“People who take in foster kids are really special. The kind of people who volunteer when it’s not even a holiday. We don’t even volunteer on a holiday.” – Pete from the movie Instant Family.
Movies that tackle serious topics can do it in any variety of ways. Sometimes the producers want to create some drama and use a serious tone. Others take a light tone and use a smile and laugh to unpack a serious subject. Foster care and adoption is certainly a serious subject. The movie Instant Family conveys the gamut of emotions that a foster/adoptive family experiences — including fear, anxiety, and, most importantly, joy — but tells the story through the lens of laughter. The movie was inspired by the story of a couple who adopted three children through the foster care system about seven years ago.
The movie follows Pete and Ellie as they transform from a work-centric couple who never want to have children, to a couple who want to adopt three siblings. The delightful romp follows a family through the foster-to-adoption process with a clear message: all kids need and deserve parents who love them. While it was a bumpy road Lita, Juan and Lizzy realize that Pete and Ellie have the unconditional love to give them the time and special attention they need and agree to be adopted. We, too, were adopted by God
Romans 8:15-17 says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”
Adoptive parents understand what it’s like to set out on a mission, to take responsibility for a child with a unknown past and an uncertain future. That’s what God did for you. He knew you would be a problem, that you would cause trouble, yet He sought you, found you, paid the price for you, took you home, gave you His name and the right to call Him “Abba.” Adoption isn’t something you earn, it’s a gift you receive.
You never hear foster or adoptive parents say, “We’d like to adopt Tyler, but first we would like to know what his I.Q is, does he have money for college tuition, a high aptitude for sports and a wardrobe commensurate with the status of the neighborhood.” I think when the adoption people got over their initial shock they would say, “you’re not adopting him because of what he has, but because of what he needs. He needs love, hope, a home, and a future.” We don’t earn our adoption by God; we receive it by faith.
If you are struggling today and wondering where you belong, you are right where you’re supposed to be. Sometimes God places us in families that are biological, and other times they’re chosen. But most importantly, you are part of His family, chosen by Him before the foundation of the earth.
- What does family mean to you?
- What does being “adopted” into the family of God mean to you?