[Carolina Hope is a Christian adoption agency that serves families from all over the country.]
One of the main connections, if not the primary one, between Uppercase Adoption (i.e. God adopting us as His children) and lowercase adoption (i.e. our adoption of a child) is that both are preeminently concerned with relationship. Adoption, whether Uppercase or lowercase, is about relationship and all the wonderful benefits that result from it.
Consider that Uppercase Adoption brings us into relationship with the eternal Triune God. The first person of the Trinity, God the Father, becomes our Father (John 20;17); the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, becomes our Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:10-12); and the third person of the Trinity, the Spirit of sonship, places the cry, “Abba! Father!” in our hearts and on our lips (Galatians 4:6). To be adopted by God is to enter, amazingly, into relationship with each person of the glorious Trinity. This is the greatest benefit of adoption! As Augustine once prayed to God:
“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
The Triune God made us for Himself and adoption is His gracious work to give us the very thing for which we were made! If we understand and value what God has given us through adoption, shouldn’t it be our great joy to see couples giving children loving family relationships through adoption?
Clearly, God does not call every Christian to adopt, but He does call all of His people to care for orphans in their affliction (James 1:27) whether by adopting themselves, helping others adopt, or through providing some form of humanitarian aide. In any case, can you think of a better way to care for orphans than by providing them with the one thing they need the most, namely, a loving family relationship? What a great way to express our gratitude to God for giving us a relationship with Himself through adoption!
See Orphans, Adoption, and Fuling China where I argue that James 1:27 is ultimately fulfilled through adoption.