The High Cost of Adoption

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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.

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About adoptingjames
My lovely wife and I are foster parents, dog owners, home owners, and Christians. I am a blogger, book editor, and author. On my blog you'll read about adoption, faith topics, inspirational thoughts, and a whole lotta Disney/Pixar lovin'! For the most exciting read ever, check out my suspense/adventure novel, The Man in the Box. You. Will. Love it.

30 Responses to The High Cost of Adoption

  1. lausannedc says:

    My parents took in foster children – which meant we were always financially stretched. We “should” have been able to live a more comfortable, conventional, family-of-four lifestyle but, instead we had a house full of (9!) junior high aged kids. Talk about people not getting it. They had better cars and clothes but we had a lot more excitement :) Bless you!

  2. Though I have not adopted I have friends who have. I applaud the efforts of the families who reach out to orphans (as Jesus told us we should). My friend and her hubby took in a very troubled and abused teenage girl. After years of struggles this now young woman is living a positive life and has learned to trust and love. As our Lord says “let the children come unto me”. I am proud of you and your efforts. Thank God for your heart.

  3. Betsy says:

    Well spoken. And what kind of denial are people in to believe that the child to whom one gives biological birth will not have problems? And how tremulous our faith if we do not t4ust that God gives strength enough, courage enough, hope enough, and love–enough? I think there’s something in the reptilian brain that sometimes people believe that the replication of their own DNA in the family tree is a preferred outcome, and will shield them from “problems” they don’t believe they have.

  4. After the death of my youngest sister at one month old, my family started taking in foster children. My parents already had four children and were met with resistance from my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. After meeting as a family, we decided it was the right thing to do. Many of the children we took in were infants on their way to being adopted. Others were from troubled homes that came with many challenges. Our family was shaped and enriched by this experience. It made my siblings and I realize that not all children were as fortunate as us. The best part of all, our family grew when we adopted two fosters who couldn’t be placed. One had CP and the other came to us a biracial premie born addicted to cocaine. We’re all now grown adults after many struggles and challenges, but with an abundance of good memories and love.

  5. jfitz524 says:

    We adopted from Russia when it was still “open” to US citizens 14 years ago. Best decision we ever made in our marriage. It took awhile for our families to warm up to the idea. But now they hardly remember our son came from Russia.

  6. My friend has adopted two unwanted children from birth, arranging with the parents beforehand and taking the babies home with her straight from the hospital. They are now 5 and 3 years old and great kids. Adoption is always a risk, but so is having your own children. It’s a genetic baffle. What we can do is trust in God to pave the way.

  7. I love this! I know a lot of christians who are against abortions but do not support adoptions. I hope my unmet-husband is open to adoption because it is something I have been praying to God for grace to handle.

    P.S: I want to reblog this next week if that is fine with you.

    Cheers

  8. lnahay says:

    Yes, because biological children never get sick. Will never experience any sort of troubles or issues. Will not have any impact on a marriage. Are not hard work. And their physical features are completely predictable. Would they have posed these questions to you had you announced that you were pregnant? They are children- children who desperately need families (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…) who’ll care for them, about them, love and guide them. In the absence of abortion, we as a society should then step forward to accept responsibility for unwanted children. We should be advanced enough that the circumstances of a child being without a parent are no longer considered their fault.

  9. sebstead says:

    I was fostered from 2 months old and adopted into the same family later when I was 10 years old. This family is MY family and not one day gos past where I’m not grateful for where I ended up. I know I would have been in A LOT worse situation If I hadn’t been taken in by the great parents I have. Adoption is a very special thing because you are picked…you are chosen…they don’t have to have you…they WANT to have you, to be a part of their family. My mum is MY mum, my dad is MY dad and I am their son. Blood or no blood, we have the strongest bond….just because a child is fostered or adopted, doesn’t mean they will be messed up, I’m grateful for my situation and I show my parents that as often as I can :)

  10. Adoption is a wonderful thing. I pray the child adopting you will soon be here and that your family will be complete, whole and ready to function as a family, full of laughter, tears, trials, sniffles, more tears and more laughter. Adoption is what happens when we accept our Lord, we are adopted by Him. You are following an excellent example.

  11. antjeanne says:

    Adoption is such a great example of true self-less love. I think that the people that object are only doing so because they realize within themselves, that they don’t have that same kind of self-less love that you do. It scares them, makes them feel guilty, makes them believe that they aren’t as loving as they thought they were. All one can do is continue loving. Loving your family and friends who object, loving the strangers that think you’re crazy, and love the child you are welcoming into your home, your hearts. Just continue filling your life with God’s love. That love will shine through in the end.

  12. Pingback: New Christian Bad Words: Adoption and Foster Care | Transcendent Notion

  13. Excellent post. I really think that as the America we all have come to know and love falls by the wayside, the ‘Christians’ that think an easy path is a sign of being right with God will go by the wayside. The life of faith that is pleasing to the Lord is often wrought with difficulty…look at Hudson Taylor and so many other ‘greats’ we read about. I applaud your attitude in this post; it is well written. God bless you for speaking truth. It really is despicable how some are treated when they announce plans to adopt.

  14. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. My husband and I are starting the adoption process, and we were not prepared for the way people around us would take it. But your right, why are we surprised!?

  15. Great post!

    The cost of adoption is only high when you are looking forward. Our biological daughter was born in 1988. Our five adopted daughters came to us between 2000 and 2007. Looking back, we cannot believe we waited so long to get started.

    We heard all the objections, the difficulties and the insults. But the path to any higher place is always littered with these kinds of stories. God is our strength – everyone else’s opinion is irrelevant.

    We were once told that we were a great example of Biblical love. I am not so sure. Once we got into adoption, we reveled in the innocent love that each of these kids gave to us. There were times I felt like we were more the beneficiaries than the kids! These are kids like any other kids.

    We are one family united together by an unbreakable bond. How can you attach a cost to that?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Visit the blog again when you get a chance – atrivialmindatwork.com.

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