Adoption is a Mission Field

Adoption is a Mission Field. This post originally appeared at Christine Keys.

Throughout my life I’ve heard people talk about feeling lead by the Lord in their lives. Feeling a tug on their hearts to do something, take action, step out in faith. I never really understood what that sort of feeling was like until God put it on my heart to adopt.

My husband and I had casually talked about adoption over the years but it was always a “maybe, someday” sort of talk. Nothing concrete. Nothing serious. Always casual and always in passing.

Then one day I had a conversation with a family who had adopted one of their children. And it was in that moment that I felt called to adopt. Not just as a “maybe” or a “someday” but a for sure, set in stone, this needs to happen for our family NOW kinda feeling. (You can read my full story about the ways God put adoption in our path here!).

adoption is a mission field

Adoption is a Mission Field: The Journey

The adoption journey hasn’t been easy, but time and time again God has continually reminded us that it’s the best path for our family and that we were doing what He desired for us to do. Now we have our son and are simply waiting for the day for the process to be finalized! God is SO good and we are so blessed to see this experience come full circle.

It has been interesting to me to see some of the responses regarding our decision to adopt. While SO many people surrounded us with love and support, we had several negative responses as well.

Part of my mission during our adoption journey has been to remain truly transparent. Sharing all aspects of the process. From the highest highs, to the lowest lows. And I believe sharing some of the tougher moments is important to help others as they may be beginning their journey. It’s valuable to know going into something that you will face some tougher spots.

Adoption is a Mission Field: The Challenges

One of those tougher moments? Realizing that not everyone supports your decision to adopt.

Some of the negative responses we’ve received have included:

  • People saying we shouldn’t be allowed to adopt because we are able to have biological children
  • Saying we are “stealing” a baby from a family who can’t have babies on their own
  • Disapproving our fundraising efforts because we “can afford it” without help
  • Saying we talk too much about adoption or overshare about our journey
  • Judging potential birth mother’s and saying we shouldn’t accept a child from certain life situations

I have been truly surprised at these negative responses, especially coming from many fellow Christians. My husband and I were just SO excited and thrilled about adding to our family through adoption and having some backlash was shocking to us.

Adoption is a Mission Field: From the Bible

As a Christian I believe the Bible is God’s Word and I use the Bible as my guidebook for how to live my life. Whenever I’m faced with controversy I try to go back to God’s Word and see what HE says about whatever I’m struggling with.

And God has quite a bit to say on the topic of adoption (all verses from NIV):

  • Ephesians 1:5: “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
  • Galatians 4:4-7: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our heats, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
  • Matthew 18:5: “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
  • Romans 9:8: “In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”
  • 1 John 3:1: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him,”
  • 1 John 3:2: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known, But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
  • Psalm 27:10: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
  • John 1:12-13: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision of a husband’s will, but born of God.”
  • James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”


Adoption is a Mission Field: What We Can Learn

Through these verses we learn that we are all adopted into God’s family. When we become a Christian we become in His family and become His heirs. We aren’t born into that family, it’s not our “biological” family, but it’s Christ’s family. We are all adopted into God’s home.

We also learn that everyone is called to look after the orphans and widows. All of us! Just as we are all called to spread God’s Word into all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) we are also all called to care for the orphans of this world.

Adoption is a Mission Field: Supporting Others

I have never personally felt called to do mission work. I have no desire on my heart to travel overseas and teach people the Bible. It’s not my personal calling. But I support those who do. Through prayer, financial support, and any needs I may be able to meet that they may have in their valuable work for the Lord.

I don’t tell people that they shouldn’t travel to spread God’s Word because people in our backyards don’t know it. I don’t say they shouldn’t raise funds because they can afford to pay their own way.

I may not feel called to personally do mission work, but I fully support those who do and know they are doing what God put on their heart and are spreading His love in an important way.

I equally understand that many people don’t feel personally called to adopt. I don’t think it’s wrong to not choose adoption for your personal family. If it’s not your calling, then it’s not your calling. But the Bible is still clear that it’s a mission field on it’s own.

The Bible does NOT say “Only those whom cannot bare children my adopt” Or “Only those who cannot finically afford adoption may raise funds” Or “Adoption decisions should be kept private.”

The Bible DOES say that we should ALL look after the orphans.

Not only do I believe our journey of adoption is a blessing to the child we’ve added to our family, but I believe it’s been an opportunity to be a light in the world and use our story to bless others.

Adoption is a Mission Field: The Opportunity

We’ve been able to have this amazing opportunity to get to know our son’s birth mother and have been able to be positive influences in her life and our prayer is that she feels closer to Jesus through our connection with her.

I also have an avenue of sharing our story through blogging and the online community. Why would I keep this journey a “secret” when sharing it can bless so many others? Who knows who may read about our experiences and also feel that tug to adopt? Who knows the trickle down effect that my sharing could have in blessing others and spreading God’s Word?

Most of all, adoption has blessed us. It has been a true walk in faith that has brought us closer to God, closer to each other, and has deepened and strengthened our spiritual journey and bonds as a family. Our son is a true gift from the Lord. Looking at him is a constant remind of God’s grace, love, and plan.

It’s clear that God loves adoption because Satan so clearly despises it. Satan will do his best to put obstacles in the path of hopeful adoptive parents. He will put fear in their hearts and minds. He will try to deter them from their path.

Adoption is a Mission Field: My Thoughts

If you’re on the path for adoption: stand firm. Continue praying. Trust in the Lord and follow His lead. Keep stepping out in that faith and you will be blessed.

If you know someone who is adopting, be a light for them. Don’t be a stumbling block in their path. Lift them up in prayer. Offer financial support even if you don’t think they “need it.” Be a listening ear for them. Reach out and remind them that you’re proud of them and that they are doing God’s work.

