by being prayed over.
So although I may not have checked out my brother-in-law before I took him as such, it was a gamble that I won. And good thing too. Genetics and personality don’t just run from father to son – sometimes an uncle gets thrown into the mix. My sons often act just like him.
I love you, Mark.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20 ESV