Adoption. People think you’re a saint if you do it and crazy if you suggest they pray about it. I realize it just isn’t on the radar for most people. It’s messy. It’s emotional. It’s expensive. Its time consuming. It’s unpredictable. It’s heartbreaking. It carries a lot of baggage. Let’s be honest, it isn’t just life altering for a short period of time, its life changing. Life, truly, will never be the same. Who needs any of that added to their life?
For many, this is all they see when they look at adoption. Its no wonder adoptive families get raised to angelic status by curious onlookers. They look at the trouble of adoption and give a gold star to parents for overcoming a few (or many) obstacles, for taking in a sick and needy child. We hear things like, “I’d love to adopt, but I just don’t have the patience.” Or, “I’d adopt in a heartbeat, if we made more money.” Or, “I’m getting close to retirement and I’m ready to enjoy my time.” And this, “I can barely handle the kids God gave me. No way I could adopt more.”
I understand God hasn’t called everyone to adopt. But, as the body of Christ, we should care, we should love, we should sacrifice. We should look for ways to get involved. As believers, we look beyond what seems reasonable, what is feasible and we ask God, “What would you have me do?” Living by faith means every nook and cranny of our life is explored and interrogated with the question, “Lord, is this area of my life based on faith or on my on knowledge, my own desires, my own common sense?”
In the Old Testament, God says something amazing to Habakkuk. “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by faith.” (2:4) Too many days these beginning words describe me. Often, I lean on my own understanding of situations, my own power to solve problems, my own parameters of what is logical and I fail to live by faith. Simply put, I’m proud. Living by someone else’s standard, relying on another’s power is humbling.
Adoption took us to place we had never been before. Every part of it was out of our control, beyond our ability to understand. We experienced great loss. We mourned, we rejoiced, we prayed, we cried, we fasted, and we did it over and over again. For 6 long years. The last 2 years the faces of children, that would never live in our home, looked at us from our refrigerator door. It was impossible to feel in control of anything. Yes, we struggled. But adoption isn’t just about us. We knew God had called us to something amazing even though we couldn’t feel or see anything but pain in the process. God grew our faith as He grew our family.
Lately, we’ve been looking into adoption through foster care. The more research I do, the more amazed I am at the need. And, too often, the church sits quietly unaware of the opportunities to minister to those around them. I listen to those in churches as they tell about their great “programs” and I wonder how many have taken to heart the passage in James. “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God and the Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
How are we, as the body of Christ, helping those who are needy? Are we reaching out, willing to have that pure and undefiled religion? A relationship with our Father that says, “I want to be like Christ. I’m willing to use my resources, my home, my life to see children in a loving home where they will learn about the God of the Bible.” Many believers travel around the world to help the poor, but what about those in your country, your state, your city who are crying out? Maybe, just maybe, its our own busyness, or possibly selfishness, that drowns out their cries.
I am passionate about International adoption. If you want to see a little of the need check out this website. http://www.rainbowkids.com Long ago, we asked God to grow our family however He desired. After working with several orphanages in China, I wanted to adopt from China. Not a regular adoption, but a waiting child. A child, others had given up on; a child, that didn’t think a family was in his/her future.
Then, on a visit to Focus on the Family, we walked into a hall filled with photographs of beautiful faces of children in Colorado. Children who needed a family. David looked at me and said, “Maybe we should pray about adopting from here.” My heart was still set on China, but I began to research and, more importantly, I began to pray.
Here’s some interesting facts about the kids in foster care (taken from adoptuskids Facebook page):
- Racial diversity. According to the most recent data available , approximately 41% of children in foster care are White, 27% are Black, 21% are Hispanic, and the remaining 8% are multiracial (5%), American Indian (2%), and Asian (1%).
- Older children and siblings in foster care. The median age is 8, and almost 50% of children in foster care are over the age of 10 . An estimated 70% of children in foster care have siblings in foster care .
- Adoption from foster care. Roughly 20% of children in foster care are adopted every year.
- Frequency of placement changes. The average number of placements for a foster child is around three (but this can vary widely, for a variety of reasons).
Check it out some of these beautiful children for yourself.
This is not an announcement that we are adopting again. Yes, it is in our hearts, but we are waiting for our Father to open those doors for us. If/when it happens, it will be because He has brought it about in His timing, whether domestic or international. But really, this isn’t about us and our future. Its about encouraging the body of Christ to get involved. Ask our Father how He desires your family to help in caring for orphans.
Let’s become doers of the Word and not hearers only.