Having been adopted and also having adopted, it’s one of the most frequent questions I am asked–“How do I know if I’m supposed to adopt?”
It’s a good question with a complicated answer. Here’s the short answer: You (and potentially your spouse) know in your heart what God wants or does not want you to do.
But here are 3 additional thoughts–
1. Your contribution is needed.
No, adopting is not a requirement for someone who loves Jesus any more than going to the mission field is a requirement for someone who loves the Great Commission, but caring for children in need is as much required of you as is sharing the Gospel. The Great Commission and the admonition to care for the fatherless are equally Scriptural.
You have something to contribute. If it’s not adoption, what is it?
Consider this: If you feel the pull of God on your heart to do something to help fatherless children, it most certainly is a biblically-inspired desire as we can safely assume the Enemy would not want you to take the love of Christ to a child in need. That said, timing is important, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
2. Your reasons matter.
Why would you adopt? Why would you not adopt?–the answers to both of these questions are of critical importance.
If you want to adopt because “the kids are cute” or because it’s a really great act of charity, or because your friends are doing it, then not adopting may be the right answer at this time. If you can’t adopt right now because you have a full house and full hands and/or God has not prompted you in this way, not adopting may also be the right answer at this time. And to be clear, not adopting if God has not led you to do it is the right decision.
Obedience to God should never result in needless guilt on your part. There are dozens of worthy things to do with your time and resources that God may not call you to do, and that is OK.
However. If God has stirred your heart to consider adoption to the point that you can’t not think about it, and if your reason for pursuing adoption is rooted in rich theology that is not swayed by conservative trend, then maybe you are supposed to say YES! In that case, not adopting is not OK.
3. Your hesitancy is good.
When I first began working for Lifesong nearly 3 years ago, I was of the everybody-should-adopt camp. Keep in mind, adoption very literally saved my life, and adopting/raising my son has been an extraordinary joy. From my perspective and through the lens of my experience, adoption has only and always been the right and easy choice. Over these years, however, I have met many wonderful, God-loving families around the world for whom adoption has not been an easy decision, far from it.
Years and gentle explanation from faithful brothers and sisters have honed my understanding that adoption is not merely a backdoor route to child evangelism or a great way to expand a family or even a good thing to do.
It’s far more than that. It is daily and persistent spiritual warfare–fighting for the hearts and lives of those whom the Enemy thought he had safely in his grasp.
It is countercultural, and it can be very challenging. Adoption is not a decision to be made lightly or without a healthy amount of wisdom and prayer.
Is God calling your family to adopt?
As we continue to welcome orphaned and abandoned children into our lives, homes, and churches, we show an orphaned world what it looks like to belong to God Who faithfully and selflessly welcomes the fatherless.
I can’t tell you whether or not to adopt, because you alone know your role in this mission. But by the grace of God, I pray you discover and obey it. And I trust you know the Lifesong family is here to encourage you however God leads.
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