Who is called to adopt?

Adoption is a beautiful picture of the gospel lived out.  It is what Jesus did on the cross, his sacrifice has brought us into a family we never would have been a part of otherwise.  Adoption is also costly.  It cost Jesus his very life!  In modern times it costs a large sum of money, as well as time, and other sacrifices in order to bring a child home.  In looking at adoption I realized many agencies charge fees that are equivalent to what my husband made the first few years we were married.  Put that into perspective, to bring a child into your home through adoption can cost a year’s salary!  The first few years we were married the amount of money we lived on was so small that we qualified for government assistance.  Yet here we are a decade later, in the thick of it, crunching the numbers, dipping into our savings, praying and researching agencies, all to bring home a child.

Is it worth it?  Is what Jesus did on the cross worth it?  Or do you wish he would have been less willing to make that sacrifice?  Everyday as we go through our routines we are making choices.  Some choices are simply for our own personal comfort, some are for the needs of our family, some are great sacrifices for the needs of others we have never even met.  But, we spend our days making choices.

So, who is called to adopt?  Whether a family embraces adoption or not is just another choice they have to make.  Is everyone called to bring a child into their home?  I don’t believe so, but everyone can have a heart of adoption.  So what does that look like?  There are actually many wonderful ways to live out the calling to care for the widow and orphan in their distress.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

Some families may be in a place financially where they can give towards adoption expenses, but they can’t care for a child, they can give.  Some families may not have the finances to give, but they have baby items or toys they are no longer using, they can be donated to a family who is adopting, or to an agency that helps mothers in crisis.  Some families have a love of children but feel overwhelmed in their current season and can’t take on the responsibility of another, they can offer to babysit so adoptive parents can have a night out.

All can pray.

We can pray and ask God to strengthen the mothers considering abortion, that they may have the ability to have a selfless love and choose life for their child, even if that means it’s a life they won’t get to be a part of everyday.  Regardless of what we think when we look at adoption from a purely pro-life perspective, choosing to head down the road of adoption for a birth mom is a very difficult choice.  There are many reasons for this, but the biggest and perhaps simplest is that to choose adoption is a choice that requires the birth mom to grieve a loss.  The best way I’ve heard it explained is to think about having a miscarriage.  You know there was a life there, yet you never got to know that child, they were taken from you before you even had a chance to know them.  It’s the empty arms after leaving the hospital that may be the most difficult part.  As a mother, you know your child is in good hands, with a loving family that you hand picked in the case of adoption, in the arms of Jesus in the case of miscarriage, yet there is still an emptiness in your heart that will never be filled.  Mothers in this valley of decision need our love, prayer and support.  They are in a very vulnerable position.  When we find ourselves in these type of situations those are the times when our enemy the devil swoops in and whispers the lie that there is an easy way out.  The thought of growing and nurturing a child for 9 months and then giving that child to someone else is unfathomable to a mother, even a mother who knows she isn’t in a position to provide for a child.  Often these mothers will justify abortion all the while not realizing that they will still grieve the loss.  Adoption and abortion are both choices that will result in a mother having to grieve.  The difference is that in adoption there is hope that the mother will be able to continue to have some kind of relationship with her child, maybe even be a part of his or her life.  The days of adoption being a big secret are largely over.  In every state in the United States open adoption is being praised and celebrated not only for it’s benefits to the child in knowing who their birth mother is, but to the birth mother as well.  It brings great comfort to many birth moms to see their baby growing and thriving and being loved by parents who cherish him or her.

Having a “heart of adoption” doesn’t necessarily have to mean you personally adopt.  It simply means seeing things through the Father’s eyes.  He is what a heart of adoption looks like.  He sent his son to live a selfless life and die a death he didn’t deserve, adoption is interwoven beautifully through out scripture.  Read the story of Moses, or Esther, or even Jesus, who was adopted by Joseph.  You will see the Father’s heart of adoption.  It is what selfless love looks like.  Adoption is redemption.

