Since announcing our adoption roughly two years ago, my wife and I have encountered a range of questions concerning the details of the process. This article cites the three most often asked questions and provides insights into each of them.
1. WHY ADOPT WHEN YOU CAN HAVE KIDS OF YOUR OWN?
When my wife and I first announced our adoption, we didn’t have any kids. Today we have a biological daughter. Naturally, before the pregnancy, many assumed that we discovered that we were unable to have biological children. We began to hear comments like, “You just wait! I know of a lot of couples that decided to adopt and then got pregnant!” (You can imagine their elation once we announced our pregnancy!) We also began to get some sympathetic looks in attempts to mend our alleged pain. We even had some rather bold personalities directly ask us if we can’t have kids.
Now that we have a daughter we often hear the question, “Are you still planning to adopt?”
The question assumes that adoption is reserved as a secondary plan for parents that can’t have kids, and that adopting while also having the ability to have biological children is like adding an unneeded ingredient to a recipe.
The “cake” is just fine without the “extra cup of sugar.”
Our motivation for adoption is rooted in our faith in Christ. This is why it isn’t dependent on our ability or inability to have biological children. We knew we wanted to have biological children and we also knew we wanted to adopt, so we pursued both.
It doesn’t have to be “either/or”; it can be “both/and.”
2. WHY ADOPT OVERSEAS WHEN YOU CAN ADOPT IN AMERICA?
As a pastor I often get the question, “Pastor, why go on mission trips overseas whenever we have lost people right here in our own city!” My answer to such a question is likened to my answer to the current question concerning adoption: Why should love be restricted to regions?
Like the previous question, this one assumes that we have only one option. It also assumes that one option is better. But the gospel isn’t restricted to our local contexts. If I travel to a neighboring town and come across a lost person, I would never tell him, “I would love to share the gospel with you, but you see, there are a ton of lost people in my hometown, so I cannot talk to you about how you can have eternal life in Jesus.”
This is because the gospel is for everyone. We should share it with our neighbors across the street and with the strangers across the world.
This is what Jesus taught:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:14).
The amazing thing about God’s love is that it is unrestricted. And this truth translates into the ministry of adoption. It is true that our nation hosts countless children that need a mom and dad, but this doesn’t negate the truth that other nations also host countless children that need a mom and dad. Like the calling of a missionary to serve in the field, so God calls couples to adopt children from all over the world, and that is a testimony to his relentless love for “all creation.”
3. WHY ARE YOU ADOPTING A CHILD OF A DIFFERENT ‘RACE’?
Of all the questions we have had, this one is the most vitriolic. We have lost longtime relationships with individuals because of their vehement opposition to our desire to adopt a child that might have a dark skin pigmentation.
Such a child, in their words, “Is not welcome in our home.”
It is important to note that this question is misguided in that there is one human race. If this truth could be understood then the type of thinking mentioned above could be abolished. While it is true that our race includes people with different skin pigmentations, such differences do not categorize people into different races. Such thinking leads to ethnocentrism, which results in things like the Holocaust.
It would be naive to suggest that a light skinned family adopting a child with a dark skin pigmentation does not come with its obstacles. I often think about what it would be like if I was the only light skinned person in a family, adopted out of my country of origin. It would undoubtedly invoke issues. But these issues are not insurmountable. In fact, victory in such issues would be beneficial. And this is one of the reasons why we believe God has called us to go in this direction.
Multi-ethnic families can provide a beautiful picture of God’s boundless love for people of all different colors and nations.
ADOPTION IS LOVE
Adoption is a glorious thing. It’s the act of a guardian embracing an unguarded child and saying, “I choose you as my son.” What a remarkable thought! An adopted child can claim something that nobody else can: “My mom and dad came after me. When I was lost, they found me and gave me love.”
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
Such love is not bounded by the restrictions listed in the questions above. It transcends them. And it’s the love that God illustrates to the world. As potential parents of an adopted child, we choose to love this child because God chose to love us.
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).