Too many times those of us who already have biological children who are weighing adoption think that adoption is going to ‘ruin’ our biological kids. That it is going to take away something that they deserve. I believe this sort of reasoning is a lie, straight from the devil himself, and I feel the need to expose it!
As I’ve said on this blog many times, over the past few years God has absolutely destroyed MY idea of what our family should look like. It started with our adoption, it continued with allowing our home to become open to those in need. With clenched fists I desperately wanted to hang onto the dreamy family picture that sat on our fire place back in 2008. In my mind, we embodied the perfect American family: a mom, a dad, a little boy, a little girl. I wrestled with God over how opening up our home to those in need was ruining my dream. Our time, our money, our everything was now being spent on OTHERS…not just our own children. It bothered me….I wanted my kids to have all my love, my attention, my energy, my wisdom, my gifts FIRST….and the ‘leftovers’ could be spent on others.
What God eventually revealed to me was that I had deceived myself into fashioning and forming my children into little idols.
I wanted to focus on raising my kids first, to protect them from everything ‘bad’ in the world, and to put them above all else. Don’t get me wrong, we do have an extremely important responsibility to care for, protect, and raise up our children that God has blessed us with. But, here’s the thing: as believers we have an enemy prowling around who takes his job of deceiving Christ-followers very seriously. Satan totally capitalized on these motherly best-of-intentions of mine by twisting them a little. Before I knew it, I had gotten myself caught up into all sorts of scenarios that ‘might’ happen. I became completely paralyzed in the decision to adopt because in every scenario there was the potential for our own kids to be affected negatively. I worried that bringing in an adopted child might ruffle our own kid’s feathers too much and could possibly mess them up. I reasoned that we certainly weren’t being wise to open up our home to a ‘stranger’ when we had such young kids at home. And it seemed that an adoption would take away from the time and attention on our own kids….
Jesus had something to say to me about these thoughts.
Matthew 10:37-39 ~ ‘Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’
This verse is now my reminder that my first devotion always needs to be towards God and His Kingdom. That might mean that He may ask me to do some hard things. Like adopt orphans into our already established family. Yes, it will change our family dynamic. But not as much as Abraham probably thought his family dynamic was going to change as he walked up that mountain to follow God’s command to sacrifice his one and only Son that he had waited years and years for (Genesis 22). And He stepped forward in faith, trusting that God’s plan and purpose was greater than even his own mind could rationalize. God isn’t asking me to sacrifice my one and only son. He’s asking me to give life to my son/daughter living on the other side of the world that I never even knew I had.
There are things that your biological kids WILL have to ‘give up’ in adoption (birth order position, a room all to themselves, etc). But contrary to what Satan would have you think, these things are not going to ruin them. You’re actually giving them SO MUCH more! For our family, adoption and opening up our home to those in need has taught our kids more about the gospel than any bible study we have ever done. Since they do have to give some things up, they experience firsthand what it’s like to love sacrificially - just as Christ loves us. They get to see us reach out to give hope, a future, and a family to the fatherless….just as God did for us when we were living without Him. They see what it looks like for others to be adopted into our family and have all the rights as sons and daughters, just like God adopts us as His children through the blood of Jesus Christ. They see in our family picture a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God will look like some day when we get to heaven ~ colorful! Again, these things are just tiny glimpses of the gospel, but setting our family up in this way is shaping and forming our biological kid’s character and personalities better than anything we could teach them with our words. Sure we could tell them with our words that Jesus commands us to love the unloveable, to seek justice on the account of the oppressed, to love their neighbor as themselves, or to lay down their lives for others just as Christ did for us. But through serving others and opening up our home and family by way of adoption, we get to SHOW them all these things and more. We get to live this out. Our kids are seeing that following Jesus can be quite the adventure. It’s not boring, it’s exciting. It’s a thrill to allow God to use you, and to watch Him work in supernatural ways, right in your very own home.