The Beauty of Adoption

Doug & I used to dream of adopting at least one child from every inhabited continent. In our wilder-thinking moments, we still do. :)

I can't help but love adoption. Not being an overly emotional-feely gal, there are few things that make me teary-eyed... but just the thought of my friends Michael & Jana getting on a plane today to go get their Ruthie... well, it does it. Or the idea of our son's little buddy, Bobby, getting a new little Ethiopian brother next Summer... wow.

Or praying for other friends, that their son's birthfather will be located quickly so that the proper paperwork can be completed & he can come home with them when they go to pick up he & another little girl they're adopting from Haiti. What a tragic thing it would be, after over two years of waiting, for them to have to go pick her up without him. We are heartily petitioning God on their behalf.

Or hearing this week about our friends John & Julie and their adorable son Stephen who, though it seems like yesterday, has been a part of their family for over nine months now. And his smile looks so kind and welcoming-- just like both of them! He is already reflecting his parents' sweet personalities.

Or some friends of mine from high school who brought their precious daughter home from Korea in the Spring... and it is EVIDENT that she was made for them, and they were made for her.

There's just something breathtakingly stirring about this thing of adoption... the way God moves people around to form these amazing families. It's beautiful, and I count it my privilege to pray for friends and acquaintances (and, yes, shed some joyful tears) as they seek out how God would grow their family. Perhaps one day it will be our family-- but even if not, what a neat thing that God lets us play even a small role (through prayer) in these awesome journeys that give such a rich and deep picture of God's plan for believers:


HE CHOSE US:
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. ~Ephesians 1:4-5

HE COMPLETED THE REQUIREMENTS:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" ~Gal. 4:4-6

WE RECEIVE THE SPIRIT AS GOD'S PROMISE THAT WE ARE ADOPTED:
You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. ~Romans 8:15-17

WE EAGERLY AWAIT THE COMPLETION OF OUR ADOPTION, WHEN WE ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH GOD OUR FATHER:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. ~Romans 8:18-24

Might God be calling your family to consider growth through adoption? Or might God be calling YOU to be a part of His family through adoption? Whatever the case, I wholeheartedly praise God for this sweet thing of adoption-- both spiritually, and as a way to grow beautiful families, and as always, I welcome your comments.

28 comments:

Mrs Marshall said...

Another fantastic post Jess! I truly feel inspired by your writing and every time I come away from Making Home i feel renewed and exhilirated to be a daughter of the Lord. Your posts especially on marriage and keeping marriage strong are inspiring - with your no-nonsense biblical approach to modern issues. I especially enjoyed your post on Titus 2 yesterday!
Blessings,
Mrs Marshall

Erin said...

This post was so timely for me! The Lord has really put the idea of adoption on my heart lately, and I love reading and hearing of other's adoption experiences. I can't wait for the time when its our turn!

Maria said...

We are in the process...it is a real faith builder! Thank you for your lovely post.

Anonymous said...

"Doug & I used to dream of adopting at least one child from every inhabited continent."

That must be the only thing you and Angelina Jolie have in common.

Seriously, though, I'm with you on how beautiful adoption is.

I would only add that there are many orphans in the U.S. who cannot find homes, because Americans would rather adopt a perfectly healthy baby from a foreign country instead of a toddler (or older child) in the U.S., or a baby with special needs in the U.S.

I am not one to point fingers, because my husband and I aren't adopting any children from anywhere. But I do have a friend who has adopted two special-needs babies (both were drug-exposed in pregnancy and born with health problems). She gets frustrated with the people who won't consider domestic adoption.

Laurie B

Anonymous said...

We are celebrating our daughter's Gotcha Day today. We received her into our arms two years ago today in China. An appropriate post for me to celebrate today. Thank you for celebrating adoption too! Jennifer

Much Ado said...

Wonderful post, a subject close to my own heart, as we wait for our child from China.

Heather said...

As someone who was adopted, I've always enjoyed the verses in the Bible that speak about adoption.

