The Fifth

I have been scouring the bible looking for scriptural precedence for adopting a child. While I haven’t found a verse that says outright, “Adoption is good; thou shalt do it,” there are the verses about God defending the fatherless and that we should also not forget the orphans. The concept is present in regards to our adoption as children of God. There are also biblical examples of adopted people such Moses and Esther; some even say that Jesus was adopted by Joseph.

Those are fine and good but the clinching verse that brought a sense of peace in my heart about our current endeavor of adopting a child is the fifth commandment. This act honors our parents and the heritage they have instilled in us. Here are their stories.

DaRonn’s mom is Charlesene. When she was expecting her eldest son money was offered to her to terminate the pregnancy. She accepted the money and bought a crib with it. DaRonn Washington was born. Later she married. This man came to the marriage with his son (by another woman). This boy became DaRonn’s first little brother. Younger by just a couple years Jared and DaRonn were as tight as any brothers could be. The extended family welcomed him in and to this day Jared is just as much one of Charlesene’s sons as DaRonn and Eric (who is her second son by birth about 6 or 7 years younger than my husband). Though the adoption is not official on paper Jared was adopted by DaRonn’s mom. She gave DaRonn the moral structure of valuing life in refusing abortion and caring for the son of another mother.

These photos of DaRonn (and Tyler) and his mom were taken in 2007.
These photos of DaRonn (and Tyler) and his mom were taken in 2007.

My side of the story begins before I was born as well. In my mother’s words, “Fostering and adoption have been near and dear to my heart for a long long time. We started fostering special needs kids even before we had our own children. The fostering continued until our 4th child was 3 and we were fostering a little Down’s Syndrome new born who became a permanent part of our family.” Later she writes, “I can remember as a child myself playing orphanage instead of playing house.” How many babies were cared for in our home during my formative years? We stopped counting after one hundred and there were still a few years after that in which we continually had an extra brother or sister to love on. I am the oldest of five. Lucas, Emily and Shawn are the children born after me to Ronn and Jill Houtz. Kent is the youngest sibling; he is adopted, born in our hearts. We just couldn’t imagine letting him go so he stayed. My parents trained me that love is thicker than blood.

These pictures of my parents and me were taken this year, 2008.
These pictures of my parents and me were taken this year, 2008.

The fifth commandment is precedence for adopting our fifth child. We honor our parents by carrying on the heritage of welcoming children into our hearts and our home based solely on the love that binds us together.

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16 thoughts on “The Fifth

  1. Angie,
    I had never heard DaRonns story before. Its wonderful.
    I loved having foster babies in our house. I loved it even more when we had two or three at a time. I have a lot of very dear memories from our time with them… and often wonder how they are now and what has happened in their lives.
    But it wasnt just babies for us, do you remember Jedrique (sp?) from Haiti. He was almost my age when he was living with us being treated for the burns. He was one of my best friends.
    I feel so blessed that mom and dad gave me the opportunity to learn about unconditional love in that way.
    Also I really like how you put it about Kent, “born in our hearts.”
    Shawn

  2. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing these stories, I never had a doubt that adoption could not be in God’s will. (I hope I got the right number of negations;-) I think it just matches what I know from God’s heart.

  3. In Honduras there is a saying, “hijo de mi corazon” (son/chid of my heart). It is used when you love someone as your child even if they are not legally yours. Two dear maiden missionary “aunts” of mine have ministered in Honduras for close to 50 years. Together they raised hundreds of children of the heart. They now have “grandchildren” in university who love them dearly and honor them as their grandmothers.

    Colleagues of ours here in Mexico married late, too late to have biological children. They “discovered” 6 siblings in an orphanage near their home and adopted all six. Those kids had been severely mistreated before coming to the orphanage. Now after 6 years together, intense counseling, and having found Christ, the kids are absolutely beautiful — glowing from the inside out.

    You may feel like you need to justify adoption, but in my opinion, there is no better picture of how God loves us.

  4. Danielle – Thanks.

    Alece – It really is.

    Carin – Thank you.

    Beth – The story about the 6 siblings being adopted touched my heart. Voy a tener una hija de mi corazon.

    Jutta – Yes, it matches God’s heart.

    Sarah – I appreciate your encouraging words; they mean alot to me.

    Shawn – How could I forget Jedrique? I am glad that you got to know your brother in law a bit more through this post. Love you sis!

  5. We continued fostering long after Shawn (the 4th child) was 3. That’s just when we got Kent. We still fostered after moving to 45th ave and even got older babies from the state. I often think about Bridget, Daniel, and CJ. They hold a special place in my heart because we got to know them more than usual. Even got to know CJ’s mom. But Daniel is who I am most curious about. We think we even got a baby after we moved to lake when they were desperate (it may have been the holidays too).

    I don’t know what our childhood would’ve been like if we didn’t have a constant stream of foster kids. It did expand our world to be more than our nucleus and expand our perception of community. I think we could’ve easily been a closed, self-centered family otherwise.

  6. Ephesians 1:5
    God sets the lead for us…HE adopted us into HIS family, and it gave him great delight. Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God.

    Hows that for you?? Adoption is good…offering a better life to one, another pic of Jesus to me.

  7. Ang, I just love how you share your inner thoughts with us as you live life. As I read this I instantly thought of the Hebrew meaning for the number 5. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was…but I was right, GRACE!!! I read the info on this website http://vic.australis.com.au/hazz/number005.html and what I loved that how it really related to you guys in that 5 stands for creation plus one (you’re natural family + 1) and that it also shows the power of God’s redemption and that God can only give redemption as a free unmerited gift.

    Isn’t it interesting how via adoption, you’re giving a precious child the free unmerited gift of belonging to your loving family???

    God’s just so cool like that!!
    Big hugs!

  8. Yep that is my mom. It is funny because we have went to places and they asked if they could have the phone number of my sister. Funny.

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