The description of children throughout the Bible shows how significant their roles are in this world. Words such as rewards, heritages, crowns, and gifts were used to demonstrate how precious and valuable children are. In Psalm 127:4 it says, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; So are the children of the youth.” This scripture uses the analogy of arrows to a warrior and directly connects it to the importance of children. Later in the New Testament, the innocence, hopefulness, and humbleness of children are used as examples of what adults should strive for when exercising their faith.
Not only is their existence recognized but their care as well. The upbringing and treatment of children are specifically addressed in verses like Ephesians 6:4 when it says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,” or Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The importance of care and fair treatment was not limited to children with parents. The Bible often acknowledges fatherless children and includes them in specific instructions. Adoption is the present-day fulfillment of caring for children that the Bible mentions as fatherless or orphans. Many Christians have taken it as their personal responsibility to care for these children through adoption.
Why Do Christians Adopt?
Faith is seemingly a growing component of adoption. While many denominations stem from the ideology of Christ, many believe that Jesus himself was adopted by Joseph. This is a belief that seems to be a common connection among the many different Christian denominations. Jesus and the holy family, being key examples of what many Christians base their lifestyle on, is also who they imitate according to their foundational teaching. So, believing that Jesus was adopted could be a reason why Christians adopt. Adoption is also used to compare the relationship between God and mankind. As stated in Ephesians 3:20, “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.” So, it is a very relatable feeling to recognize God as our heavenly father and identify as His sons or daughters.
As Christians, compassion is taught as a priority to everyone; this includes children. In the book of James chapter one, it mentions the responsibility of caring for orphans and widows. This is not the only time the Bible depicts a need for this group of people, and orphans and widows seem to be among the most vulnerable people. Their inability to take care of themselves provides an opportunity to establish an example of the many characteristics of God through the actions of others. Although James is not the only book of the Bible that mentions this, it is also a book that talks about the responsibilities of Christians to be action-driven. Christians are meant to not only be hearers of the word but doers. This can be summarized by the timeless saying, “Practice what you preach.”
Being an action-driven Christian means to live out what you believe and read in the Bible. Christians lean on the teachings of the Bible and their daily lives should reflect what they hold true. In general, people are turned off by people who seem to be “all talk and no action,” Christian or not.
The Christian faith is also a leader of the pro-life movement, and you will often find that many protest signs mention adoption. Being pro-life is more than just disagreeing with abortion. It means that life is important. A phrase that has been picking up speed in the last few years is “Pro-life, whole life.” The pro-life movement has lead to many productive, non-profit organizations that support both adoption and women who choose to raise their children. This type of support and assistance is truly the essence of being pro-life versus solely anti-abortion. It also displays the compassion that is necessary to maintain a Godly example. A personal opinion of mine is that it is irresponsible to convince women to protect the sanctity of life and then leave them desolate whether they choose adoption or not. Life is not only important at conception but after birth as well.
Many Christians believe that adoption can be their predestined path in life. For instance, there has been a significant increase in recent years of couples experiencing fertility impairment. It can be pretty devastating to those who have waited their whole adult life to start a family. A bombardment of feelings from hurt to anger is common, and those feelings are completely valid. Some may feel like their bodies have failed them. I have even spoken to women who feel like they are less of a woman because their bodies could not physically produce a child. As heartbreaking as that experience can be, a shift of perspective can bring comfort. In Romans chapter eight, it mentions that all things work for the good of those who love Him, and it also mentions that our lives are predestined and that we are called, and also justified. This reaffirms that even though we can go through heartache and trials or even physical hardships, there can be good that comes from it.
I always feel it is important to tell people that being a mother was never part of my life plan. I was always the person who said I did not want kids; I did not dislike kids, I just never thought motherhood was for me. I would get so frustrated when people would ask me about it because I felt like they were pushing their expectation of what they thought happiness was on me. After a while, most people just left me alone about it, maybe because I was getting older, and I had not changed my mind about it. It was no loss to me to learn of my own infertility, and I even shocked several doctors when a hysterectomy was not a hard decision for me to make. When the opportunity to adopt was presented to me, I said yes without any hesitation or reservations. I cannot fully explain why, and this impulsive response is also not something that I would suggest to someone else, but it was the start of my predestined plan.
