What the Church Needs to Know About Adoption

Twenty-one months ago, our family began the adoption process. Yes, we’re that crazy family that began the adoption process with an 11-month-old and baby #2 on the way.

Walking this journey has taught me so much about God, his people, our children and his church. There are multiple ways God uses his people to help children without families. Here are a few things I think the church needs to know about adoption.

Adoption is the Gospel.

The foundation of adoption is not seen when we look at families adopting children today, but when we look at the way God adopted us. Adoption is the HEART of the gospel. Look at Galatians 4:4-5, 7.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. … So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-5,7

How amazing is that?! He didn’t say, “so you may go to heaven.” He didn’t say, “so you can enjoy gifts like joy and peace while you’re on this earth.” He says, “we have been adopted as his CHILDREN!!” He has given us the whole package … the family deal … the whole shebang. Yep, he is our Father when we need guidance, abundant life, freedom, salvation and an inheritance. It’s all ours. It’s the Gospel. It’s why Jesus came.

Adoption is a sign the world is broken.

Jesus adopted us. Yes, that’s EXCITING news! But the reality is, adoption exists because sin exists. It is a product of this broken world. And we paint adoption as a beautiful picture. What we see, however, is one outer layer. Underneath the paint are layers of hurt, pain, neglect and suffering.

It’s easy for people to look into the world of adoption and see the beauty. But the real picture is one of tragedy. Thankfully, we serve a God who specializes in transforming tragedy into triumph. We serve a God who takes something ugly and makes it beautiful.

Adoption is messy.

Remember the moment you became a Christian? You felt on top of the world, right? I did. And then … a few weeks after, I realized I was still a really messed up human in desperate need of Jesus. When we adopt children, the ultimate picture isn’t what we see on blogs and social media.

The real picture isn’t a blended family where no one looks alike but all seems picture perfect. No, it’s a daily grind. It’s a daily renewal. If you think children who come from hopeless situations will be an easy ride, you are drinking the blog/social media kool-aid. Look in the mirror. What do you see? I see a mess. I see a woman who loves the Lord but fails often. We can’t expect adopted children to be any different.

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Frank Powell
Frank lives in Jackson, TN with his amazing wife and two boys. He loves black coffee and doing stuff outside like golf and running.