Adoption: Not a Justice Cause But a Spiritual Reality
Editor's Note: Megan Hill's recent Her.meneutics post, "Adopting a Kid, Not a Cause," challenged some of the thinking driving the pro-adoption surge among evangelicals. The following is a response from Dennae Pierre, educational coordinator for Together for Adoption, the Reformed group mentioned by Hill in her essay.
As a foster and adoptive mother, I resonated with Megan Hill's thoughts on adoption; I never want my children to think of themselves as a "cause." Still, I found that Hill's post only scratched the surface.
We have children because we want them. That is an easy way to describe the prospect by which people begin to have a family. But is it enough to stop there? As thoughtful Christians, we must ask ourselves, Why do we want children?
The first few pages of the Bible show that procreation is very much a part of God's mission. God entrusted Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth with image-bearers. These image-bearers were to spread the image of God over the face of the earth. Why? Not primarily to meet Eve's instinctual need to nurture a child, although that was a result. It was not primarily to secure Adam's family lineage, although that happened as well. The primary reason was to spread God's name throughout the earth.
From the beginning, there has always been a missional aspect to having children. We certainly don't think God called our first parents to "be fruitful and multiply" so they could "rescue" a few children. This mission was broader, wider, and deeper. Our children, biological or not, are part of the mission God's entrusted to us.
What's in a Name ("Adoption")?
This is a piece of the backdrop that hangs behind the word adoption for us. When Together for Adoption speaks of adoption, we are talking about something specific and distinct. We are not talking primarily about adopting orphans. We do not believe that adoption is primarily about embracing a diverse kingdom or fulfilling our duty to the needy. The word adoption in our organization's name refers to the doctrine of adoption. We believe adoption is all about salvation. In fact, adoption is a wonderful way to describe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dan Cruver, the founder of Together for Adoption, says it wonderfully: "God is an adoptive Father. Jesus, our Elder Brother, is God the Father's eternal, only-begotten, natural Son. We believers are his sons through adoption. This identity is fundamental to who we are. As adopted sons, we enjoy all the rights and privileges of the relationship that God the Father enjoys with his eternal Son. To be God's sons through adoption means that we are co-heirs with Jesus. This is an amazing reality and an eternal privilege! We will forever be God's sons through the miracle of adoption."