I never knew my biological mother. Thirty years old and unmarried, she chose to deliver me, her fifth child, in another part of the state, away from family pressure to keep me. She had a ninth grade education. I am grateful to her for giving me life, for making a choice to put me up for adoption. Hers was a decision made for me, one that set the trajectory of my life.
61 years ago today – my Dad’s 36th birthday and two days before my second birthday – I was adopted into the family of George and Roberta Wingard. The decision to make me part of their family was wholly theirs. During my childhood and teenage years, they read the scriptures to me and prayed with me. My Dad taught me the catechism and gave me a love for ministry. Who I am can be traced back, in large measure, to a decision that was made for me.
Six decades of making personal decisions are now behind me. But none of these were more momentous than those made by my biological mother and my adoptive parents, decisions made not by me but for me.
Now you know why I find the word adoption among the most beautiful in scripture. When I read in Ephesians that God predestined me for adoption to himself as a son through Jesus Christ, I am content. The eternally defining moment of my life was God’s choice to adopt me into his family. By his grace I call him Father, and rejoice in a decision made for me.