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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Michael and Terri Hawthorn

Safe at Last

Dawson, age 15, and his six siblings ranging in age from 11 down to 8, had experienced a horrible
home life. They had endured verbal and physical abuse, a lack of food, and unfit conditions in
their home. At times, they had received gifts through Angel Tree or other groups, but their
parents, who were addicted to drugs, would take them away from them. For a while, this was the only
life that these children knew; it was normal for them.

Then the children were taken from their abusive parents and placed in foster care. For nine months,
they were separated from each other but they prayed that they would be together again.

Their prayers were answered.

Now these 7 children all wear the last name "Hawthorn" having been adopted last year by Michael and
Terri Hawthorn. The seven siblings - Dawson, Kyndal, twins Lacy and Layna, Addiley and Arria, and
Nixson - were also welcomed by two other adopted children (Korgen and Haizlee) and four biological
children (who have grown and are out on their own).

So Michael and Terri Hawthorn have 9 children living in their home, and they are loving it! A photo
was taken in the courtroom of the Saline County Courthouse on the day of the adoption of the 7
siblings. Mom, Dad, and the seven children are wearing black t-shirts with the name "Hawthorn" on
the back. The children are standing by the judge on his bench with Michael and Terri out front
holding a sign that says, "You think our hands are full; you should see our hearts."

The children love their new family, too.

After his adoption last November, Dawson told Fox News, "I'd been praying to have a family that I
can enjoy Christmas with. You're safe. You know you're not going to leave and it's good to know
you're in a forever family and you won't have to worry about danger."

Terri joked, "I always wanted a dozen [children], and 20 years later, God's blessed me with my dozen
plus one." *

Even though our sins put us in a deplorable condition, God loves us and wants to adopt each of us
into His Forever Family, the Church. He paid the price for our redemption and adoption by giving
His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (Ephesians 1:7). Through Jesus, we can be adopted
into God's Family, safe at last in the Father's care.

The Apostle Paul wrote these thrilling words to some who had accepted God's offer of adoption: "For
you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by
whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we
suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together" (Romans 8:15-17).

God will forgive and adopt into His Family those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will
continue to cleanse from sin and give eternal life to those who continue to walk in the light of His
Word (1 John 1:7-9).

The Fox News article that tells about the Hawthorn family contains a photo of another of the adopted
children, Korgen, standing beside a poster on which is written from the standpoint of one of his
adoptive parents, "I didn't give you the gift of life. Life gave me the gift of you."

God gives us the gift of life, and He also wants to give us the gift of eternal life as a part of
His forever family. He will, if we will only accept His offer on His terms.

Won't YOU?

-- David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "Arkansas couple adopts seven siblings at once, giving them a 'forever
family' ahead of Christmas" by Caleb Parke,, December 19, 2018.

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