Anonymous said...

Just a note. I think adoption is wonderful. My brother, sister, and I are all adopted. Different birthmothers too. I just want to remind you that someday you're children may (or may not) want to find their birthmothers. I wasn't really sure about it but I did contact mine when I was no longer a minor. While we had a good experience, and are now friends and e-mail pals, I realized things I hadn't thought about before. While this may be selfish, my whole life I never really thought about her, and pretty much assumed she had given me up and was fine now, happy and went on with life. I found out how untrue that is. She regretted the decision to give me up severely, for many years, and every birthday of mine that rolled around was a miserable day. As soon as she knew I turned 18 she waited for my call...it came two years later when I was 21. I know she almost lost faith that I would ever try and contact her.

My brother's birthmother has been found too, he doesn't really have a need to talk to her, but has seen pictures of her and her partner (a woman). He's glad that she's happy and has obviously gone on with her life.

My sister hasn't found her birthmother. I hope she never tries. She has issues...self esteem issues, she likes to cause drama, she is hateful towards our parents, ect. I know that my parents know the story of her birthmother. My sister doesnt, and I hope she doesn't find out. Her birthmother is missing, and from her record is probably on the streets somewhere or dead. She didn't want my sister at all, unlike my birthmother, who wanted me very much.

I know this was a lot of writing, and yes, three very different stories, but please just take this in mind with adoption, that someday questions will be asked, stones will be unturned, and hopefully by then you and your children will be ready to deal with them.

Good luck if anyone's planning on adoption! I've never been more grateful to my parents, I love them and have never thought of them as anything but my mom and dad. I was raised in a wonderful Christian home, and while my mom jokes that somehow I became a "tree-hugging liberal", I turned out pretty well. I had a great childhood, am in school getting ready to become a high school teacher, and am married to my best friend who is also a student. So my story turned out well, and I wouldn't be who I was today if it weren't for all these people who got me here. God, my parents, and my birthmother and grandmother who I found out prayed for me every day of my life from far away.

Hope this gave some interesting insight to the world of adoption..and if you have adopted children I have so much respect for you! It's amazing! I hope someday the adoption process here is made a little easier...because I know it's very difficult.

Anonymous said...

Oh and I completely agree with Anon about the domestic adoption. So many people are only willing to adopt a white infant, that they are willing to go to foreign adoption before they would consider adopting a minority baby here, or even a toddler who probably dreams of being taken home to a loving mom and dad.

Luke said...

We're in process, and mostly in "wait mode" ... which is hard.

~Luke

The Arab Musicians said...

I'm with you, Jess. Nothing brings tears to my eyes quicker. I love adoption, and have been convinced several different times that adopting was going to be the next step for growing our family. However, so far, God has made it clear that at least for now, our role is to be cheerleaders and prayer warriors for the others who are bringing these sweet children home.

Because it is so dear to our heart, we have also chosen to donate to organizations like Shaohannah's Hope as well as some of our personal friends who have had the privilege of adopting. Until it's our turn (if there is a turn for us), we want to do what we can to enable others to experience the miracle.

Mrs. Sewell (Professional Wife and SAHM) said...

I always love your posts! Adoption is a very beautiful thing. I was adopted by my dad. My biological father left my mother for another man when I was 2 years old. When my remarried, her husband adopted me and my middle sister as his own daughters. I did not know any of this until I was about 10 years old. I have always been a daddy's girl, but when I found out what he did for me, I was so moved. He still is one of my heroes. Malachi and I dream about adopting one day too!

For my dad to adopt me is so much like Christ adopting me! They both chose me!

God Bless
Crystal <><

Kristin said...

Definitely a timely post! My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for the past two years, and one of the blessings to come out of this challenging time has been the way my heart has been expanded, stretched and burdened for children around the world, but especially here in the US, who are unloved and unwanted. There are so many families like us out there, longing for a little one to hold in our arms and call our own, that it breaks my heart to know there are so many children in need of just such a family.

