Be Not Afraid — Consider Adoption
Perhaps the saddest thing in the universe is a child without a home.
To all pro-life couples of good will,
I would like to invite you to consider a radical choice that would put your pro-life convictions into action in a way that no other choice can. Please consider being foster or adoptive parents. If fewer women choose to abort their unborn children due to change of heart or law, it is likely that there will be a greater need. Regardless of what the future may hold in that regard, though, there are still children in need of homes, and perhaps the saddest thing in the universe is a child without a home.
As adoptive parents who have also been foster parents, this issue is close to my wife’s heart and mine. Before we were married, we discussed having children, and we both agreed that we wanted to adopt. Two of my closest friends were adopted, and my wife had been inspired by some of the literature she read. Most of all, we knew that orphans and widows find a special place in the heart of God.
As soon as we had “a place of our own,” we began foster care, and we were entrusted with a sibling pair. We were told initially that the two would soon go to live with an aunt or be reunited with their parents. Three years later, we adopted them. In that time, another sibling pair was placed with us with the same understanding. Those two, also, were adopted about three years later. So, four of our children are adopted, and our fifth biological child was just born in January, making nine kids in total.
Has it been difficult? Very. Waiting is difficult. Not knowing is difficult. Loving in the midst of frustration is difficult. Every family is difficult. Family life is the most difficult thing I have ever done. The things most worth doing in life are difficult, and I wouldn’t change a thing about how we have chosen to live our lives.
“I don’t know if I could love adopted children the same way I love my natural children.” That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Anyone who expresses this concern is obviously concerned with loving children well, and that is exactly the kind of person who should consider adoption. If someone is not concerned with how well he could love an adopted child, he should not consider adoption. There was a point, early in foster care, when it hit me that my foster children needed a father, and I was it. Not just that it would be convenient for them to have a father or that it might prove beneficial to society someday for them to have a father, but that they needed a father. Regardless of the outcome, the situation, or the difficulty, I had the duty to be a father to them and to love them as a father. Love is not a passive emotion, but an active choice.
“It would be too difficult for me if I had to give them back.” For those considering foster children, this is a commonly expressed concern. My wife and I never had to give up our children, but there were times that it looked imminent. We turned to God and sought counseling. The fact is that the situation is broken to begin with, and someone’s heart is going to be broken: the child’s or the parents’. If a child is placed with a loving family, then a loving heart will break if the child is removed. But it is better for the hearts of loving people to break than for the child to be placed with an unloving family or no family at all.
Adoption is not for every family, but every pro-life family should seriously consider adoption. I have heard it said that we learn who we are not by looking at ourselves in the mirror, but by looking at mom and dad. What do those children learn about themselves who do not have a mom or dad?
“You received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry ‘Abba, Father!’” (Romans 8:15). “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption” (Galatians 4:4-5). When we look at our Heavenly Father, we learn who we are and what we are. Created in his image and likeness, our hearts are to be united with his. In that heart we find a spirit of self-sacrificial, abundant and overflowing love, and we find the orphans in need of a home. The pro-life cause doesn’t end at birth, because every new life has a right to a family.