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.
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.
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.
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.