As I mentioned in my last post, we know that there are many questions and concerns surrounding our adoption decision. I'm going to do my best to talk about the topics that I feel are brought up most frequently, and hopefully help you better understand our hearts. The first question I'm going to tackle is a little deeper than the others, so I'm going to break it up as to (hopefully) not bore you to death!
DISCLAIMER: Please know that I am not writing this blog to try to convince anyone that all Christians should adopt. I'm not campaigning that older children waiting with special needs are the only ones who truly need a family. I am simply expressing OUR hearts, OUR calling, and what we believe to be God's will for OUR lives. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of all Christians. :)
OK...so here we go.
WHY ARE YOU ADOPTING?
I've been amazed at how many ways this question has been asked. There's been the very-polite-careful-not-to-offend, "I hope you don't mind my asking, but why do you want to do this?" Then on the other hand, there have been those that ask, "WHY would you adopt another child when you have 3 healthy children of your own?" The question in and of itself is valid. But the delivery and the nature in by which it is asked can either hurt, defeat, and frustrate, or it can uplift, encourage, and motivate.
Even before we got married, we agreed that we were both open to the idea of adoption as a way to grow our family. God created me with a deep desire to experience pregnancy and to have biological children, and I am very grateful to be blessed with 3 healthy, beautiful kids. When my pregnancy with Luke became high-risk, I assumed my (wonderful and very cautious) doctor would advise me against any future pregnancies. However, after the delivery, she discovered things were not as dangerous as they had seemed, and she felt confident my body would do very well with a fourth pregnancy. I share this only to explain that at one point, I thought our only viable option for another child would be through adoption. So, when we heard that we could, in fact, create another little person that would share our DNA, we were surprised that our DESIRE to do so was gone. Chris and I both wanted more children, but we felt God was guiding our hearts in a different direction. Around this same time we started attending The Summit, and we began learning and growing in an understanding of the Gospel like never before. God used a sermon delivered by Dr. Russell Moore to open our eyes to our own adoption story. It is through adoption that we are able to call ourselves children of God.
Adoption is redemption.
"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins." Ephesians 1:5-7 (emphasis added)
When I read this scripture, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. The God of the universe CHOSE me. LOVES me. DIED for me. And it wasn't a burden. He is not a disgruntled father who is rolling his eyes and sighing in frustration as He cleans up the mess his kids made in the Garden. He WANTED to adopt me, and it pleased His heart to do so-- even though it was painful, messy, and cost him his only Son.
I realize that there are many reasons for adoption, none of which I'm arguing is better than the other. Regardless of what circumstances lead to a decision to pursue adoption, it exists as an earthly example of what God did for us through Christ. OUR call to adopt began with God revealing the truth to us through His Word: All Christians are called to care for orphans.
*WAIT! I thought you said...*
Yes, I said not all Christians are called to adopt. But it is clear in scripture that genuine religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans in their distress (James 1:27). In response to this command and in gratitude for His sacrifice in our place, we sought God's will for us through prayer and time in His Word. God clearly revealed to BOTH of us that our answer to the call to care for orphans was to be in the form of adoption. And it doesn't feel like a burden. It isn't something we have to do to be seen as 'good enough' in God's eyes. Our daughter is not a charity case. We are overjoyed at the opportunity and thankful for the call. God is doing amazing things, and we get to be a part of it. What a pleasure it is to serve Him, knowing that He can use such imperfect vessels like ourselves to show His perfect love.