I do a lot of teaching and writing about parenting. Most of it addresses the typical issues most parents face. However, there are some issues parents face that are starkly different from the rest. The issues I'm talking about are those that come with adoption. Let me start by saying adoptive parents are some of the most courageous, grace-oriented people I know. Adoptions come about through a variety of circumstances. Some adoptions come out of the desperation of months or years of infertility or lost pregnancies. Others come through the a strong sense of God's calling to offer a family and home to a child who otherwise would have none. Adoptions vary in their type from local adoption in the same city or state to great distances out of state or from other countries. There may be racial or socio-econimic differences. In any case, the dynamics of adoption are simply different than biological additions to a family.
The reason I consider adoptive parents so courageous is because many of them are well aware of the potential problems, and yet they power ahead anyway! As a father of four biological children, I cannot fathom facing questions like, "How can I love a child that I did not conceive and give birth to?" or "What if my child's birthmother changes her decision and wants to parent?" or "How long will I have to wait for my child?" or "How do I talk to my extended family about adoption, and will they be supportive?" Yes, these are much different from your typical parenting issues.
Adoption at its core reveals the heart of the Gospel. In fact, every person who claims to be a born again follower of Jesus should thank God for adoptions because YOU have been adopted! Romans 5:8 says, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." And 1 John 3:1 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God." These passages, and many more, reveal that God willingly came our direction. He sacrificed in order to make us His children. His love toward us was greater than our differences from Him. There was absolutely no good reason for God to love us, yet He did and the Scripture calls that "adoption." As Romans 8:15 states, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" It is this perspective that should cause us to be supportive of the adoption process; even if we never personally adopt a child.
I believe adoption is a critical piece of the Gospel mission today. I believe Christian men and women should consider if God may be calling them to adopt just as we would consider if God is calling us to any other form of ministry. I believe many of the desperate situations are used by God to communicate His call toward adoption. If you do not feel called to adopt, please DON'T! No one should feel guilted into adopting. But be open to offer your support and prayers as often as you can. Isaiah 1:17 says, "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Even if you are not the adopter, you can play a significant role in "taking up the cause of the fatherless." In my family, we have not adopted. God has blessed us with four biological children, yet I have had many opportunities to support individuals, families and even organizations for the cause of adoption. It is truly a ministry that we must all uphold as core to the the heart of the Gospel.
Our church (Highpoint Church) is taking steps to elevate the value of adoption in our congregation and community. If you are considering adoption and would like to learn more, we are hosting a 4-part class to give you all the information you need to know to be well-informed regarding the process and many of the challenges that come with this calling. The class starts on Wednesday, April 11th at 6:30pm. All the details are listed here. I am absolutely confident in the leadership of this class and know that you will find answers and support through this group. I am praying that God will use many reading this post to make an eternal difference for God's glory through adoption!
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