In the Gospel of John, there is a description of a believer‘s adoption into the kingdom of God. ”To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.(John 1:12-13)“ Likewise we adopt children into our families in a similar manner in which our heavenly father adopted us. We search for those that are without a father and mother, and we bring them into our family and call them our own to show them that they are loved.
In our world today, it is estimated that there are more than 143 million orphans and waiting children. Each and every one of these forgotten children is a precious treasure of God. They too are part of God‘s family, and as believers we are called to be the first to reach out to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. God has always had a plan in place to protect and provide for the orphan. His plan is - and always has been - that we as His followers, regardless of personal cost, would seek and serve those orphaned, foster, and waiting children in His name.
We have provided some resources that you may find helpful in making your decision to adopt, if you are in the process of adopting, or have already adopted.
To properly answer that question, we must first consider God’s adoption of Christians. We find this concept over and over in the Bible, the concept that God has adopted us and we are His children. We learn in Galatians chapter 4 verses 4-5 that ”God sent His Son so that we might receive the adoptions as sons [or daughters!].“ When we were adopted, we became heirs of eternal life, and we no longer were slaves to sin and subject to death. In Romans 8:13-17, we are again taught that we are sons and daughters, so much so that we cry out to God, ”Abba! Father!“
A person is adopted and becomes part of God‘s family when that person hears the Gospel, repents of his or her sins, and trusts in Christ alone for righteousness. Believers have been adopted by God‘s grace through faith.
Our spiritual adoption should guide our views of earthly adoption. The ultimate goal of an adopting Christian family should be the glory of Christ. This is also true when a Christian family begins to have biological children. Happiness is involved, but it is not the ultimate end. Families who have children, whether biological or adopted, should raise them for the glory of God. We adopt because we love God, and we want to see His name exalted by our family. ”Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God“ (1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB).
It is also important to remember that adoption is a life-long covenant.
If the Lord has called you down this blessed road, there‘s a few important things to remember. Adoption is not the process where we order a perfect child for our perfect family. Rather, adoption is a costly, complex, emotional journey in which a child whom God has meant for a particular family comes home.
Adoptive parents will spend their lives pointing their children to eternity. They will pray that God will open their eyes to His truth, and they will equip them to know Christ with every parental asset they have. They do this because those children are the ones whom God has entrusted to their parental care.
When a family adopts, they do not have ”their“ children and their ”adopted“ children. God intended adopted children to be in the family that adopts them the same as children who come biologically. A different method, but the same outcome – a family is formed.
These questions are designed to help people who are exploring adoption think through some important considerations and ideas relating to the adoption decision process. Please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
After you have thought through your answers we would encourage you to discuss these questions and your thoughts with your spouse, and then identify an experienced adoptive family to talk with as well. Please feel free to contact Heart for the Fatherless and we will walk with you as you explore the path of adoption.
So you are considering adoption? You may think to start the adoption process by seeking quality information and resources, evaluating the pros and cons of the various adoption alternatives and trying to identify a good agency. While all of these considerations are very important and certainly necessary steps along the way, we believe there are some equally important, but often overlooked, things you should consider as you get started.
Assess Your Motivations – Being honest about our motivations can be a tricky thing at times. The reality is that when making an adoption decision healthy motivations are very important. For most people their motivations for adopting are often multifaceted and complex. It is not so much that there is one ”right“ motivation for wanting to adopt, as there are several wrong motivations – motivations that lead to great disappointment and much hurt and heartache for everyone involved. It is important not to adopt because you are trying to prove something or make a point. Instead, a primary motivation for adopting should always be love – love that you have and are willing to unconditionally give to a child for a lifetime . . . love that will enable a child to heal and fully experience the blessings and security of a forever family . . . love that will point a child to the ultimate love – the unfailing love of God. So as you consider adoption be sure to honestly and openly examine and discuss your motivations.
Develop Realistic Expectations – We have found that adoptive parents that have realistic expectations about the adoption journey are far more likely to thrive even in the midst of the challenges often associated with adoption. Adoptive families who are willing to be honest and open about their experiences – both the highs and the lows – are often the best resource for helping those considering adoption learn what to truly expect. As you move forward it is essential to avoid overly romanticized notions and fairytale dreams of how your adoption will unfold. There will undoubtedly be ”miracle moments“ and indescribable joy along the way, but there will be some frustration and disappointment as well. As we always tell families, expect that the adoption journey will be difficult at times, but ultimately worth it all; so no matter what don’t try to go it alone. Talk with experienced adoptive families and others about what you should realistically expect and know that God is doing something truly beautiful, even if it does not always appear as you might have imagined.
Pray Every Step of the Way – With the vast amount of detail and complexity associated with the adoption process, it is far too easy to forget to prayerfully approach every step along the journey. Each decision and each alternative should be prayerfully considered. And yet, it can often be difficult to know just how and what to pray. If that‘s the case for you, consider praying for wisdom and discernment, and maybe start by asking God to lead and guide you as you honestly assess your motivations and expectations. Also remember that so many lives are affected and impacted by each and every adoption – so don‘t forget to pray for the child that God will bring into your family as well as that child‘s birth parents, caregivers and the many people working to help you complete the adoption process. And be sure to invite friends and family to join with you as you pray every step of the way. Prayer can and will make all the difference.
The following list contains suggested questions that are designed to help families in selecting an adoption agency for a domestic adoption. Use of an adoption agency is only one of several different means of pursuing adoption, but is a commonly used and often beneficial approach for many families. A very important consideration in selecting an agency is determining whether the agency is a “good fit.” This can generally be achieved by ensuring that the family has accurate information and realistic expectations about the agency, its services, and costs and its adoption process(e.g. estimated wait times). In addition to obtaining answers to the following questions, adoptive families are strongly encouraged to read carefully any contracts or policies that they are asked to sign or agree to by the agency and to ask questions (if necessary, consult an attorney).
Use of a licensed adoption agency is generally required when pursuing an international adoption. The specifics of an agency‘s adoption program vary considerably by country. The following is a general list of suggested questions that are designed to help families in selecting an adoption agency for an international adoption. Families should also ask additional questions relating to specific country programs. However, a very important consideration in selecting an agency is determining whether the agency is a ”good fit.“ This can generally be achieved by ensuring that the family has accurate information and realistic expectations about the agency, its services, and costs and its adoption process(in particular estimated wait times). In addition to obtaining answers to the following questions, adoptive families are strongly encouraged to read carefully any contracts or policies that they are asked to sign or agree to by the agency and to ask questions (if necessary, consult an attorney).
Note: All questions regarding wait times should be asked in relation to a specific country program.
While the main purpose of the states foster care system is reunification with the biological parents, there still is a need for adoption of kids through the state. A common misconception is that these kids at least live in America and the real ministry field is in poor countries that are crowded with orphans. To start the real ministry is found in spreading the good news of Jesus.