Friday, November 11, 2011

What Keeps Christians From Adopting

What keeps Christians from adopting? It can’t be anything found in the scriptures. The Bible is clear on what our religion is about; and caring for widows and orphans means in some form or another, adoption. When it comes to a small child in need of a family, adoption is rather a given if you think about it. So we must have some pretty convincing reasons for not adopting. I’ve both heard and thought of many:

“Adoptions cost a fortune; we could never afford it.” “It takes years to adopt.” “Birth mothers can come back in ten years and just take their child back and break your heart and the child’s.” “We are too old. You have to be a young married couple to adopt.” “Adopted children have more emotional and psychological issues that I’m not equipped to deal with.” “What if I don’t bond with the child? That would be terrible for the kid.” “Adopted children tend to grow up causing more trouble than birth children.” “There are actually very few babies that are being placed for adoption.” And the list goes on. The list of myths surrounding adoption! All of the above “reasons” not to adopt are myths.

Church, it is time to take back adoption! And believe it or not, we are doing just that. And you can get involved in this move of God, by informing the loving people in your congregation, and thus, advocating for orphans. It is no accident that so many myths should revolve around adoption. God has declared that He defends the orphan and that means our involvement. Consider for example, the myth: “Adoptions cost a fortune; we could never afford it.”

“We could never afford it,” is one myth that I once believed to be true. Then our local church put together an “Orphan Care Ministry Team.” The team consisted mainly of people who had adopted, had volunteered in orphanages on missions teams, were interested in foster care, and who just want to see hurting children helped. Getting involved with that team, I soon began meeting many parents who had been through adoption processes, both domestic and overseas. Upon completion of their adoptions, these folk received back most if not all of the money they paid out in adoption costs. Some funds came through tax credits available for those who adopt; some through the companies that they worked for, from grants readily available, and from fund raisers that church friends and family organized for them. So many people want to help! Our Orphan Care Ministry Team, among other things, plans to assemble a fund that those in the congregation who are in the process of adoption can draw from in order to pay the various fees involved upfront. The family will agree to reimburse what they take out, as tax credits and grants and funds from adoption advocates come through. In this way, this in-church adoption fund will be replenished for the next family that wants to adopt.

While the fact may be that adoptions can cost anywhere from zero to as high as $30,000, there is also a lot of assistance available to those who do adopt. Governments, grants, companies and adoption advocates every year help people finance their adoptions. What seems impossible on paper for a single family, the church can come together and make happen, adoptive family by adoptive family.

Do you want to see your church family increase in the number of children they rescue and adopt? Start an Orphan Care Ministry team. Drop me a line. I know one very fun bunch of people from my church, who would love to walk you and your like-minded friends through the process. Orphan Care Peeps get into helping one another for the sake of the children! We're kinda weird like that.

Then, together with those in your congregation who likewise have this calling, you will see God begin breaking down all of the above mentioned myths that people have generally come to believe. God has an answer for each “reason” we have not to adopt. And in Jesus the answer is "oh 'yes' we can;" and “amen.”

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." -- Jesus

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