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Another Seat at the Table

A family eating dinner at the table

I think back to when I was a college kid and just getting started. I had a small round table that sat in my kitchen. I would get off my serving shift and eat a late dinner by myself at that little table. I then married Brooke and we would eat dinner just the two of us. Brooke and I have always been friends and it’s easy to talk to her, but something was missing. Soon came another seat at the table, this time it was a high chair, a baby flinging food, and a dirty floor. Soon another seat had to be added to the table and our small round table seemed full with two adults and two little ones.

Now, my wife and I have been blessed with four wonderful children. Two of them are our biological sons, while the other two (half brother and sister) came to us by way of adoption. When my wife and I were first discussing the possibility of adopting, we called Sacred Selections to get some questions answered. Somewhere in the conversation, it was mentioned that adoption is like adding another seat at the table. Well, our table had two empty seats which were eventually filled by two amazing children.

Of course, there’s much more that goes into adoption than just adding another seat at the table, but the illustration was powerful. Adding another seat to the table means adding another family member and all the ups and downs that go along with that. It means adding new attitudes (good and bad), conversations, and personalities. It means blending individuals who have no DNA resemblance and sometimes no physical resemblance. In other words, another seat at the table means whoever is sitting at this table, is family. We will rejoice together, laugh together, cry together, struggle together, and succeed together.

As we have gone through our adoption journey, I’ve come to appreciate what God has done for His children. First, as a child of God, we are all adopted. Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” How does it feel to know that your Heavenly Father chose you to be part of His family? With God, there was an intent and purpose to bring us into His family. Adoption does not happen by accident. You and I are not accidents. Instead, God joyfully brought us into His family by sending His Son to forgive us of our sins. How amazing and special is that?

Jesus Christ has offered us hope and salvation into the family of God. Paul told the Galatians, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (v. 26-29). Baptism into Christ means you are an heir and you belong in God’s family!

There are no divisions in God’s family. Did you notice the major issues that Paul clears up in the above verses? Family goes beyond DNA (“you are all sons of God;” “male nor female”), family goes beyond state and country borders (“Jew nor Greek”), family goes beyond the color of your skin (“slave nor free”), and family goes beyond time (“Abraham’s seed…heirs according to the promise”).

 My wife and I are white and our daughter is black. My wife was told the other day that her and our daughter looked alike. Not really, but it was nice of them to say. However, to God…skin color doesn’t matter. What matters is a heart that loves God and follows Jesus. When we do that, we are all sons of God.

A long table at the Sacred Selections adoption reunion event.

Recently, Sacred Selections had their fifteen year anniversary celebration. Over 450 people, 140 families from 16 states. There were over 160 adopted children coming from 5 countries and 29 different states. In addition, there were friends and family who have helped make many of these adoptions possible. At one point in the day, we were all sitting at long tables, eating lunch together. I couldn’t help but think of the phrase, “adoption is like adding another seat at the table.” People from all over the world were sitting at the table together. Now imagine what heaven will be like. People from all over the world, from all throughout time, with all different backgrounds and skin colors…all sitting at God’s table. You’ve been adopted into an amazing family.

I think back to when I was a lonely college kids at my little table. Now, I have a family of six to share life with. Soon, Lord willing, I will be in heaven with an unfathomable amount of family members who love and honor God. Being a part of God’s family is like having a seat at the table. He keeps adding to the family. He keeps loving us and providing for us. One day, our family will get to spend eternity together. Heaven is our home and I can’t wait to get home and see my family.

Kevin Harrington

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