I want to preface this and say that I am a Jesus follower. I think there is grace and redemption in adoption. I believe adoption is good. Beautiful. Yet, also hard and heartbreaking. I believe adoption causes trauma to everyone involved in various ways. I believe adoption is not how God intended at the beginning of time for families to be formed. I don’t believe He created infertility or for children to pass away in the womb. God didn’t intend for children to be removed from their biological families and placed into foster care. He didn’t intend for marriages to be rocked with divorce or abuse to drive women and children out of the safety of their homes. BUT, because we live in a fallen world, I DO believe that Jesus is the redeemer of hard circumstances.
Ok, now that I gave my disclaimer, let’s move on.
As Christians and believers, we have to stop equating the Gospel of Jesus to adoption. They aren’t the same things and when we do this it reduces the Gospel to something of a fallen nature. Earthly adoption falls agonizingly short of the holiness of our God.
We have to recognize that adoption is adoption. It is worthy and redeeming in its own way. But we have to stop justifying what we want earthly adoption to look like and compare it to one of the most holy acts of God. We have to understand that the Gospel is the Gospel. It is beautiful in ways that we will never understand. It holds great sacrifice. Love. Grace and mercy. All good things. There is no parallel to Gospel centered adoption and what we know as earthly adoption, of which was created by sinful and broken humans.
I know I am probably hitting some pain points, but please continue here with me to the end. I want to challenge you to think about when we say these things, what it means to those around us. It does a great disservice to adoptees and the triad as a whole to continue with this unparalleled belief. The separation from a holy sinless Father and the separation from a child and their biological parents is very different. The child is not the cause of the separation and this is crucial in establishing a foundation to their adoption story. We have to protect their story and make sure adoptees NEVER think adoption was their fault.
Another point I want to make is that earthly parents aren’t able to save their children and when you adopt, you aren’t saving a baby from anything. You are not God. You are simply standing in the gap for a mama (and dad) who felt like they needed you in those moments to take on a role they did not feel they could take on. Which, yes, you may be a tool God uses as part of His redemption story in a broken world. But, with humbleness we have to take ourselves off of a “higher than” pedestal and recognize the humanity of those that we are blessed to know through adoption. Spiritual adoption is set forth through a salvation plan of our souls-- a plan that only God our Father can set forth. He brings us into His flock and covers us with His wings. Spiritual adoption into God’s family that brings wholeness, is not the same as earthly adoption that brings a complex mix of loss even if it brings a sense of wholeness to an adoptive family.
I want to challenge us all that instead of watering down the Gospel to equate it to the earthly adoption we see everyday, we have to simply tell the truth. We aren’t God and children are not responsible for their adoption fate. We also have to recognize adoption will forever be a part of their story. Of your story. Of their biological parent’s story. That in itself is enough. So, I leave you with this…
Adoption is not the Gospel. The Gospel is the Gospel.
Written by Mallory Fogas, Owner of Arrow + Root