My husband and I have just decided to go forward with the training and administrative process for fostering, and may start by doing emergency "respite" fostering as we pray about what God has for us to do. We have the room in our home, and showing hospitality and love in that way seems a small thing to do while we pray and listen. We are also discussing the possibility of eventually moving forward with adopting a sibling group with older children - these ones face almost impossible odds in their quest to find a family and stay together. We haven't given up hope of having biological children, but it seems to me that God is doing something powerful with adoption in the heart of so many of his people right now.

I read another blog post recently that resonated - saying that Satan attacks children so intensely and unceasingly because they are hardwired to give God praise and glorify Him the way no other creature is... a picture of the "childlike faith" we are to have. It only follows, then, that God would raise up His people to provide a defensive force for these precious hearts.

Tanya said...

I, too, get all choked up even hearing the word adoption. It's such a beautiful picture of how God has grafted us into His family.

We hope someday to adopt.....just waiting for God's timing.....

I have friends and family who have adopted domestically and internationally. Each have their own challenges and their own blessings. Either way, God has touched those families in such beautiful ways......it's just amazing to be a witness to it.

Julie said...

Whoo hoo for your adoption post, Jess!

Adoption is one of those bittersweet things in life--just as in pregnancy and childbearing, there is great pain. But it is another wonderful picture of God's miraculous way of bringing good out of any situation. Oh, and when you hold that child for the first time... Sniff, sniff...

Sin was not part of God's Eden--but He was not caught off guard by it. No, He knew that sin would enter the world and He had a plan for redemption. Though we have inherited Adam's sin, God has chosen to adopt us into His great family.

In the same way, adoption is not necessarily the ideal--in a perfect world, perhaps all children would remain with their biological parents, happy and healthy. But in this fallen world, that just doesn't happen. And so we have this wonderful thing called adoption, which creates new families and brings blessing to so many people...

Ahhh, I'm feeling all sentimental, myself! :)

Love to you, Jess, and to our friend Beth over at ArabMusicians--our family was a beneficiary of their generous heart for adoption.

Okay, I'll stop gushing now!

Tonya said...

What a great post! We just celebrated "met'cha day" for our youngest. Two years ago right now, DH and I were in Ukraine on a mission to bring home kiddo #5. I actually just put a pic of our first meeting on my blog two days ago if you want to see her then and now.

Jerilyn said...

I'd like to adopt and/or foster children. Just waiting on timing from the Lord and for Him to lead us. :)

Berry Patch said...

Wonderful words. From as far back as I can remember, I have wanted to adopt. We now have three wonderful biological children & can have no more at this point. My heart is ready for adoption but now I wait for my hubby's to become the same. I know it will all be in God's timing. Yet, I continually come across blog posts & other things about adoption so I can't help but think...some day.

Mary said...

I often think about adoption. My brother was adopted from Korea when he was three years old. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 30. He was eight years older than me. Since then, my sisters and I talk about adopting a child from Korea. I'm not sure if any of us will ever do it. But it's definetely on each of our hearts.

Even though my brother was Korean and we were a white family, I never thought of my brother as different than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Jess, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on something.

In ancient times, there were no adoption agencies. When a couple could not have biological children, God was deemed to have made it so for a reason.

Maybe the man would have a child by another wife or concubine, but nowhere in the Bible (that I'm aware of) does it suggest that God wants us to adopt children if we can't have biological children. On the contrary, the Bible seems to suggest that if you are faithful, God will allow you to bear children.

Obviously, I strongly support adoption, whether or not a couple also has biological children.

I just think it's worth noting that over the centuries, childless couples would not have assumed that God wanted them to adopt. That is our modern mindset.

Laurie B

Rebecca said...

As an adoptive mother obviously I cheer prospective adoptive parents on. One comment though. Please be careful of how you address these children and their parents. We've gotten some really odd comments and downright rude ones. Some suggesting that we're not "real" parents and some people have excluded our daughter from neighborhood play dates once they discovered she was adopted. Just remember that adoptive families are just like any other family.

