I was raised in a family where adoption was more normal than not. My older sister and youngest brother along with myself were all adopted from different families. I was adopted as an infant from Hope Cottage in Dallas, Texas. My older sister was adopted as an infant in Cambridge, UK while my father was serving abroad in the Air Force. And my youngest brother was six years old when my parents adopted him from Kansas. He had been shuffled through the foster care system since birth. Unfortunately, his formative years were so damaged by neglect and severe child abuse at the hands of his biological parents and even those in foster care system which were to be his safety net, he was never able to bond with our family. This harsh reality of sin and its far-reaching effects brought great sadness to our family through the years.
Adoption has increased my faith in many ways. Probably the most significant was the day in and day out reminder of how fortunate my sister and I were to have been adopted as infants and spared potential harm emotionally or physically. Witnessing over the course of our lives the devastation that the sins of others can have on the lives of so many. This realization has crystallized in my mind over my lifetime and reminds me of how different my own story could have been. It has instilled in me a great sense of gratitude. God‘s lavish mercy towards me and while I can’t begin to understand it, draws me to God and compels me to want to lead a life that pleases Him.
I was about eight years old when I was told that I was adopted. Even at that young tender age, I was able to understand what adoption meant. I felt a sense of loss, even a sense of abandonment but it was only a fleeting feeling because I was blessed to live in such a loving, good home with parents and grandparents who were godly examples for me and gave me the most beautiful childhood filled with such happy memories. I feel my life, when it comes to adoption, has seen the very best possible outcome. I have come full circle. I was adopted as an infant, was lovingly provided for, and later at the age of 27 through God‘s perfect timing was reunited with my birth family.
In addition to my own story, I was also able to see firsthand the difficult side of adoption. And what it means to adopt a child rather than an infant and especially one with such a tragic history and so many needs.
My advice would be to listen to godly counsel. Never make this decision without much input from those you most respect and who have a deep abiding faith in God and whose life bears out their convictions. Obviously, the Holy Spirit and prayer are going to be the main guiding factor. But listen to what trusted family, and Christian brothers and sisters say to you regarding this decision. Consider your family dynamics and how introducing a new member will affect all. Adoption is a beautiful beautiful thing and it’s a lifetime commitment. Adoption is not an easy road to travel and I say this from the perspective of a sibling and not a parent who has adopted.
God’s ways are higher than our ways. On this side of eternity, we will never understand the good he is working in the lives of those who are seeking to do his will. Even during the most challenging times, His perfect will and much good can be found. Lives are being changed. Some are being molded into the image of Christ because that is their heart’s desire and others will choose a selfish path.
Ultimately, we are all orphans and for those who trust in Jesus, we are saved through adoption as God’s children and heirs. I have been adopted spiritually and physically. Adoption is a beautiful thing and life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.