I don’t believe every Christian is called to adopt, but I do believe every Christian should pray about adopting. Adopting children into our families is a risk, but it’s one worth taking.
By April Swiger, Contributing Writer
Our adoption journey began in 2011 when my husband and I attended an information meeting at our local adoption agency. Our wait for a child ended up being three years long and included a move to a different state, fundraising for our agency fees, a switch from infant adoption to foster adoption, a failed match, and an unfortunate experience with an adoption scammer. It has been quite the roller coaster!
We welcomed our oldest son into our home July 2014, at two and a half years old, and our younger son September 2015, at five weeks old. Neither of them have been finalized yet, but our oldest is due to be adopted this May or June. This journey has stretched my faith in ways I never expected, and is one of the hardest roads I’ve ever walked.
There are many misconceptions surrounding adoption, and unfortunately they have permeated the Church and Christian culture. It’s unfortunate that the horror stories often take precedence over the beautiful success stories where children have experienced deep healing from a hard past. I have loved writing about this topic and am eager to change the way Christians, and the Church, think about adoption.
Image by Cassandra Madeline
Not every Christian is called to adopt, but here are reasons why I believe every Christian should pray about adopting.
1) Christians are obligated to care for the fatherless
James 1:27 states that those who show mercy and love to the oppressed are doers of the Word. They have a pure and undefiled religion. Our obedience to this command springs from knowing God’s character. He is a kind and loving Father who adopted us into His family, through Jesus.
What a beautiful picture that ought to spur us on to do the same! Showing love and mercy towards those who are powerless, and considered the least among us, is at the core of being a follower of Christ. Not all are called to adopt, but all are obligated to care for the fatherless in some way.
Image by Cassandra Madeline
2) God will provide for all of your financial needs
If you are called to adopt, God will provide for you. One of the biggest objections to adoption is the cost. International and domestic infant adoption are very expensive, and foster adoption can have a number of fees as well. We began our journey by including our friends, family, and church, to partner with us in caring for the fatherless.
It was amazing to see God provide every single penny we needed! Fundraising is not for everyone, and if that’s the case, I still firmly believe that pinching pennies, budgeting, or setting aside a chunk of savings is a way that God will provide for your adoption fees. Going into debt is not necessary, and for us, was never an option.
God promises to meet all of our needs in Philippians 4:19. Plus, if you choose to foster-to-adopt directly through your state, there are often zero, or very minimal, fees! Obviously, this option is near and dear to my heart.
Image by Cassandra Madeline
3) Extravagant love is a risk worth taking
Love of any kind brings risk. It’s a huge risk to love a child you seemingly have nothing in common with. However, it’s a risk worth taking because it highlights the gospel, and what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us.
If you’re tempted to believe that you can’t love a child through adoption because they are not your “own” flesh and blood, may I urge you to remember the gospel? We have been adopted into the family of God, through Jesus, even though we were unworthy outsiders. Allowing this truth to move our hearts often changes the way we think about adoption.
At the same time, don’t pursue adoption and expect it to be easy and devoid of hurt. I can assure you, you will get hurt. We are to expect tribulation in this life, but take heart, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Any worthy endeavor is going to require sacrifice. Loving a child who’s been through trauma and experienced loss is going to be scary and hard. That sacrifice is worth it times infinity. You see how God can redeem any situation, and any child, from the hard places and brokenness they came from.
Our family loves adoption, and God has blessed us with the greatest kiddos ever. The sacrifice, pain, and long wait were worth every second for the sweet boys we have the immense privilege of parenting.
Read more about April Swiger’s adoption journey in her eBook, Dignity and Worth: Seeing the Image of God in Foster Adoption.
Beautifully written! We are currently waiting for our referral in our international adoption. 🙂 I’ll be sharing this!
That’s so exciting, Gina! Great to hear that.
Beautiful story. We are currently fostering with the hope to adopt one day. And I agree, everyone should pray for adoption, pray these kids, and try to help in some way! Love to you ❤
Love this!! We are currently foster parents in Iowa to a little 15 month old boy. It looks like may not turn to adoption, but if it does, we would gladly make him a permanent member of our family. Foster care is definitely hard with the uncertainty of each child’s length of time in your home, but we really felt called to be there for kids in their time of need.
It’s so hard! We’re right there with you as we still don’t have clarity on our younger son’s case. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing the hard work and loving those kiddos!
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
This was beautifully written and such a wonderful reminder of the gospel. I completely agree that while every family may not adopt, every family should be involved in caring for these children. So often it seems like if you are not adopting, there is nothing you can do, or even that you are “off the hook”. But praying for adopting families and the children, giving and supporting fundraisers, taking care and helping families who are going through the process– there are many other ways to participate in adoption. Thank you for this post. I think that sharing more about how those not in the process of adopting can help is needed!