A couple of years ago, I found my journal from my senior year of high school. It was something the school-issued and it had writing prompts with questions about where we thought our lives would take us. One of the questions was about children, and, funnily enough, my answer was, “I don’t see myself being a mom, but if I did I would adopt a child that needed a home.” To be completely honest, I do not remember writing that, but I cannot help but think it was always part of my destiny to be a mom by way of adoption. I could not imagine my life without my son; he is everything I never knew I wanted. There were other situations that I recently recalled that contribute to my belief that this was exactly how my life was meant to be. Certain things just make sense now, and everything has come full circle. Most importantly, I found my purpose.
I consider myself a firm believer in God and strive to exercise my faith in every aspect of my life. I also believe that there are no accidents and everything is designed with a beautiful purpose to highlight the greatness of God. The scripture that says, “the footsteps of a good man are ordered by God,” is the only way I can explain my experience. When I see my little boy, I see the grace I did not deserve but was still given, and I am truly so grateful.
A 2013 online survey performed by Barna Research concluded that Christians are twice as likely to adopt. It also found that they are more likely to adopt a special needs or an older child commonly referred to as “hard to place”. The research further expressed that they are more probable to have interethnic families. Interethnic families do include but are not limited to solely interracial families.
The life of Jesus shattered the racial and religious barriers of the time. This was followed by the ministry of converts like Paul and Timothy where we see that the Gospel is meant for everyone. What we have, most certainly, learned is that the differences between individuals are viewed by God through the heart, not the outward appearance or location of birth.
We see an increase in multiethnic families across the board in both Christian and non-Christian families, and a lot more resources assist with incorporating cultural inclusions. Also, with the growing education of transracial adoptions, we see the figurative walls of racial barriers crumbling. It has become one of my favorite things to witness; a family that does not look like each other but loves each other the same. I can not think of a better example of the love of God displayed in real life.
Changes I Would Like to See
The biggest change I would like to see within the Christian community is more educational resources. There has been some progress in recent years in educational programs and resources provided by churches to help with exploring the option of adoption and foster care. When provided, these resources are available for both potential parents and expectant mothers.
For example, there is a non-profit organization in the Bay Area that visits churches and helps them understand and explore the option of fostering children. There have been many successful reunification stories, and their assistance even continues after reunification. They base their entire organization on Christian principles like compassion, love, and grace. What I have learned from a lifetime in church and ministry is that many people do not understand the need or they feel unqualified to pursue it. While many understand the concept of the scripture about taking care of orphans they are uninformed as to how they can play a role in it.
Educating a congregation is something I would really like to see more of. Church leaders would benefit from equipping themselves with important information including statistics, legal process, charitable organizations, and financial responsibilities or assistance. They could be a valuable resource to contribute to families that want to grow by way of adoption.
Reevaluating how we teach being pro-life can also benefit many. When people are taught that being pro-life is more than just anti-abortion, it can open be eye-opening to the needs of these children. Again, adoption is not the best option for every family, but the opportunity to contribute and support is there, and finding ways to do so can be incorporated into the teaching of a congregation.
In Favor of Family
I will always be in favor of anyone adopting no matter what religion they identify with or even in the absence of religion. The reality is there are thousands of children that need homes. There is no room for discrimination in any form. The best interest of children, love, safety, and support are always my greatest priorities.
I do view adoption as a display of love, and it can be a display of God’s love. There is something special about acknowledging a predestined plan for your life, and the assurance in the belief that there are no accidents can be so comforting. There are many Christian principles that are applicable to the life of adoption whether you are the adopter, adoptee, or supporter. It is important to know which standpoint is best for you.Are you and your partner ready to start the adoption process? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to begin your adoption journey. We have 130+ years of adoption experience and would love to help you.