Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Adopt?

I am overwhelmed, truly overwhelmed, by the support we've been shown in the last two days both here and on Facebook since we posted about our adoption. It also was so encouraging to hear how many of you have had adoption on your own hearts as well. I still thought it would might be helpful to follow up our big announcement with two different posts answering possible questions. This one is about why we would adopt in the first place, and the next post (which will be coming Monday) will answer some of the questions about why we're adopting from Ethiopia.

I have to set aside some serious feelings of inadequacy when writing this since so many people have approached this issue and answered these question more clearly than I ever could. But please hear Steven's and my heart in these answers.

Why adopt at all? You already have four kids!
You're right; fertility isn't an issue at our house. But adoption is not just for the infertile. Let me give you three reasons why we will be moving forward with adoption:

1. Because God did it for us- Ultimately the fuel behind this for both Steven and I is that we have been adopted! We were both adopted into God's family. Romans 8:15 reminds us that our relationship with God is not a servant/master relationship, but a father/child relationship, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" To be able to play out a picture of the gospel is absolutely thrilling!!!

2. Because God has called us to do this- We both feel that our Father has called us as a couple to adopt. The Bible calls Christians specifically to care for the orphans and widows. And in Isaiah 58, God tells His people that He is not interested in their spiritual charades. In verse 7 He says, "Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house." Is God calling every Christian couple to adopt? No, I don't believe so. However, I do believe that Jesus laid His own life down for us and is calling us to destroy our idol of comfort and seek out how we can glorify Him and love others.

3. Because we are to live this day for that day- As Christians, this is not home. There is an eternal home waiting for us, and that's where we're called to store up our treasure. We can't take our money or possession with us, but we can take our children (Lord willing) with us. And while here, our aim is glorify God in all of our life. James 1:22-25 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts."

There are over 163 million orphans in the world. How can you feel that this is so important for you to do when you're only adopting one?
Absolutely. This couldn't even be considered scratching at the surface. But for the one little girl that is coming into our home, this will mean her life is changed forever. Once an orphan, then in a loving family that will adore her, a mommy to fill her belly up and sing her songs before bed, a daddy to dance with her and read her books, brothers to protect her and make her feel special, sisters to giggle and play dolls with, and a home where she will hear the good news of the gospel over and over again. If there happens to be exactly 163,000,000 orphans in the world right now, we'd like to do everything in our power to make the new number of orphans 162,999,999.

What about your kids? Won't this affect them?
That's true. It will. And that is one of the bonuses in our book!! To teach our kids about serving others and loving orphans in a very up-close-and-personal way is something we hope this adoption will help us do. We know this will play out on a day-to-day level, and we're already trying to prepare them. I'm not here to make my kid's life as easy as possible. I'm here to love them as much as I can and teach them about a Heavenly Father who made a far greater sacrifice for them.

Isn't it expensive?
Compared to what? A vacation? Buying a car?
I promise you it's not nearly as pricey as what it cost God to bring us into His family. He had to give up his son; we simply have to come up with enough money to fund an adoption. It's not even comparable. And God has NEVER ONCE left us high and dry when He calls us to something. And I'm confident that I won't stand at the gates of heaven wishing I'd kept a little more money for myself.

Isn't just the popular thing to do?
This is the nails-on-the-chalkboard question to me. I've wanted to adopt before Angelina Jolie ever stepped into an adoption agency or before almost anyone I knew was adopting. But yet, we've already faced this question. Adoption is gaining some popularity, and that's great. There are kids all over the world that need adoption to get even more PR. However, it's a life-long commitment, and not something to be treated like a fad. Let me assure you that if our motive was to try to do something to look good or to draw attention to ourselves, there are many easier ways to do so.

Don't you know that it's not all roses and butterflies? Adoption is tough stuff!
You better believe it. As I said in my announcement post, God has graciously allowed us to walk through adoption with multiple close friends. We've gotten to see some of the good, the bad, and the ugly. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Author Francis Chan comments on this verse, "Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It may sound harsh, but that seriously is what [1 Cor. 10:31] means."

Are you sure you're ready to make this sacrifice?
Whoa, hold on. Let me stop you right there. Let's not use the word "sacrifice" when referring to us or this adoption. To quote David Livingstone, a missionary to Africa, "People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa...I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of 'sacrifice' when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us."


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