When my wife, Marcia, first asked me if we could pray about adopting, my response was essentially “I want one of my own first,” (we have no known infertility issues). I still prayed, because that’s what good Christian husbands do, but I wasn’t exactly into it. But prayer is a dangerous activity if you are actually saying “not my will but yours” to God.
My plan A had been to grow our family the pregnancy-birth-baby way. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s all that I had ever known. Adoption was foreign to me. I wasn’t particularly against it, it just seemed like the kind of thing you do as a last resort. All the stories I knew were of people who tried to get pregnant, then tried IVF, and then when all else failed, started the adoption conversation. Adoption was Plan C.
As I continued to pray, God began to rock my world in ways I could not ignore. Suddenly a majority of the sermons, conferences, conversations, and devotionals somehow seemed to relate to adoption. I wouldn’t say there were definitive “signs” (I wasn’t laying fleeces out in my backyard on clear nights) but there were some moments where God was speaking pretty clearly.
I was not being led to a guilt driven “I need to adopt because it’s what good people do“ perspective; nor a “there’s tons of kids in need, so I should save them“ perspective. The thing that I couldn’t ignore-the reality that was shaping my heart- was realizing that I was adopted. Adopted by God.
There’s this beautiful passage in Romans 8 where Paul is speaking to the Roman church about the difference between how the world operates and how Christians operate. He writes: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!”” Romans 8:15.
Abba means “Daddy.” That alone is enough to bring me to tears, but if you consider the Biblical landscape, the scandal of this phrase is profound. This was written in an era where prayer to God was a ritual reserved for the priests, and only after intense purification. Entering before the throne of grace was inconceivable. But something had changed. Jesus had died. The curtain had been torn in two. Jesus had been raised. Adoption was revealed as God’s plan for the salvation of the world, not for Jews only, but for people from every tribe, language, people, and nation.
So the Spirit we receive that gives us life, raising our dead bodies from our graves of sin, is a Spirit of adoption. We are God’s children. He is our Daddy. We have no reason to fear.
I had the Spirit, but I was living in fear. As I cried out to my heavenly Daddy, the reality of my adoption overflowed into a desire to adopt. I wanted to share in this beautiful act, to love as my Daddy loves. Adoption became my Plan A.
One of my greatest desires is that adoption would become an equal opportunity participant at the family growth table. That families looking to grow would lay out all of the potential options: birth, adoption, foster -and pray for God’s will, not their own. Many will be led to start the beautiful story of birth, and many, I pray, will be led to enter the chaotic, yet beautiful stories of adoption or foster care.
Adoption went from Plan C to Plan A. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. And thank God he chose Jabin to be my son - my son, whom I love.
Kyle Post is the staff team leader for Kentuckiana Cru, a parachurch campus ministry focused on evangelism and discipleship. He also does professional wedding photography, custom construction and design (email inquires here firstname.lastname@example.org), and is a podcast fanatic.
Check out an audio recording of this blog post here!