The High Cost of Adoption
January 8, 2014 28 Comments
Maybe you’ve been in this situation before. You and your spouse share the news that you’re going to adopt a child. Instead of that Kodak moment of your family jumping up and cheering and buying another round, you’re met with silence and, if not icy – caustic – stares. And a lot of “Huh’s.”
And then come the objections you just weren’t prepared for.
“They’re troubled kids,” they might say.
“Are you sure your marriage can handle such pressure?”
“What color will they be?”
“What if they’re sick?”
“It’s a lot of work … a lot of waiting … a lot of pain you’re setting yourself up for.”
Not quite the ringing endorsement you were looking for. And here all you wanted was a couple of hugs, and maybe some tears, or as Michael Scott would say, “That Oprah moment!”
But it doesn’t come. Instead the family gathering turns into a mild version of Jerry Springer.
But here’s the thing. At what point did we start to expect that adoption would be an institution set apart from any other Christian faculty?
We claim the sovereignty and unfailing truth of God; there’s bound to be objections to that.
We base our lives off of Jesus Christ being the one and only true and living God; objections are to be expected.
We oppose abortion of any kind; objections.
We should be standing firm against fornication and gay marriages; more objections.
So when did we ever get this notion that adoption would be an easy out? Is that why we’ve chosen adoption as our “mission field?” May we always keep in mind that adoption, just like any other form of exercising Christian faith, will likely come with a high cost.
Maybe you have to downsize in order to afford it. Maybe it causes tension in your marriage. Maybe you’re ostracized from your family. Maybe the Russian government bans the right for you to adopt from their country.
I’m not saying these are good things. These are consequences of not only the Fall, but of being followers of Jesus Christ. Adoption is not to be looked upon as some sparkling clean virtue that comes without much pain or cost. If that’s how or why you’re approaching it, rethink your motives and check your heart.
Maybe you discovered halfway into it that adoption isn’t as pretty or sexy as Hollywood makes it sound. Let me urge you: If your friends or family members are giving you a hard time about your decision, use this as an opportunity to witness to them.
If the child you bring into your home is “troubled,” love him or her all the more! Hang on to them as if they’re you’re own. I don’t care if you’re adopting or fostering-to-adopt, once that child steps foot into your home, you’re Mom and Dad. I personally don’t believe you have the right to return them to the state, even though the state grants you that right.
If the foreign country you were so hopeful to adopt from closes its doors to you, resist the urge to curse them, but direct your anger to prayer, and trust that everything is happening under God’s rule for a reason and a grand purpose that you may not see until Heaven.
Adoption is an act of sacrifice in and of itself. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that it’s the easiest option to living out our Christian faith. Be prepared for the objections, the pitfalls, and the cold shoulders. Expect them.
Jesus had no one to comfort Him on the cross. For us to even have one ally in our quest to adopt is a bigger gift than we could have ever deserved.