Anonymous said...

Kristin, you and your husband sound like wonderful, caring people.

Adopting an older sibling group has been very rewarding for my neighbor's son and daughter-in-law. I think the kids were 7, 5 and 2 when adopted. It is heartbreaking to think of siblings separated into different families, or not ever adopted because people don't want to take older children into their homes.

Laurie B

MaryBeth said...

Jess,
Keep dreaming! :-) My parents started dreaming of adoption when they had 3 girls in 3 years and could not have more children. Over a space of 20 years God opened the doors for my 3 brothers to come into our family. I'm so grateful that my parents opened their lives and ours up to this. I can't imagine it being any different! MaryBeth

Mrs. Anna T said...

Truly, He is the one who "places the solitary in families".

My cousin married a widower with three small adopted children from Eastern Europe. She had two children from her first marriage, and they just had their second baby together. Makes a total of 7 - a lovely big family where all feel welcome... and they have no intention of "stopping"! ;o)

Ann said...

Thanks for a great post. We recently celebrated the "Gotcha" day of our son who was adopted one year ago from Vietnam at the age of almost six. He had spent six years in an orphanage.
We also have seven other children, two of whom are adopted, but with this child who came so much older, I have rarely witnessed a transformation like this--one that only Christ can bring--in our new son and in our family.
We get to witness another miracle every single second. There is nothing greater than that.
We overcame a lot of fears to adopt an older child who had always lived in an orphanage and who we thought would have some lifelong challenges (as it turns out, he does not) but the power to overcome came from AVOVE. I'm just glad we listened!

Believe and receive!

Jess said...

Laurie:
RE: OT times/barrenness/adoption

I don't have all the answers-- obviously. But I do know that God sets the seasons and times of a person's life. And I believe He sovereignly ordains who will live at what times and where.

He knew that you would be a Jew in the US in this time, rather than a Eastern European Jew of the 1800's or Jew in exile in Babylon...

He knew that I would be an American living abroad. What in the world? At what point in history would that have happened? Most people lived near their families their whole lives in biblical times. If you left your hometown to live elsewhere, you were quite possibly kissing your parents goodbye for the last time. Now, you could live on the other side of the world and see your parents a few times throughout any given year.

Knowing all of this, I trust in God's sovereignty and grace, planning and allowing and overseeing the rise and fall of nations, diseases, families, and wombs, in order to piece together the families of His choosing.

I will also say that I believe that God is calling to Himself people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, even through adoption. There are so many who have come to faith in Christ through this thing called adoption, that I personally am convinced that this is yet another way that God is fulfilling His promise to receive praise from each and every nation.

Those are my general thoughts.

Rebecca said...

In answer to Laurie B. The Bible does in fact advocate adoption. It may not use that particular word however the concept is there. The church is admonished more than once to look after the poor and widows. It also says that the widow's family should look after her, but if she have no family then it would fall to the church. Families were to take care of their own and then in the absence of that the church should step in. It would follow then that the apostles would include orphans in that group, but in that time and place it likely went "without saying". If a child had no parents and no family to care for him the church (which is the people of the church and not the building or just the leaders)has a moral obligation to step in and take care of that child. You see, in today's world we have formal adoption because the families are not taking care of their own and because immorality is at an all time high. I have taken enough space here but will address this on my blog.

Crystal said...

To Laurie B,

I would seek to say in ancient times people did not make it a common practice to abandon their children, hence there was no NEED for adotion agencies. Also, if children were to lose their parents to death the extended family took on the role of parenting those children.

The problem now is that we have a world that teaches "safe sex" instead of the virtue of purity. So, we have young children getting pregnant and either choosing abortion, or giving their children away. So, there is a need for those children to have the opportunity of having a mother and a father.

Adoption is a HUGE deal in scripture as we have been adopted by the Lord as His children. So, there is something very sacred about adopting children who are "lost".

God Bless
Crystal <><