If you ask anyone about the culture of their church, you’re sure to get a range of answers. Larger congregations might say things like contemporary or relaxed. Others might say their church trends more conservative or traditional. Can a culture of adoption be a part of it as well?
Adoption in the United States
My wife and I have two biological children, but the idea of adopting a third has been a relative constant in our marriage. As someone who thinks things through extensively (no, seriously, you have no idea the level I analyze possible outcomes), I’ve heavily weighed the implications, processes, and changes that adopting a third child would have on our family.
The statistics don’t lie: there are an estimated 114,000+ children waiting to be adopted in the United States. As a part of this journey, I was made aware that Grace Community Church in Lima has several families who have adopted.
In light of the numbers, I have often asked the question “should a church have a culture of adoption?” It seems logical to me that the answer should be a resounding “YES!” After all, Paul reminds us about the culture of adoption that comes with being one of God’s children in Romans 8:15-16:
A Culture of Adoption
I spoke with three of the families from Grace about their journey. I personally appreciated their honesty as I framed our conversation within the context of my wife and I’s journey. I was encouraged both by their faith as well as their compassion. Today, I want to introduce you to those three families: meet Mark and Sabine, Sarah and Chock, and Joe and Michele.
Mark and Sabine
Adoption was on the table for Mark and Sabine both before they got married and before they gave their lives to Christ. Their journey began with fostering and eventually led to welcoming three adopted children into their family.
There were times you could see God’s timing playing out perfectly. He made provisions that ensured Sabine would be in just the right place at just the right time to ensure that they were available to foster (and later, adopt). As with any of us, life’s journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing but trust has been and continues to be a key part of their faith.
Sarah and Chock
Sarah and Chock also began their journey through fostering. They had three children biologically but both felt the pull to become foster parents. Independently they prayed for God’s direction, and together they felt it was the right choice. Eventually, after being foster parents for ten years, they took opportunities to adopt two of their foster children.
The process has taught them a lot about God’s grace. Being in it together has grown their faith and they wouldn’t trade the experience for anything! Realizing how God brought everything together is a continual confirmation of how much He loves and cares for each one of us.
Joe and Michele
Joe and Michele’s adoption journey initially began out of necessity due to fertility struggles. While they eventually had two biological children, God continued them on a path towards adopting. Michele’s brother previously had adopted, and parallels between our spiritual adoption into God’s family with adopting a child became increasingly evident to them. In short, God knew exactly who Joe and Michele should adopt. The lengths He went to ensure Godly parents would be able to raise a child is striking when we think about the cost that went into our salvation. Seeing the transformation of a child’s life is rewarding beyond belief to them!
Understanding the Call
For anyone considering adoption, there were two pieces of advice each of these families gave: not only is it worth it, but also it’s not about you — it’s about the children. In addition, one of them left me with an amazing piece of wisdom. As Steph and I have talked about whether or not we would pursue adoption, we should remember this: if it’s meant to be, regardless of the barriers God will make it happen.
If you’re in the midst of the process of adoption, or are still unsure if God is leading you that way, don’t hesitate to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone here will gladly be willing to pray for you, that God would guide you on your decision, and that any mountain that stands in your way will be removed!
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