Adopting does take faith. Lots of faith. It takes faith for God to adopt us as His children. It takes faith in knowing what's important to God and how we should make those things important to us. We are told:
correct oppression and bring justice to the fatherless. Is. 1:16-17
give justice to the weak and fatherless. Ps. 82:1
He sets the lonely in families. Ps. 68:6
He is father to the fatherless. Ps. 68:5This is the faith that we are living through adoption. Our adoption, passed down to the next generation. We don't need to wait to be faithful.
In 2012 there were 101,719 orphans in foster care in the US waiting to be adopted. In 2012, 23,439 children aged out of foster care, entering their adult life with no parents, no help. There were 52.039 adoptions in 2012. There are an estimated 17.8 MILLION orphans world wide. I can't help them all, but I can help one...or two...or three.
I think every Christian I've talked to about adoption says that they would instantly take a child (infant) that was laid in their lap. If it meant stopping one abortion, they would absolutely take that child and save their life. And I admit, I thought the same too. I thought that some day God would place a child in my path in this way. But then I thought again. There are thousands of children, right here in the state of Texas, whose birth parents did choose life but due to so many other reasons, can't or don't love and care for those children now. (I encourage you to read this post. Really. Go read it.) God doesn't call us to only care for infant orphans.
It will be hard. These kids are coming from seriously messed up places. They'll have baggage. They'll still be hurting. And their lives will never be "normal" because of their history. But we can bring them into our fold. Love them. Raise them in a Christian home. Give them a future to help overcome their past.
My comfort this week has been this verse.
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way to escape also, that you may be able to endure it. I Cor. 10:13b
Another concern that has been voiced is the money aspect of taking in more kids. "How will you pay for it?" "How will you pay for college?" etc. The answer to these questions and others like them is, "With sacrifice, with joy and thanksgiving." Even the most financially secure person has hardships, surprises, and challenges. But we are at peace with where we are financially and what our future looks like from our vantage point. We will cut back on this to pay for that. We won't go on big vacations so that we can afford private education. We don't have to pay for college and likely won't. We'll do the same things most big families do: hand me downs, share everything, not eat fancy foods all the time, not eat out often, drive used vehicles, and so on. We are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to raise and love more kids. Earthly possessions and experiences aren't what matter. Eternal life and salvation are.
And if you still doubt our ability to do this, think about this. You may not know our financial situation, but our adoption agency does. They know our numbers, nothing held back, and they still say we can reasonably take in up to three more children. They have experience in this and they've said we're fine.
Another concern comes from people who don't have large families. This is a question we get all the time anyway with five kids and we got it every time we announced a pregnancy. "How can you manage so many people and stay sane?" I'll say this, not everyone can. I've always thought that having a large family is a calling. Not every couple manages children the same. Some are completely overwhelmed by two, or five, or fifteen. I think personality has a huge role in this. But also, big families just operate differently than small or average size families. That's not a bad thing. My kids certainly know that they are loved. They have my attention when they need it. They are each a very important part of our family and add something special to our whole. And each adopted child will have all the joys and privileges of being part of this family.
If only the wealthy adopted we'd have an even bigger orphan problem. If only those without children adopted, we'd have a bigger problem. Sure, wealthy people with no children can give an adopted child everything. They can buy them anything they want, take them on trips, never require anything of them. But if you could ask an orphaned child what they long for, what do you think they would say?
We have been blessed by so many supportive friends and family members. I know that when we bring more children into our home, they will be loved and embraced by our community. These kids will have more than two parents and siblings that love them and are part of their lives. Their little worlds will be changed.
Those few unsupportive people make it difficult though. They make an already difficult situation harder. But we still have great joy in the Lord as we seek to live out His gospel through adoption. I wish that everyone could see our hearts and know what drives us. But ultimately that doesn't matter.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-3
We don't adopt because we want more kids.
We do want more kids, but that's not the driving force.
We don't adopt because we think it's a nice thing to do.
It is nice, but that's not why.
We don't adopt because we will be the best parents in the world.
We adopt because HE is the best parent and HE adopted us.
We adopt because of the gospel.