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The best news this Thanksgiving week

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Priscilla and Clay at Edna Gladney Center where Clay was born and placed for adoption (Credit: BraveLove)

I can’t imagine a better Thanksgiving than the one being celebrated by families this week in Michigan.  Yesterday the state celebrated adoption by holding public events in at least 30 counties and at its Supreme Court in Lansing.  Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. held a public hearing to approve adoptions and hopes the day inspires more people to consider adoption.  Imagine the joy these families feel today as they hold their new children.

There are two sides to adoption.  Consider first those who chose to adopt a baby.  Two percent of all American adults (including five percent of practicing Christians) have adopted a child.  Around 120,000 children are adopted by U.S. citizens each year.  This is far higher than the number adopted by those in any other country.  However, it constitutes only 0.08 percent of the world’s 150 million orphans.

On the other side is the pregnant woman considering adoption.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, less than one percent of children born to never-married women are placed for adoption.  The percentage of children placed for adoption by married and formerly married women is even smaller.

Meanwhile, abortion rates continue to climb, with more than 56 million abortions in America since Roe v. Wade and more than 1.3 billion abortions worldwide since 1980.  Bill Clinton told the Democratic National Convention in 1996, “Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.”  Whether we believe that abortion should be legal or not, can’t we agree that it should be rare?

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<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/sFTxsQm5j9M?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Clearly our culture needs to encourage both sides of the adoption process.  To that end, I’d like to tell you about two practical steps we can take today.  The first is to promote adoption.  A new ministry called BraveLove exists to do just that.  It is not an adoption agency.  It does not take a position on the abortion debate.  Rather, it exists solely to encourage mothers and families to consider the life-affirming option of adoption.  If you have been touched by adoption in some way, I hope you’ll visit their website and share your story.

The second is to consider adoption for yourself or those you love.  Buckner International has been caring for children since 1879.  They are one of the finest ministries I know and the first organization I recommend to those who want to adopt a child or place a child for adoption.

On this day before Thanksgiving, would you pray about adopting a child?  Would you pray for pregnant women to consider this option for their child?  

If you are a Christian, “you have received the Spirit of adoption” as God’s child (Romans 8:15; see Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).  In the Roman world, an adopted child gained all the rights of his new family as his father’s heir.  His old life and debts were wiped out; he was in a sense “born again.”

If you are the adopted child of your Father, you will always be his.  Is there a greater reason for Thanksgiving?