Below is post from the blog of Dr. Russell Moore . . . a seminary professor, author and adoptive father. His words are honest, true and cut to the heart of anyone considering, praying, in the process of or in the middle of an adoption or foster care.
I am so grateful to adoptive families that are willing to talk not just about the joy and the warm fuzzies of a new addition to the family, but about the suffering, dying to self, draining, hard moments that come with the journey of orphan care. It makes me take a deep breath, go back to the call to adopt that God clearly spoke into our lives, and cling to the Spirit to keep me moving forward in the unknown that is before us. Unknown to me, but thankfully not to the Father to the fatherless. He knows who Easton is. He knows the tragedy that will make him an orphan. He knows the trauma Easton will endure. He knows what we will need to love him, care for him, and do it in such a way that Easton's heart will heal, that he will feel secure, and that ultimately Easton will surrender his life to the Savior that has been with him all along.
"Don't Adopt" by Russell Moore . . .
If you want your “dream baby,” do not adopt or foster a child: buy a
cat and make-believe. Adopting an orphan isn’t ordering a consumer item
or buying a pet. Such a mindset hurts the child, and countless other
children and families. Adoption is about taking on risk as cross-bearing
For years, I’ve called Christian churches and families to our James
1:27 mandate to care for widows and orphans in their distress, to live
out the adoption we’ve received in the gospel by adopting and fostering
children. At the same time, I’ve maintained that, while every Christian
is called to care for orphans and widows, not every Christian is called
to adopt or foster. As a matter of fact, there are many who, and I say
this emphatically, should not.
Love of any kind brings risk, and, in a fallen world, brings hurt.
Simeon tells our Lord’s mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, that a sword
would pierce her heart. That’s true, in some sense, for every mother,
every father. Even beyond that, every adoption, every orphan, represents
a tragedy. Someone was killed, someone left, someone was impoverished,
or someone was diseased. Wrapped up in each situation is some kind of
hurt, and all that accompanies that. That’s the reason there really is
no adoption that is not a “special needs” adoption; you just might not
know on the front end what those special needs are.
We live in a time in which our commitments have become the
opportunity often for simply a narcissistic self-realization. Weddings
have become events for planners and photographers putting on what seems
to be a state dinner honoring the “love of the couple.” Children often
become props in a life of parents who are seeking to grasp whatever they
believe the world owes them. It’s easier to pull off that kind of an
illusion of self-centrality with your engagement photos and wedding
party than it is with children, though. Children are alive. Children are
persons, with individuality that can’t ultimately be suppressed.
Children, of all sorts, are, by definition, unpredictable. Children
shatter your life-plan. Adoption certainly does.
It’s worth it.
But Jesus tells us we ought to know that a king going into battle
must measure his troops, a tower-builder must count the expenses of the
project (Lk. 14:28-31). Those who see adoption as a warm, sentimental
way of having a baby are mistaken and dangerous. There are far too many
who plunge in without counsel, without a commitment to fidelity no
matter what. They search around for a baby who fits their
specifications. And babies never fit your specifications…at least not
when they grow up.
If what’s behind all of this isn’t crucified, war-fighting, eyes-open
commitment, you are going to wind up with a child who is twice
orphaned. He or she will be abandoned the first time by fatherlessness
and the second time by the rejection of failing to live up to the
expectations of parents who had no business imposing such expectations
in the first place.
We need a battalion of Christians ready to adopt, foster, and
minister to orphans. But that means we need Christians ready to care
for real orphans, with all the brokenness and risk that comes with it.
We need Christians who can reflect the adopting power of the gospel,
which didn’t seek out a boutique nursery but a household of ex-orphans
who were found wallowing in our own blood, with Satan’s genes in our
If what you like is the idea of a baby who fulfills your needs and
meets your expectations, just buy a cat. Decorate the nursery, if you’d
like. Dress it up in pink or blue, and take pictures. And be sure to
have it declawed.