“Your daughter looks just like you,” a nice lady said to me one day at the store. I thanked her, looked at my daughter, and we carried on with our shopping, smiling as we walked away. My daughter was adopted. It is moments like these that I cannot help but think about the wonder of it all—children born into this world who, for a variety of reasons, magically find themselves in our homes, hearts, and lives. However, I do not believe in magic. No. Instead, I believe there is a greater force behind the movement of souls that end up as families.
A while ago, I read a blog post where the blogger expressed her opinion that “God hates adoption.” I must admit, I was put off by the title of the post, but incredibly curious as to the content of it. As I read it, I understood why the author was saying this. She remarked on the very nature of why and how children end up in need of adoption. Although she made her case for why God must hate adoption, I found myself considering that while God may grieve the reasons children are in need of adoption (broken families, death of birth parents, abuse, neglect, and abandonment), I wholeheartedly disagreed with the idea that God hates it. Instead, I considered the complexity of it, and the ways in which adoption is very much a “God thing”:
1) The stories of barrenness, spiritual struggle of infertility, and adoption in scriptures. Some of the most powerful stories are ones where the blessing of children came out of struggles.
2) Many adoptive parents have sensed a calling on their lives to adopt. They feel deep down in their soul that they are being asked to seek out children in need of permanent families and minister to them through patience, prayer, and love.
3) The countless number of prayers lifted up for orphans, birth parents, adoptive families, and decisions made in regards to the welfare of children are all-powerful, and in need of answers. Many have said that “God answered my prayers” in terms of their own adoption experience.
4) The taking in of orphans in need is a directive, not a suggestion. For those who are Christian, this directive from God cuts straight to the chase. We are to take care of orphans. Adoption is, indeed, a fulfillment of this.
5) The power of acceptance, redemption, and pulling beauty from desperate situations through adoption is very much symbolic of the grace and love of God. There are moments when grace is mightily required of parents who are parenting children from hard places. Children can witness characteristics of a loving God through their parents.
6) Adoption is also meeting a child “where they are at.” For many believers, they are aware of the times when they felt God present in their lives; despite the circumstances. They did not have to prove anything, or be in a perfect place to experience the very real presence of God. Adoption is also about meeting children where they are—in need.
7) Adoptions offer the hope and promise of a sustaining and forever love. Adoption gives one a second chance at a new life—one that is filled with stability, protection, and the comfort of growing in love. Faith in God also offers these things. The heart is able to settle and rest in the fact that regardless of the mistakes, past circumstances, and present challenges, the promise of enduring love is what lifts our heads.
When I think about my own life experiences, the moments when I felt God’s presence, and the steps that led me toward my three children whom I proudly call my own, I know deep down that the backbone to all of this is God. In so many ways, adoption is a God thing. Perhaps this quote by Katie J. Davis says it all: “Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room.”