How do I know if I’m called to adopt?
This is a question I frequently get asked. We know that the Bible calls every single one of us to care for orphans.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27
The Bible doesn’t say that all of us should adopt. It simply says that we need to take care of orphans. Orphan care can happen through child sponsorship, family preservation, foster care, grant organizations, and community outreach programs.
While all of us can do something, not everyone is called to adopt. It is just as crucial that adoptive families have a support system of people that are willing to pray, give financially, cook meals, and provide love and encouragement.
Adoption takes a village.
So, how do you know if you’re called to adopt?
God clearly places adoption on your heart.
I still remember sitting in the back row at church on Orphan Sunday sensing that Scott and I were called to go to China and adopt a little girl. God placed it on both mine and Scott’s heart at the same time and we never looked back.
(If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page regarding adoption, check out my blog post My Spouse Doesn’t Want to Adopt. You are not alone.)
You can’t stop thinking about adoption.
If you spend hours scouring YouTube for adoption videos or reading adoption blogs, let me break something to you. God has given you a heart for adoption.
I encourage you to chase what your heart is telling you.
You understand that adoption isn't easy, but you have faith that God will see you through.
Adoption is hard, holy work. It's not about being a hero. It’s about being a part of God’s plan to take care of His children. God will always be faithful to you in your calling.
“The one who calls you is faithful…” 1 Thessalonians 5:28
God places people in your life that reinforce your call to adopt.
Our family has always landed in churches full of adoptive families that have affirmed our family’s call to adopt.
We temporarily moved to Franklin, TN right before we were old enough to start the adoption process for China. (China requires both parents to be 30 years old.) The first church we visited was filled with adoptive families and stories that re-affirmed our calling. There are hundreds of churches in Franklin, TN, but God knew right where we needed to be.
There are also a few things that will not likely happen when you are called to adopt.
You won’t have a clear path or "set-in-stone" plan.
Timelines will change. Countries will open and close. Birth parents will change their mind. Paperwork will happen lightning fast or get delayed.
Adoption is a faith walk, but it’s the best faith walk you’ll ever take.
You will not feel equipped or ready, and that’s OK.
Nobody feels equipped or ready to redeem another human being, but we serve a God who is always ready and willing to use us for His glory. There are resources (like this blog) and professionals ready to help you along your adoption journey.
There will be people that will not understand.
You will have family members or friends who will question your call to adopt. Pray for Godly wisdom to reveal the root of a person’s concern. Many times it is fear for you and your family, especially if you already have children in your home.
Don’t let another person’s fear stop you from embracing your calling.
Above all, pray.
Pray continuously about God's call on your life concerning adoption.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
God wants to hear your desire to understand your role in adoption. He wants to be that constant companion in your life through prayer. Ask him if he wants you to adopt. He will guide your heart and mind.
He will provide the peace to begin the process.
He will provide the peace to wait until the time is right.
He will provide the peace when he calls you to another form of orphan care.
How is God calling you to respond to the fatherless?