Today is the first installment of a short background on four major stories of adoption in the Bible, and how we can relate to them through today's adoptions. We'll start with Moses, then Ruth, Esther, and finally Jesus. Let's jump right in!
If you're not familiar with the story of Moses, grab your Bible and read it in Exodus 2-14. His story continues past these chapters; however, these are ones we're going to focus on.
Moses story begins during a time where Pharaoh was killing baby boys. Moses first mom was brave, and hid him for as long as she could. It would not have ended well for her if she had been caught, but God was watching over them. He was in control, even during this horrible time. When Moses' mother could no longer keep him hidden, she placed him in the Nile River in a basket. (Okay, I know they didn't have many other options, but the faith she had must've been extremely strong, for her to believe that her son would survive longer in the river than at the hands of the Egyptians.)
Pharaoh's daughter finds him in the reeds, and "felt sorry for him" (Exodus 2:6NIV). She hired a Hebrew woman to nurse him, and this woman was Moses first mother. God continues to provide! When Moses was older, he was returned to Pharaoh's daughter and he was raised as a royal.
Chapter 2 jumps to Moses being much older, probably a teenager or adult. And he knows the Hebrews are his people (Exodus 2:11NIV). We are not told how this conversation happened, if it was a more "obvious" observation like a transracial adoption, or if it was harder to physically tell. We aren't told how he handled the information, if he struggled with it, or how he felt about Pharaoh's directive that caused his adoption to begin with.
What we do read is that he had some sort of connection with the Hebrews. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and hid the evidence. He also tried to break up two Hebrews who were fighting, asking why they would fight with their fellow man (Exodus 2:11-13).
The take-away I have from the story of Moses is, at some point, he became aware of his adoption. Why is this a take-away? Because when I read his story, I see that he still felt connected to the Hebrews even though he grew up in a different home. I see that God used his upbringing to make a difference. His adoption was not a secret.
So How Do We Relate Moses To Adoption Today?
1. We can trust that God is in control of each situation.
God is there to comfort and bring peace to the biological family, if they trust in Him. God will bring guidance and wisdom to the adoptive family, as they navigate the new normal. And God is with the adoptee, as they grow up, learn about their adoption, and have God's plan revealed to them.
2. God needs both mothers to work together.
Each relationship is different. Some may become really close friends, while others are at peace without constant contact. But the unity provided by both mothers is what is most important for the adoptee. Each mother will love in her own way, each will fall to her knees before God for her own reasons, but God will be there for each one no matter what.
3. God will call us up in His timing.
Moses was an adult, husband, and father before God called him back to Egypt. And while Moses argued and urged for it to be someone else, he obeyed in the end. He trusted God would do what He said. As adoptees, we should be following his led, obeying even when it is hard or uncomfortable. Trusting and believing that God has been at work in our lives from the very beginning.
What have you learned from Moses, either related to adoption or not? Where has God shown up in your life?
Edit: Not everyone feels a connection to their biological family, and even if there is one, the adoptee needs to have a strong support system who can pray for/with them. I struggled to feel a connection, and instead felt like I owed something to them. This was a hard hurdle to overcome, and I probably didn't handle it the best way. But it was the best way for me at the time. I want to encourage each member of the triad, that they can work together to find a balance that works for everyone, and that the adoptee is listened to.
Illustrations by Claire Williams, from the book Adopted Twice for Kids
Jesus lover, wife, momma, teacher, and hopeful writer.