It has been my experience that many people do not really begin thinking about adoption theologically until they themselves are involved in adopting (or at least considering adopting) a child. Very often, the consideration to adopt a child precedes the consideration of the truth that God has graciously adopted us to be His children.
So is this a problem? Of course not. It’s natural and right to long for a child, and many people choose adoption for the same reason that couples bear children: in order to be parents. But for all those who are adopting – and have adopted – we desire to enrich your understanding of this act of love by showing how it relates to the theological concept of adoption.
Our goal at Carolina Hope Christian Adoption Agency, and this is my primary focus as Carolina Hope’s Ministry Outreach Coordinator, is take this vision to adoptive families and to people who are not yet considering adoption. We want Christians who might not otherwise think about adopting a child to reflect on adoption theologically (i.e. God adopting us as His children).
Why is this our goal? First, because we are convinced that the more we think about God’s gracious work of adopting children into His family, the more we will see and appreciate His glory, grace, beauty, love, etc. Adoption is first about the glorious God of the universe coming to profoundly needy people in the person of His Son to give us the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). When we grow in our understanding of who this God of grace is and what He has done to adopt us through Jesus Christ, we will find our love for and pursuit of Him steadily increasing. So, ultimately, we want to see people grow in their enjoyment of God Himself.
Second, if people better understand God’s work of adoption, they will find themselves joyfully compelled to extend this same kind of compassion to orphans, both here and abroad. Christians who love the wonderful doctrine of adoption will become increasingly passionate about “visiting orphans in their affliction” (James 1:27), whether through short-term mission efforts, adopting a child, or assisting others in the adoption process.
I have found that understanding God’s love in adoption has helped grow me as a Christian and also as a father – both to my adopted sons and to my biological daughter.