And if you’re considering adoption for your family? Pray! Pray, pray, pray. Don’t rush the decision, but let God reveal His plans to you. Trust Him and He will lead the way!

You can also read all the details about our adoption journey of our adoption page here. I hope it is a source of encouragement for those who are walking a similar path!



adoption is a mission fieldR
adoption is a mission field


  1. Glinda Majors
    November 14, 2018 / 12:28 am

    I am always inspired by your adoption story. I KNOW it has had to help many a person choosing that mission field. I enjoy your transparency and reading all your blogs. KEEP up the good work and spread the gospel near and far.

  2. Andrea
    January 28, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    I would challenge you to consider (with empathy) the couples that cannot have biological children. For every domestic infant placed for adoption there are 39 waiting couples. You are in fact ” taking” that placement opportunity from an infertile couple regardless of how pure your motives. When parents with biological children claim they are being called to adopt I wonder why they do not become Foster parents? That is a real way to help children that may otherwise have difficult childhood’s. I just question whether you’ve listened to God’s call appropriately.

  3. Andrea
    January 28, 2019 / 1:18 pm

    I tried to post using my phone first but I don’t think it worked! Anyway….I would challenge you to consider (with empathy) adoption from the perspective of couples that cannot have biological children. For every domestic infant placed for adoption there are 39 waiting couples. You are in fact “taking” an opportunity of placement from an infertile couple regardless of how pure your motives. If you believed you were being called to adopt I don’t understand why you wouldn’t become foster parents? Fostering in a real way of helping children from hard places have either a temporary stable home or a permanent one and an obvious opportunity to share the gospel. I don’t question that you felt called in some way but I do question whether you followed through in the right way.

    • January 28, 2019 / 2:33 pm

      Hey Andrea! Thank you for your thoughts. Our adoption is finalized and we’ve been able to see God’s story really come full circle in our lives and the way every little star aligned has truly shown us how God had His hand all over this situation and made our path clearly from His Will. Our son’s birth mom told the lawyer if we hadn’t been in the mix of books she saw then she wouldn’t have chosen anyone. I pray that all those who struggle with infertility and feel lead to adopt are matched with the baby they are meant to parent. Just because we had biological children doesn’t make our adoption any less meant to be or our calling any less from The Lord. Foster care is a true calling as well but it’s not the same as adoption and is not something we have yet felt called to do.

  4. Andrea
    January 28, 2019 / 4:24 pm

    Thank you for your response. I believe you are still failing to see my point. Some of the “negative” comments you got while in the adoption process are just in fact true statements. You don’t know God’s will you can only try to understand it based on Biblical knowledge. The things I’m saying may seem offensive but they are just a counter argument from another Christian perspective.

    • Lisa
      January 28, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Your comments don’t seem offensive at all! Just dumb. It’s amazimg when someone as small minded as you tries to bring darkness to something so bright and positive. Really sad. I for one don’t let people like you who spin stuff negative effect me or my life. I am sure Emily won’t either as she has shown in her blog that she is strong. And Fod warns that satan will use people like you to tear other down. God bless you and your hardened heart.

  5. Andrea
    January 29, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Lisa, I don’t think your response is “just” based on my comments. I wasn’t being negative (or at least I wasn’t trying to be) and it’s possible you’re being small minded. I’m not claiming anyone has done anything wrong I just wanted to give Emily an opinion from a different perspective. As someone who cannot have biological children I believe posts like this farther marginalize people “like me”. Also as the only couple ( my husband and I) in our adoption agency that do not have biological children I can say that this exact sentiment has brought us a lot of pain. The couples blessed with biological children of course do not know how much unintended agony this kind of talk brings which is why I wanted to share my feelings on the subject. Also I was trying to do it out of love and I apologize if that was not received. Also I am sorry if I am posting the same things twice. I am technology inept lol

  6. October 17, 2019 / 10:54 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration as we are in the process now and going to have our final visit next week with the home study. PleAse pray for us during this time and for our older child we are wanting to adopt. We have biological kids as well but I have always felt called to adopt and have had many cousins adopted into the family who also had biological kids. We have received a little back lash but mostly positive and supportive. They think we are crazy for wanting more children 🙂 we hope to be ever so humbly a light to this world. We hope to change this world one child at a time. We may not be able to change the world but at least for these kids we hope we can do what God has called us to do, and by us I mean we are not super hero’s but just being obedient to the call.

  7. Lance
    January 20, 2023 / 6:06 pm

    Emily, thanks for sharing your thoughts through this blog. I am an adopted person, who is a person of faith, and currently completing a PhD considering the impacts of adoption and what it means in terms of theological understandings. Certainly while the Bible mentions adoption as a metaphor in the New Testament – it refers to a very different understanding of adoption which is very, very different from the way most adoptions are managed today. I love the fact that you have made the effort to get to know your child’s birth mother. I hope that you continue that connection and if, one day, your child wants to meet her, i hope that you will encourage that. Blessings.

    • January 24, 2023 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you for these thoughts! We were blessed to have the opportunity for my son and his birth mother to spend some time together when he was about 6 months old and always hope to stay in contact with her and so she will know our door is forever open and that we love her! I know it will be hard for me, emotionally, in ways when/if he wants to have a closer connection with her but I also know it’s important to have that option for him. We were at a restaurant recently and he saw a woman who looks like his birth mother and pointed her out to me and referred to his birth mother as his “Mommy” for the first time. It was hard to hear but I’m also SO thankful that he understands even at his young age (he’s 5 now). I love your topic for your PhD and best of luck on that journey!

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