There are many people out there who have adopted – often you wouldn’t even know it if you didn’t know their story. Just as there are many people who have adopted, there are many reasons for doing so, and many avenues through which to do it.
I am an adoptive parent. It is one of the labels I wear. While I can’t say I spent my youth imagining what it would be like to adopt, looking forward to the day I would do so, or even wondering if it might someday be something I’d do, I can say that I now know, with full confidence, that this is what I was meant to do all along. We didn’t come upon this path easily. In fact, we took a rather circuitous route with several stops along with way – miscarriages, infertility tests, depression. And yet, here we are now – with two beautiful, healthy children; children who, while slowly adjusting to having an entirely new family, love us and ARE adjusting to their new lives.
Did you notice I said TWO children? THAT wasn’t in our original plan either. There was a time, when we had first decided to foster-adopt, that we thought we’d take the low-stress route – waiting for a low-risk, newborn. That was our plan, but not God’s. As we went through the training to become foster parents, we became aware of how many children out there don’t get a permanent home – because they are older, have behavioral issues, or are part of a sibling set. Can you imagine being a 4- or 5-year old, with brothers or sisters, and not only being taken from your parents, but also deprived of your sibling(s)? We couldn’t. No matter that we really wanted our first time as parents to be “easy” and “normal”, we simply couldn’t fathom leaving the bedrooms of our newly-purchased house partially empty because we wanted things “easy”. We changed our parameters from low-risk newborn to 0-5 sibling set. And that is exactly what God gave us!
I am completely confident that God calls us to care for the widows and orphans. I know with certainty that He gives each of us gifts with which to do that. I know that for many years, I thought my gift was financial, or occasionally, my time. But the truth is, he calls us on a much deeper level than that. He closed my womb so I would see my true calling from Him. I believe there are many others out there who are called to participate more fully in the lives of our (the church’s) adopted children. You may have heard “It takes a village to raise a child”… but it takes the church to raise an orphan.