God’s Plan for Family and Adoption
As Christians, we should look to the Bible for guidance on all aspects of our lives. It should be our go-to book of wisdom on a variety of topics, including adoption. While some may see adoption as a relatively modern practice, adoption has long been part of God’s plan for families, dating back to the ancient Near East.
In scripture, we see numerous examples of adoption, including Moses being raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. In other passages, we are reminded of God’s heart for fatherless children and of how He takes the initiative to make sure that they are provided for.
Orphans Have an Important Place in God’s Heart
One of the clearest mandates in the Bible that speaks to adoption is found in James 1:27: “Pure and undefiled religion before God our Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This verse brings forward the idea that those of us who have been blessed in life should care for others who have not been so fortunate, especially orphans.
This is fairly clear, but what about a biblical mandate to actually adopt children? That’s a little less obvious, though some point to the fact that Christ was adopted by Joseph when the angel told him that the baby Mary was carrying was, indeed, the son of God.
A Biblical Mandate to Adopt
Regardless of whether one reads the mandate to adopt in the Bible specifically or not, the Bible does heavily stress the importance of caring for orphans. Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” This is consistent with many passages in the Bible, which emphasize that God cares deeply for those who are vulnerable and powerless.
In terms of what this means for us as followers of Christ, it is certainly the case that caring for the fatherless is a deeply spiritual act. We have a moral obligation to take care of our weaker siblings, no matter where they come from or how they came to us. Whether we are helping homeless children in India within the local church, or fostering and adopting right here in our own communities, God is honoring us with these tasks.
Adoption and Love
At the heart of adoption, is love. It’s the recognition of a void and the offering of one’s heart and home, in order to fill it with love. In Ephesians 1:5, we’re reminded of God’s love when it says, “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” Here, we see the beautiful picture of God’s love for us and His adoption of us as His own children.
This is the picture of love that should be reflected in our adoptions. As adoptive parents, we are tasking ourselves with the responsibility of not just providing for the physical needs of an adopted child, but providing them with love, security, and encouragement. Just as God’s love for us is unconditional, so should our love for our adopted children be.
Challenges of Adoption
Adoption is not always easy. It carries with it numerous challenges, especially when adopting older children. Far too often, these children have experienced trauma and neglect, and as adoptive parents, we must be prepared to handle these issues with grace and compassion. That being said, many of the challenges of adoption can be anticipated and prepared for.
As Christians, there are many wonderful resources available to us in our churches and communities that can help us through the difficult times. By reaching out to our pastor and to Christian adoption groups, we can gain invaluable insight, support, and pray with others who have gone through a similar process.
Finding Help and Support
When beginning the adoption process, it’s important to find help and support for what lies ahead. From Christian adoption agencies and not-for-profits to online support groups, there are many resources available for adoptive parents.
Additionally, it’s crucial to form a village of people who can support and encourage you, including family, friends, and the church. It’s important to have people who are familiar with the ins and outs of the adoption process and can offer advice and opinions, as well as provide prayer, support, and much needed child-care.
The Value of Adoption
Besides providing much needed love, support, and resources to children in need, adoption has tremendous value on an individual and societal level. When children are placed in loving homes, the entire family is profoundly impacted.
All too often, adoption can be seen as a “last resort,” when in reality, it is an amazing opportunity for a family to grow and thrive. With open and honest communication, adoption can be an incredible blessing for all involved.
Adoption is deeply rooted in God’s plan for families. He loves the fatherless, and He calls us to care for them and provide for them. As mentioned in the Bible, taking care of orphans and widows is an act of pure and undefiled religion before Him.
Adoption is an act of love, an opportunity to provide a safe, secure, and loving home to children in need. It can be a challenging process, but an incredibly rewarding one as well. Just as God adopted us into His family, we too can open our homes to children who need love and support.