Are all Christians called to adopt?
February 15th, 2012
Since we decided to adopt 18 months ago, I’ve often been surprised at peoples’ responses. Many times we hear “Oh, that’s so great. I sure could never do that” or “I’m not called to adoption” or something similar. It’s as if people assume we’ve become official adoption recruiters and they are set to defend their “adoption-less” family. I’ve been careful to say that God clearly called our family to this journey. That’s all.
On a recent trip to Haiti, I visited an orphanage full of children. It was the first time I had been in an orphanage since our sons came home last summer. Suddenly, across the world from my son’s country in Africa, I was face-to-face with a hundred other Judahs and Levis. Precious children, each in need of a loving family. As I looked in their faces, I had to believe that God has a plan for their lives. With approximately 2 billion Christians in the world (“Christian” in this instance is a loose term, I know) and approximately 147 million orphans, the numbers don’t add up to me. Maybe everyone isn’t called to adoption. But I can’t help but wonder why God wasn’t calling a follower – maybe a family in the US, or in Europe, or even a Christian Haitian family – to change the future for just one of these children.
I wonder a lot what would have happened to my boys if we hadn’t decided to answer the call to adopt, and believe me, there were times I wasn’t positive we could do it. I’m not sure if another family would have stepped in, or if our disobedience would have meant a hopeless future for my little guys. I don’t know the theologically correct answer, but I’m glad we’ll never know.
Just as often as people defend their right not to adopt, I also have people say “I think that’s something we’d love to do someday.” To which I usually politely reply, “It was an amazing experience for us.” But just once, I’d like to shock somebody and say, “Stop thinking, start praying and get going.” Ask God if there is a child somewhere in the world, maybe even in your back yard, who he has assigned to you. Could it be that he’s calling Christians, and we’re not hearing?