Why Adopt?

9 11 2012

My family and I have made the decision to adopt. We are going to be adopting a little boy from the country of Russia.

Since our church, Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas, began talking about adoption almost a year ago, we have received many questions. Last year, on Orphan Sunday, we began a six month long emphasis on orphan care and adoption, which ended on Mother’s Day of this year with us unveiling the Grand Family Adoption Fund and our pastor, Jeff Crawford, announcing that their family was in the process of an international adoption. This coming Sunday marks Orphan Sunday again for us. It is amazing what has happened in our church in this one year. The amount of people that are talking about and supporting adoption has grown exponentially. The number of people who are actually adopting has grown in number. But with all of this has come a lot of questions. I will attempt to answer some here, but I have to say that some of these questions that people have asked reveal a heart that will not be satisfied with any answer. Some questions can only be answered by saying that God is leading, and, sadly, this is not a good enough answer for some.

  • Why adopt at all? – I am still blown away when I hear a believer ask this question. In the book of James, it says, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans…” It is obvious that the best way “to look after orphans” would be to bring them into your home. Now, I don’t believe that adoption is for everyone, but I do believe that it is for a lot more people than those that actually follow through. I also believe that if you are not one that feels called by God to adopt, you are still obligated scripturally to help and support in some way. Another basic reason for adoption is that it is a beautiful picture of what God did for us. God adopted us into his family, although we did not deserve it. When we adopt, we are showing a living example of the gospel.
  • You already have 3 biological sons. Why adopt another? – Adoption is not just for those couples who go through the heartbreak of not being able to have their own children. Of course, that is a wonderful option for those struggling to have their own children, but for those that already have children it is a wonderful opportunity to expand the family and teach your existing children incredibly valuable lessons. We have three boys (pictured above). They are awesome, and I would live fulfilled if they were all I had. When we told our boys about our decision to adopt, they were immediately excited. The first time that I heard them pray for their little brother confirmed for me that the decision we made to adopt was a good one.
  • Why adopt internationally when there are so many children here in America that need forever homes? – This is, essentially, the same question I get when I talk about international missions. People ask me why we go to the ends of the earth when we have lost people right next door. The very asking of this question tells a lot about a person, but I am not going to go there. If I were to sit two little girls in front of you – one that was dressed well, chubby, and sitting there with a full plate of food and the other with rags for clothes, skinny, and an empty plate AND both of them complaining about hunger – which one would you feed first? Both of them might very well be hungry, but we see that the first girl has the opportunity to eat the food on the plate in front of her, so, obviously, we give our food first to the other little girl that is literally starving. The reason that we do missions internationally and adopt internationally is because in many countries there is absolutely no hope. Your neighbor might be just as lost as the tribal Indian on the Amazon River, but how many churches will your neighbor pass by on his way to work today? At least he has a neighbor that is a believer. Your neighbor has a much better chance of hearing the gospel than most people in the world. The argument for international adoption is the same. As bad as the foster care system is here in America, it would be like heaven compared to an orphanage in Russia or Ethiopia.
  • Why spend the $45,000 it takes to adopt from Russia? – Believe me when I say that I have asked this question over and over again. Russia is the most expensive program in the world. We could have chosen a least expensive route (probably as much as half as much). We came to two conclusions. First, if God called us to do this, which we believe He has, then He is big enough to provide. Second, no matter the amount of money spent, and I literally type this with tears in my eyes, it is nothing compared to the life of my child. My son has probably been born and is living in a Russian orphanage right now, and I will do anything that I can to get him, even spend $45,000 and even ask you to help me. Adoption is not some process of picking a beautiful child out of a catalog and trying to get the best deal. Adoption, for us, is the birthing process of getting our son. It is messy, expensive, and requires sacrifice.
  • Why ask other people to help you with the finances? – God could, if He wanted to, drop a big bag of money from the sky into our laps, but for some reason He chooses to use people. We are asking for financial help, because we don’t have that amount of money sitting around, and we are desperate to get our son. I deal with this question all the time when I am working on planning mission trips. I always encourage our team members to send out letters to ask for financial support even if they don’t need it. The reason for this is that some people are called to go, some are called to pray, and some are called to give. If giving is a valid way to participate in missions, then we need to give people the chance to give so that they can be blessed and be involved in missions. In the same way, many people are not called to adopt, but their way of “looking after orphans” might be to give to support someone that is adopting. By not asking for help, we may be depriving someone of an incredible blessing.

On the mission field, we were very isolated. Our closest American neighbors were three hours away. Our children didn’t get to see their biological grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, etc., but our missionary families did get to come by from time to time. I loved the opportunity to get to go see our friends that lived on the coast. To their children, my name was Uncle Scott, and to my children they were Uncle Paul and Aunt Lana. They were our family, because as believers, we are all apart of the family of God. Our people at church need to not hide the fact that they are adopting. We need to celebrate it, and we need other “uncles” and “aunts” and “grandparents” to step up and pray for the difficult process and even pitch in financially if there is a need.

I know that some of you who read this will not agree with me, and that’s fine. I believe that when we all get to heaven, we will find out that we were all wrong about a lot of things.

If you would like to help us out financially to get our son from Russia, you can go to this website to donate… www.adopttogether.org/wardfamily.


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