Thank you for your kind words, Lisa! I agree, I think there needs to be more openness with others, and how they can help if they are not specifically called to adopt.
I’m always thankful when people decide to adopt! I love to hear those success stories.
Me too! They’re so much better than the horror stories 🙂
Wonderful article! We are adoptive parents of ten special needs children, one “normal” adoption, and one biologic child. I would like to stress two points you made: not every Christian should adopt, but every Christian should pray honestly about it; and adoption, just like natural birth is not without its problems and hurts. Not only should we pray about adoption, but also the size of our families thru allowing the Lord to bless us with as many children as He wishes.
Great word, Linda! God is the one ultimately in control of our families.
My wife and I are on our 10th and 11th international adoptions. How can we spread the word it’s a calling and a blessing!
We are just starting the research process about adoption–we are trying to learn as much as we can. Following your story over the past five years has been so influential in our decision, and I’m so thankful for how you have openly shared your (beautiful, hard, tumultuous) journey! Thank you so much.
Jillian, that is so wonderful to hear! How exciting! And thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad our story has been helpful for you.
Thank you for sharing this! We are foster parents to 6 kids currently. 4 siblings who we believe will go home to their mom soon. We also have 2 siblings who just had their goal changed to adoption and we will adopt if that is God’s will for us all. We did plan to adopt the last sibling group of 5 that we had for over 3 years, but God had plans for them to return home. It groke our hearts, but, We saw each one give their heart to Jesus. This is not just parenting- but ministry. Each child belongs to God first.
Annette, thank you for sharing your story! Yes, exactly, it’s a ministry. I completely agree. Our homes *may* be the only place they hear the gospel. I love how Russell Moore (author of Adopted for Life) says “adoption is war.” Satan is at work to destroy families and he doesn’t want these children to hear about Jesus. Thank you for doing the hard work and loving these kiddos well.
Thank you for the info of the book from Dr. Moore. I will certainly read about it.
I cannot wait till the day we can adopt a child! I hope one day God gives us this opportunity! I would love to encourage other Christians to think/pray about adoption and share all the reasons and benefits. There are so many children that need families.
What a beautiful article! We would love to a foster parent, and possibly adopt through the foster system. Unfortunately, our small home doesn’t meet the requirements. It breaks my heart that our society is so materialistic that a loving family cannot bring needy children into our home, simply because we choose to live modestly and debt-free.
We have six kids from 8-32, and another “on the way” from foster – to – adopt. One is a widow. One has been trying to conceive for three years, and one has a beautiful toddling grand baby.
I always wanted to be the mom in a family that always has room for one more. I think we have that now. Not easy and sometimes unbelievably hard. Right now we are living in a Fixer-Upper that isn’t fixed, much less clean. Long term consequences of our most challenging and most enjoyable child, include foreclosure.
This was so convicting and encouraging. My husband and I have wished we could be foster parents for a long time, it just breaks my heart how many children there are out there without good homes. You’ve written a very compelling argument in favor of adoption and it has put the topic heavily on my heart; I will be praying on this.
Hi, i loved your post. My husband and I have adopted a one year old boy two years ago and are on the waiting list for a baby girl. We come from a muslim nation in europe and adoption it is not welcomed here. We are the fidst ones at our church adopting and we know only less than 5 other couples who have adopted. What an amazing experience it is. We have learned so much about the father heart of God. What a blessing to be an adoptive parent.
So beautiful! My husband and I definitely needed this confirmation. Any ideas on programs/communities for Christians families to be mentored with other families who have been through adoption process?
This is one of the areas my husband and I are concerned about. We sadly don’t know of anyone in our church who has adopted.
I have been in the foster care system for a few years. Currently, my wife wants to adopt our 12 yr old. I have doubts. I am not feeling the love. I don’t want to jump into the adoption and force the love there. I’m not going to adopt just cause my wife wants to and the boy doesn’t have another adoptive family as of right now. I’ve prayed. I just don’t think I’ve prayed hard enough and not sure I want the answer. Also afraid of the big change. Help! Thanks for everyone’s previous comments.
We are at the very earliest stages of investigating this. Please pray for us.
My husband and I have recently started applying for international adoption, the paperwork has been so overwhelming and the COVID-19 has much delay the process in the past 4 months, we prayed , we fasted, we consulted many Christian couples and friends… but seems not to have a complete clarity about proceeding after all the training that makes me wonder if we are ready for adoption of a child with special needs while we both are older (I’m in my 40s and my husband is 50yo)?
Anyone can give us some Godly advices, please?