Perhaps you think of adoption as a nice idea, a lovely thing to do, but you don’t feel particularly passionate about it for you as a family and so you assume you aren’t called to it.
This, I suspect, is the most common line of thinking. I want to challenge the thinking that ‘feeling a passion’ equates to being called by God, and indeed go one step further and suggest that all married couples ought to at least consider adoption. Not everyone should adopt, but everyone is called to seriously think about what orphan care looks like for them (see James 1:27). The “calling” has already been issued, either by direct command, or in displaying God’s fatherly heart for the vulnerable, which we are called to imitate:
- He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (Deut. 10:18)
- When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. (Job 29:12)
- In you the orphan finds mercy. (Hosea 14:3)
- Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. (Ps. 68:5)
- Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Ps. 82:3–4)
- Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (Is. 58:7)
- Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
- If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15–16)
I don’t believe that every couple should adopt. There are legitimate circumstances in life that rule people out. But I fear that thousands of Christian couples that could adopt are actually ruling themselves out just because they don’t ‘feel’ especially passionate about it. But is anyone ever naturally passionate about doing something hard, costly, sacrificial? Our hearts are not drawn to hard things; our nature recoils from it.
But the question is this: Are we actually asking God if this could be His will for our family? If we are unable to have biological children? As well as having biological children? Maybe even instead of having biological children? Based on the above Scripture passages, as well as many others, maybe we can even assume that adoption is God’s plan for our family unless He makes clear that it’s not.
Look back at history. There has been a spiritual war on children since sin entered the world. The first son ever born murdered the second. Pharaoh wanted to murder every living boy. Pagan nations offered children as living sacrifices to false gods (God’s people fell into this sin at times too). Herod ordered every boy under two be murdered. Planned Parenthood is one modern-day equivalent.
Russell Moore in his book Adopted for Life states:
The universe is at war, and some babies and children are on the line. The old serpent is coiled right now, his tongue flicking, watching for infants and children he can consume. One night 2000 years ago, all that stood in his way was one reluctant day labourer (Joseph) who decided to be a father...and if Joseph is not “really” the father of Jesus, you and I are going to hell. Jesus’ identity as the Christ after all, is tied to his identity as a descendant of David. That human identity came to Jesus through adoption.
He goes to on to say that “picturing the fatherhood of God means more than these things [being anti-abortion]. His fatherhood is personal, familial. Protecting children means rolling back the curse of fatherlessness, inasmuch as it lies within our power to do so.” It is within our power to do so!
Adoption is hard. It’s stressful. It’s painful. But we shouldn’t expect anything less, because we’re in a spiritual war. And who ever fought in a war that didn’t bring pain, even death? Moore continues “God’s fatherhood is pictured for us as a tumultuous, fighting kind of fatherhood—the kind that rips open the seas and drowns armies.”
Children shouldn’t be in foster care. They shouldn’t be neglected, or abused, or brain damaged by drugs and alcohol consumed in the womb. They shouldn’t be an inconvenience. But this is life after the Fall in a sin-stained world. If we don’t pick up our weapons in this war for children, who will?
The serpent, who knows that his ultimate destruction came with the birth of a baby adopted by Joseph, is making it his business to produce generational mess after generational mess, ensuring children live to adulthood never hearing the name Jesus as anything more than a swear word. Simply put: Satan hates earthly adoption because of what it mirrors. Christians, this picture is broken, and we are the only ones who can step forward with a message of redemption.
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” (Prov. 24:11) We campaign against abortion with this verse. I’m campaigning for adoption with it too.
Our girls were being led away to death. They were born outside of God’s covenant and could have lived until their last day never having heard the gospel. We can’t guarantee their salvation, but by adopting them, we can guarantee that Jesus, the giver of eternal life, is a name they hear every day. We’re thankful that our girls won’t be led away to death because no one fought for them.
This is part two in a series on adoption. You can read part one here.
For further reading:
Adopted For Life Russell Moore
Home For Good Krish Kandiah