The number one definition for the word “Adopt” is; ” to take a child of other parents legally as your own child” (http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/adopt). The biblical definition of “adopt” or “adoption” comes from the Greek word (huiothesia [uiJoqesiva]) which means to “place as a son”. Are we getting the key terms on these two definitions, one secular, one biblical. The keyword is child or son, not pet. I know I’m going to be majorly stepping on some toes here because I know how much as a society we love our pets. Please understand me, so do I. We have two dogs and I personally have always dreamed of owning a unicorn if only they were real, but I would settle for a beautiful Palomino. But they are still animals, not human beings, not my children.
As I was scrolling through Facebook and reading things about “Pet Adoption” since it is National Dog Day I became more and more aggravated and I believe rightfully so. Let me give you an idea of why. What are the steps involved to adopt a pet? Are there stacks and stacks of paperwork to be filled out in a timely manner, or fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI, criminal background checks run through local and federal governments, many visits through a homestudy agency to approve you as proper guardians/parents, physicals to be approved by your physician, finances scrutinized, money to be raised, long extensive trips planned with no certain outcome? No. You literally go pick up the animal, put the new collar around their neck, put them in the carrier, and take them home, possibly to another cage/doghouse, or maybe they are lucky like my dog and get to sleep in the bed with you. How is this any way shape or form comparable to the adoption of my beautiful daughters. You are right, it’s not, and to say as such is completely offensive to us as parents for the HELL we experienced to bring them home and completely offensive to my daughters history and the lives they lived before becoming “adopted”. Not to mention the emotional rollercoaster an “adoptive” parent is going through during all of this knowing their child is somewhere in the world needing a mommy to hold them and love them if only you could only get through this red tape fast enough.
The word “Adopt” is now thrown around so lightly it takes away the insanely, miraculously, beautiful weight of the True meaning. Let us not forget the One who adopted us first. Christ Jesus came, died, and rose from the grave so that we could be co-heirs with him in Heaven. Yes, insanely, miraculously, beautiful. Let me share one of my favorite passages of scripture in Ephesians chapter 1;
4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5heb predestined us for adoption to sonshipc through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9hed made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
How then can we apply this term to a pet, or a highway? It’s not comparable. I know that many people who have used the term “adopting a pet” have probably never even thought how this might hurt someone and maybe if they had realized how hurtful it was would change their verbiage. Can you imagine one of my daughters overhearing someone talking about “adopting” a puppy or kitty cat and then in their minds comparing themselves to an animal? The thought terrifies and disturbs me to my core.
Please know if you have ever used these terms to apply to your animals I am not trying to ostracize or chastise you, only educate you to the fact that it is harmful and hurtful. And I will now get off my soap box and go to bed. Happy National Dog Day, I really do mean that, I love my puppies too, just not as much as my children!