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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: 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!