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adoption part 1: obedience and provision

I started writing a post on a few adoption-related thoughts which have been on my heart recently. The post got way too long for one post. So I have decided to break it up into a few different posts covering various topics. This will be the first one. If there is anything you would like me to address in this series on adoption, please leave your question as a comment on this post, and I will try to answer it as best I can. Please understand that I write this from my perspective and my journey to adopt our children. Everyone will have different experiences. These are my thoughts.

To kick off this series I am going to share something which I have seen happening more and more recently in the adoption community.

Many, many times I see posts on Facebook or elsewhere where people state things like, “I will go and rescue this child if they are fully funded.” Or, “If this child had a very large grant, we would go and adopt them!”

I honestly feel this is the wrong heart behind adoption. That tells the Father, “I will go, but only if You provide the funds first!” But since when can we have strings attached with our God? “Okay, God.  I’ll do this…but only if you do that first.”

I do understand the reasoning behind statements like that. I think it is human nature to want an easy(ier) ride when it comes to adopting a child—it would be a huge burden lifted. If there is an easier way to do something, I’m sure that 90% of us would choose that road. I know I do. And when we see a little face with a $25,000-plus ransom slapped next to their name, well, most of us come to a grinding halt! We figure that there is no way on God’s green earth that we can possibly come up with that kind of money. Right?

Instead, we have learned to be open to whomever the Lord would present to us, whether or not a child has a grant.  In other words, the criteria by which we say yes to a particular child should never be because there’s a tempting grant in place, but because we know that we know that the Lord is directing us to rescue THAT one.

I have personally come to understand that God’s economy and the way things happen for those of us who say we will follow the Lord are so very, very different. I don’t know about you guys, but there have not been many times in my own life when the things God has done with me have made much sense. Most of the time His ways blow all logic right out of the water.

How often does God provide what we need…and then tell us to be obedient? It is much more frequently the other way around.

Missionaries get called to the field…and then they trust the Lord for the provision.

God calls…and then we follow and trust Him with the details.

We say yes to the call (and it is a calling) to adopt a child…and then we trust Him for the provision.

Someone once said that God doesn’t call the equipped—He equips the called.

Yes, there are times when God provides everything we need to complete a mission before we have even embarked on our journey—but those times are definitely in the minority. I have a sweet friend whose family was given a ridiculous amount of money from one donor just so that they could go and rescue a little girl from Africa. Having fundraised for all their previous adoptions, they understood how rare the gift was, and how thankful they were.

I just don’t see many times in His Word where God laid out the red carpet and poured down manna from heaven…and then gave the command to follow. No, He often commanded obedience first. We obey first—and then we trust Him with the details. In this case, obedience means that we keep our spiritual ears and eyes wide open to each and every child the Lord shows us.  Meanwhile, our obedience gives God an opportunity to open the floodgates of heaven and provide in the most miraculous ways.

I look around and see such a move of God when it comes to adoption. Hearts are being stirred and challenged all over this nation. Many, many are saying yes and it is truly a blessing for the many children who are being rescued. But, going into it expecting an easy ride ain’t gonna happen, friends. Don’t go looking for children with large grants–those children may not even be yours to consider! The last thing we want to do is take a child for whom God had another family lined up. 

Don’t look for the easy way out. Trust God to get you to the other side. He is more than able.

How do I know this? Well, I speak from our own journey of bringing four orphans home. We started every time with nothing! No savings. No inheritance. Nothing! But God called us to walk what would be the ultimate test of our obedience…would we trust Him to provide every penny needed to pay the ransom for our children? I have also seen countless friends walk the exact same journey as we did…they started from scratch and watched in awe as God provided.

Obedience is never, ever easy, friends. I think God gave us His Word to prove just how tough following Him can be. As my family reads stories about the lives of great missionaries, I am always blown away by one thing they all had in common…it was NOT easy! The stories are all quite similar–God planted a seed in their hearts to go into the farthest places on earth. They did. They said yes, come what may. But dang, it was hard.

So it is with adoption.

Fundraising is not easy. Adoption is not easy! Many will agree with me that it is the thing that will stretch and challenge you more than anything else ever has. You will work day and night on fundraisers. You will cry buckets of tears when your arms ache to hold your sweet child on the other side of the world. You will have days when you wonder what the heck you’re doing. You will see injustices which will about rip your hearts out. And some day you will walk out of an orphanage on the other side of the world and feel like you’re leaving a piece of your heart there–with those whom you have to leave behind, knowing that there is nothing you can do to save them all. It is gut-wrenching!

Adoption is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage, determination, and complete dependence on a God who called you by name and sent you on a mission.

Please, I’m begging you, don’t go looking for an easy adoption. It doesn’t exist. And besides, walking the road less traveled, the one that few are willing to walk, is such a great opportunity for the Living God to show His splendor, His power, His faithfulness, and His majesty! It is so worth it. I promise.

It really is all about His glory filling the earth and His name being exalted. Providing for an adoption is just one of the ways that He chooses to do that.

If I had to choose all over again, I would choose to trust the Lord once more to provide the ransom to adopt a child. I would. I can say with all my heart that it was in those times, when we wondered where the next dollars would come from to pay an upcoming bill, that I saw His faithfulness like never before in my life. It was on those days when the goal felt insurmountable that I saw His glory shining through.

It was in trusting my Father in heaven to provide for my children waiting in faraway lands that I came to know Him so, so much more intimately.

Don’t let orphans remain in captivity simply because of finances!  He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) is more than able to provide.