Recently someone saw our agency’s name on a banner at a convention, and they asked, “What’s Christian about adoption?” Great question! Three things:
1. Adoption Fulfills the Great Commission.
Olya was adopted from Russia as a teenager. She wrote the following about her experience: “What does it mean to me to have been adopted and have a family? A gift. A second chance. A renewed hope. Joy. A miracle. A future. Unconditional love. Security. I was given a life. I was saved. I don’t have all the right words to even begin to paint a picture of what adoption has done for me. I am aware that too many children have not found homes, especially if they are older. Many of them end up on the street without an item to their name, begging for food and shelter. I myself have spent some time begging for food from strangers. The family that adopted me at the age of twelve could have easily overlooked my picture, fast forwarded past my part on the video. Then and there could have been the end of my happy future. But they didn’t. They stopped…they watched. They wanted me, despite my age and despite the problems I could have been bringing with me. They chose me! This still brings tears to my eyes. Tears of happiness and disbelief that they picked me out of thousands of other children that they could have picked. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for picking me. I still have to pinch myself just to see that this is not merely a dream. I know that only by God’s grace and His perfect sovereign plan am I here today…alive and well and very happy. I am one lucky and thankful girl.”
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:37, NIV). We know this as the “great commandment” to love God and our neighbor. Adoption is one of the most tangible, certain, permanent, and effective ways to love our neighbor. We know that another life will be permanently improved by bringing a child into a loving family.
2. Adoption Fulfills the Great Commandment
Natasha is a 14 year-old Chinese girl adopted from foster care when she was 2. Her father went on a business trip, and when he opened his suitcase he found the following note: “Dad, you are my hero. You adopted me, and brought me to Christ. You let me be weird, and I love you in all the weird ways I can. You are a light, my motivation, and my question-answerer. I love you, dad!”
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:18-19, NIV). We know this as the Great Commission to share the good news about salvation through Jesus with all people. Adoption is one of the most effective ways to make disciples of all nations.
3. Adoption is Central to the Christian Message
When we think of adoption, we consider the permanent entrance and complete acceptance into a new family. That’s exactly what God offers.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “In love God predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1.4, NIV). Since Jesus was God’s son, those who join His family, by adoption, have the right to call upon God as their father. This means they have the inheritance fitting of children of God, such as salvation, eternal life in heaven, and forgiveness of sins. “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15, NIV).
Daniel Nehrbass, Ph.D. | President