Last week, I had to renew my adoption physical, so I was back to see my wonderful physician. This was not the first . . . or even the third time I had seen her in the last year for something adoption-related. When I told her of our recent frustrations and joys with adoption, she was very candid with me about her own struggles with infertility, and how when she was patient, God allowed her to conceive. Though she had considered adoption, she was so thankful that God had blessed her by being able to give birth to her own children. She talked to me some about local infertility specialists, and she encouraged me not to give up hope of conceiving and to know that God had a plan.
Over the last year as we’ve talked about adoption with friends, many have told us stories of surprise conceptions after submitting adoption paperwork, or made statements of sympathy regarding our infertility. While I so appreciated stories of inspiration, and feelings of empathy, I have to be honest. Our adoption has nothing to do with infertility. For us, adoption is not a plan B.
Adoption is our plan A.
While it may be difficult for others to understand, to me it has been clear since I was a child: I was to leave my home open, so that when the time was right, we could open it to a child or children in need. Sure, it’s taken us a long time to finish our education and find stable employment to create a good atmosphere for having children, but we eventually arrived at the point where we were ready to start building our family — through adoption.
I find the cause of the fatherless to be echoed throughout Scripture — that we are to care for foreigners, orphans, and widows and that turning away from them bears serious consequences. A passage that has consistently inspired us has been in James 1:22-27, NIV.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
We cannot read the consistent theme of caring for orphans that is present throughout the Bible and then turn away as if we havn’t read it. Scripture has been clear, and my calling since childhood has been clear. Making room for orphans in our home is God’s mandate to care for others in the same way He has cared for us.
Recently, a book I’ve been reading confirmed some the same sentiments that I’ve been feeling.
“We look back on slave-owning churchgoers of 150 years ago and ask, ‘How could they have treated their fellow human beings that way?’ I wonder if followers of Christ 150 years from now will look back at Christians in America today and ask, ‘How could they live in such big houses? How could they drive such nice cars and wear such nice clothes? How could they live in such affluence while thousands of children were dying because they didn’t have food and water? How could they go on with their lives as though the billions of poor didn’t even exist?'” — David Platt, in Radical
I’m glad I was able to explain to my physician that our plan to adopt was our first choice. She didn’t need to feel bad or refer me to a specialist. In a sense, God Himself is our fertility specialist. We are expecting children — children on the other side of the world whom God is preparing to bring into our lives at His designated delivery date.
And we couldn’t be more excited about our Plan A.