Why We Adopt

Photo by Impressions Photography

My kitchen was extra full and messy for the best of reasons: friends were having dinner with us.

There is nothing like an honest friend and this one looked at me across the sticky floor and asked the question many thought but few vocalized, “So why are you guys adopting?”

The photos of five kids looked down on us from their stairway perch, suggesting it wasn’t out of boredom.

My answer that day was the same as is today. Over time it has become the fire in my belly and the intensity in my voice.

We adopt because God first adopted us.

Parents, remember the lightbulb moment when it dawned on you that God loves you like you love your baby? Only much bigger and grander? The parallel between God’s parent love and our parent love helped us understood him in a way that we didn’t, couldn’t, before.

That happened all over again for me after adoption.

Adoption is costly.

Making a child our very own means filling out reams of paperwork, taking classes, reading books, researching, applying for grants, letting social workers invade every private area of our lives and then filling out more paperwork.

We lose sleep, add stress, gain weight, work hard and fight long to bring that one specific, special kid into our home.

It reminds us of another who paced and plannedcraved and sacrificed to bring us home.

He was so determined to make us his very own kids that he shooed his firstborn out of the nest, trading his life for our own. His obsession dulls ours.

We adopt because God first adopted us.

The kids we adopt get the same rights and privileges as those we birth. They all have access to the cookies and the hugs and the inheritance. Although we are far from perfect parents, we give the same to each of our kids, whether they were born from our bodies or not.

Could this be true of God?

The apostle John records Jesus’ last prayer before he dies. He is praying not only for his twelve, but for the rest of us too. Towards the end of his plea, he says this:

May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me
and that you love them as much as you love me.

God, our own adoptive parent, loves his adopted kids as much as he loves his firstborn.

We nod in understanding because this is our goal too: to love all of our kids equally.

We are loved by God Almighty the same way he adores the son who has been with him since the beginning, creating, partnering, bonding. 

What do we do with that?
How do we respond to that kind of love?

It creates mimics, doesn’t it? We want to give what we have received.

And some of us follow him into adoption.

We don’t adopt because we are amazing or have a savior complex.
We don’t adopt because we are more spiritual or extra patient.

We adopt because God first adopted us. 

Bottom line. End of story. That’s it.

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  1. Carissa, thank you. I cried a few tears when reading this post. You are great with words and I wish I could grasp the love God has for me in the ways you describe it here. But I'm seeing bigger glimpses of it when I know how much I love my kids and try to imagine it multiplied times an infinite number.

    Adoption has always been something I wanted to do and it seems like that window of opportunity may be slipping out of our lives due to various and sundry reasons... I don't think they're selfish ones. I keep telling God that if He has children out there for us, they are going to have to be dumped right into our laps for us to KNOW they're ours to pursue. We have other kids and people around a lot and maybe that's our ministry here and now. Anyway, I love this post and your heart. Blessings!

    • Hey Lucy, thank you for your comment. I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner.
      I do believe that adoption in a calling and we are not all called to adopt. Knowing there are hundreds of thousands of kids without homes RIGHT NOW, makes me wonder where all the called parents are. I know when we are faithful to what God has put in front of us, he keeps giving us opportunities. He will show you if adoption is for you. Love your heart of being open!

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