My wife Kristin and I recently finalized the adoption of our beautiful daughter, Chloe. Over the course of our 3-year adoption journey, we have made some observations that we occasionally share with couples who are interested in adoption.
- Adoption is a Calling. Adoption isn’t just something that you decide one day to do. It takes time, and it take patience. It takes a willingness to have your home inspected to see if it is “worthy” and have your private lives explored to see if you are “fit.” It also requires that you let go of your expectations of what your family will look like and relinquish the false premise that you are in control. It means letting God do the work and trusting that He will get it done.
If you just think that adoption is a take it or leave it scenario, then you will leave it. If you do not sense the call to adoption, then you will never make it.
- Be Open to God. There are three basic types of adoption: open, semi-open, and closed. Closed is the typical adoption in CPS cases, and it has also been standard practice for private adoption for years. The birth parents don’t know the adoptive parents, and vice versa. Semi-open has some contact between the two parents, but it is mediated through the agency. Open adoption allows for an ongoing relationship between parents according to the comfort levels of each side. While you need to do what is comfortable for you, be open to whether or not God is calling you to do an open adoption.
- Trust God in the Waiting. Adoption is one huge waiting game. You wait to get pregnant; you wait to find out you can’t get pregnant; you wait to decide to adopt; you wait to find the right agency; you wait to do all the training; you wait to do the home study; you wait to get the results; you wait to be selected; you wait, wait, wait. In our waiting, I often got pretty angry with God for making us wait. But in the end, I had to trust Him…He was God after all. He kinda knew what he was doing. Just trust in His timing.
- Think Beyond Your “Perfect” Family. Too often, we get caught trying to recreate a biological family when we think about adoption. You have blond hair, and so does your wife; therefore, the baby should have blond hair, and throw in some blue eyes as well. Think beyond this narrow window. God’s family is far more diverse than that, and He may just decide to make your family look like His family.
And if this family doesn’t “look” like you, don’t worry. Remember, we were adopted, too, by God … and we don’t look a thing like God. We are sinful, faithless, selfish, and down-right fallen. He is not. But in His grace, He has called us into His kingdom to create a new family. He may be calling you as an African-American couple to adopt a child from Asia, or an Asian-American couple to adopt a child with Hispanic heritage. Be ready to move beyond your vision of the “perfect” family and allow God to create His family in your house.
Above all, if you are thinking about adoption, pray, pray, and pray some more. And if it is your calling, then be ready for an incredible journey full of sorrow and joy, tears and laughter … a journey where God visibly demonstrates in your house the meaning of grace.
By Blake Killingsworth