Adoption as Christians

Adoption as christians

This blog post about adoption as Christians contains some content about traumatic childhood experiences that readers may find upsetting.

“How do you feel about us looking into adoption?” I asked my husband across the dinner table.

“I can’t think of a good reason not to, but why do you ask?” he replied.

And here we are 8 years later, with 2 adopted children and a few more grey hairs!

Why DID I ask?

Our story

My husband is the Pastor of a Christian church. We live and have our church in the middle of a housing scheme which is in the top 10% of most deprived areas in Scotland. In our first few years here I had the opportunity to walk with women through the difficult journey of either having their children removed, or placed on the Child Protection Register. We began developing friendships with many local people from the scheme who had had traumatic experiences in childhood – one friend had been rented out to men by her mum from the age of 6. Now she was an adult, the girlfriend of a well-known drug dealer, one child on the Child Protection Register, and had just given birth to a baby with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. What did the future hold for her, for her children, for other children in similar situations? Hands of couple praying about adoption as christians

“I think we should start praying about whether adoption is something God wants us to do.” I answered my husband in that conversation.

Walking with my friend (and many others) through her journey made me start to see that it wasn’t enough to see the cycles of destruction, shake my head and comment on how awful it was. As a Christian I knew that we were called to action.

Adopted into God’s family

It might surprise you to know we believe adoption is actually God’s idea! It runs through the entire Bible and is at the heart of Christianity. We believe that the foundation of adoption is not actually in humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. Front cover of the Holy Bible

At the centre of the Bible is the teaching that God is a loving Father, and despite us not naturally being part of His family, we can be adopted by Him and loved, with all the rights, privileges and blessings of being His sons and daughters.

 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5

Over and over again in the Bible we are urged to “look after the orphan”.  Obviously God really values children, and places a special importance on providing for children who are without their biological parents.

So as we began asking God if this is the way He wanted our family to be formed, we became more and more convinced that He was saying yes. We have never tried to have biological children, and have no reason to suspect infertility. We began to see that adoption was God’s plan A for our family, and never anything but!

Faith in the hard

Adoption is not an easy journey, in fact at times it’s been really brutal. I know we all love a happy ending, but I can’t sugar coat it. The damage isn’t undone, the memories aren’t forgotten. The trauma is still remembered and the diagnoses still come. We have 2 children with additional needs and one with some pretty complex medical needs. My life is a mix of home schooling (because school was too tricky for our eldest) and hospital appointments. Our parenting journey looks very different to what I imagined it would. Yet at the same time, I have never, not for one second, regretted our choice to adopt.

That’s not because I’m a hero or a martyr resigned to a life of suffering. It’s because I believe our lives are in the hands of a God who not only asked us to do this, but who is in control of every minute detail of our lives and the lives of our children. That is the safest place I can imagine being. The backs of 2 little boys next to a lake

I don’t have to second guess our choices or play the “what if?” game. I can choose faith over fear for our children’s future. We believe God loves us and will only give us what is for our good (even if that doesn’t always mean ‘easy’!) He gives me what I don’t have in myself – I’m not strong, or patient, or kind in and of myself. But when I’m empty (which is by breakfast most days), I can put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing faithfully because God gives me all the resources I need.

Adopting as a Christian

We’ve had numerous conversations with other Christians who are under the mistaken impression that Christians cannot adopt because of their faith. I’m really thankful to St Andrew’s Children’s Society for giving me the opportunity to write this blog post and say:  YES YOU CAN! Adoption as Christians is possible. We had wonderful Social Workers both times going through the process who saw being part of a church community as a positive thing for our prospective children. Family really matters to God, to Christians and to Churches, and that is such a positive thing to offer to any child.

Adoption is wonderful, messy, joyful, exhausting. Sometimes all at once! For me it’s a constant cycle of depletion and renewal, having faith in someone so much bigger than myself. I’m thankful that God gives us both the motivation and the endurance to do the next thing. I’m thankful that he brought us into His family and gave us such a tangible picture of what adoption really is. He’s the ultimate adoptive parent!

 

If you would like to find out more about adopting or fostering a child through St Andrew’s Children’s Society please call 0131 454 3370 or email info@standrews-children.org.uk.

 

This blog post was written by a Christian couple who adopted two children through St Andrew’s Children’s Society.