In the Waiting……

I’m not a person who is necessarily good at waiting.  Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for dinner to cook.  Waiting and I don’t get along.  In fact I am fairly convinced that it is my lifelong task and goal to learn patience.  I have 6 kids and the most common thing I hear from people when they find that out is, “Wow, you must have a lot of PATIENCE!”  No!  I don’t, at least not nearly as much as you would think.  I usually just laugh and tell them they have no idea.  I am learning patience.  I’m learning, in the waiting, to wait well.  It’s not easy, in fact just when I think I’ve got this waiting thing mastered, God sends a new challenge, a new and longer thing I have to wait for.  My first few pregnancies, for example seemed to drag on, and on (it should be noted here that never have I actually carried a pregnancy all the way to the “due date”, I’ve gotten close, but always have had my babies “early”).  That’s called being impatient, reaching the goal early and celebrating like you’ve overcome some great obstacle.  I see now, those first few pregnancies were only the training ground for the waiting.  All my babies were born between 36 and 39 weeks.  The nature of learning to wait well is that when you master the challenge in one area, you sort of graduate to the next.  By the time I had baby number 6 (who was born just 1 day before his “due date”) I felt I had mastered it!  I got to the point where I was at ease with the waiting, and I had surrendered to God and said, Lord have your way.  I’m completely content for this baby to come on your time table, not mine.  I thought that was great, like I had passed this test, I had figured it out.  Finally, I had attained this elusive “Patience” everyone was always telling me I had an abundance of.

That was only the beginning of the lesson.  Shorty after our baby number 6 was born we felt the Lord was leading our family into a new season.  For us this meant a season of being done having children biologically and the beginning of our journey into adoption.  Adopting a child was something we had talked about for years prior, but always knew for our family it was not something we could pursue while I was pregnant or nursing a baby, we also felt as seasons change, that it would happen in a season when our biological children were all out of the “baby” stage.  When my husband come home from a prayer meeting one day (which I didn’t attend because I was home with our newborn baby #6) and told me he had heard from the Lord it was time.  I almost jumped for joy.  I knew that meant it’s time to adopt.  But in my impatient head I thought that was the green light.  I was ready to start calling agencies the next day and getting a home study started.  At this point we had already been waiting about 5 years to adopt.  Waiting, patiently waiting.  Not really talking about it, not really telling anyone except to say we wanted to “someday” when we were asked if we wanted more children.  But just waiting.  Adoption has been a dream in our hearts at this point in time, for about a decade.  For 10 years I have been in the waiting.  It’s been a dream in the heart of God even longer, we’ve only known about it for 10 years.  That’s the mystery of God.  He has dreams for us and if we grab hold of and latch onto them we can dream with Him.  It’s a wild adventure, and it often takes longer than we expect.  God’s timing is perfect, and it’s often not the same as ours.

Many things in life require waiting.  Yes mommas have to wait for their babies to arrive, through adoption, or through pregnancy.  Dreamers also have to wait for the fullness of their dreams.  Adoption is a personal dream of mine.  I have literally had dreams, multiple dreams, of a child.  A daughter who is not from my bloodline.  God has given us a name and I’ve seen her face in my dreams.  I feel that I’ve been pregnant with this dream for almost a decade.  I haven’t let go, I’ve wanted to!  Many times I’ve said to God, “It’s too hard!”  I can’t just keep waiting.  I’ve tried to give the dream back to Him, but He won’t accept it.  It’s part of my destiny, it’s who I am and part of my calling.  A funny thing happens when you take up the mantle of prayer for a certain thing, it becomes interwoven into the very fabric of who you are.  That is what has happened with me and this adoption thing.  You can’t spend 10 years praying for the ending of abortion, and a heart of adoption without it somehow changing who you are.  Habakkuk says it best in Habakkuk chapter 2:1-3
I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the LORD says
and how he will answer my complaint.
Then the LORD said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.

This is my way of writing the vision plainly on tablets, so that a runner may carry it to others.  There is a time coming soon when abortion will be a thing of the past.  We are already seeing the shift in the culture where the next generation is turning away from the mindset of the past.  They are, in large numbers, rejecting the theory that a child in the womb is “property” of the mother to do with whatever she wills.  What happens when abortion ends in our nation?  There will still be unplanned and sometimes unwanted children who are conceived.  The people of God must arise and say, I will take that baby.   I will raise him, or her as my own.  And not only be available to do so, but have a heart desire to welcome these little ones like Jesus.  It takes more than a willing heart to say, I will raise that child.  That baby that you don’t want or aren’t capable of raising.  it’s takes a heart willing to be content in the waiting.  Adoption is hard, it’s costly, and it requires patience at a level that many people don’t possess.  Adoption is also a beautiful picture of a loving God who gave everything, even his own son so that He could adopt us as sons and daughters.  #AdoptionIsRedemption  #WorthTheWait