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.