Adopting a Kid, Not a Cause
Last week, Together for Adoption held its fifth annual national conference in Atlanta. That thousands of people from a variety of churches heard God's purposes for human adoption warms the cockles of this adoptive mother's heart.
According to its website, the mission of Together for Adoption is "to … magnify the adopting grace of God the Father in Christ Jesus and mobilize the church for global orphan care." It's a mission that's become an increasing priority among American evangelicals.
Russell D. Moore, who speaks at Together for Adoption events, expanded on this mission statement in a 2010 Christianity Today cover story with the provocative subtitle, "Why every Christian is called to rescue orphans."
Moore, and the rest of the Christian orphan-care movement, speaks in missional terms. Adoption is about embracing a diverse kingdom, fulfilling our duty to the needy, and proclaiming our own spiritual adoption in Christ.
When Christians discuss the personal aspects of adoption, it's often with a focus on hard realities. The confessional blog posts of author and adoptive mom Jen Hatmaker are widely re-posted in the adoption community because she tells it like it is. (I've scraped smashed banana off my walls. I hear her.) Adoption is a tough calling. Its difficulty gives weight to the mission.
Christians are right to counter dishonest, overly-romantic presentations of adoption. Adoption is a beautiful picture of God's redemption of us, his broken children. And human adoption is a compassionate response to the divine love that we ourselves have received.
But I want to propose that adoptive parents don't have to be on a global crusade. Whether they admit it or not, many Christian couples adopt simply because they want kids. And that's okay.
God thinks it's good to want kids.
In the very first days of the newborn world, God tells humans to get married and have children. He created people designed for creating other people, for parenthood. The picture of the good life in Psalm 127 and 128 includes children at the dinner table. And, throughout Scripture, children are described as a reward, blessing, heritage, and sign of God's favor.
We also have a great cloud of women in Scripture whose prayers for a baby were heard by our gracious God. Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth wanted to be moms, and God blessed them.
So I propose that wanting children, or wanting more children, is a legitimate reason to adopt. Christian couples might be God's gift to orphans, sure, but these children are also certainly God's gift to us. Let us give thanks.
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