Adoption and the Destruction of Biological Children
Make no mistake about it, fostering and adoption will destroy you and your family. I had many of your concerns, “What about my biological children? How will they take it? I need to maintain the birth order.” You are right in being concerned. There is no way that adoption will not irrevocably and irreversibly affect your birth children.
About four years ago, “we’d” had enough. Fostering will tax the hardiest of families and “we” needed a break, “we” decided. We would focus on us. I sat everyone down and “we” decided this was the thing to do. I can only imagine God’s amusement as within a week we got the call.
“Baby, there’s two boys at the DCS office with no placement,” Ami informed me during my drive home from work.
“Baby, we talked about this and no. We knew this call would come.”
An hour or so later, “Baby, they’re still there.”
“No! Absolutely not! We talked about this. No. Just no!”
“Okay.” I was intensely determined to “just do us”.
Another hour or two later – it was getting late at this point – “Baby, they’re still there. They just need an emergency placement for a night or two.”
After a sigh of epic proportions just to let everyone know how displeased I was with this turn of events and the deviation from the plan, “Okay! But just a night or two! Just long enough to find a placement.” Reluctantly, I made the short drive to the DCS office with Ami to pick up two young brothers who had been waiting for the better part of 8 hours.
As expected, one day became two and turned to three and still no placement. My ire grew by the hour. We were just going to do us! In desperation I consulted my two youngest teenage daughters. The girls had just recently acquired separate rooms after sharing a room their entire life. They coveted their own rooms and I sought to leverage this angle.
“Girls, if we keep these boys, you guys are going to lose your rooms.”
“Dad, we know. We already moved back in together.”
“Yes! These boys need a home.”
In that instant, the Holy Spirit crushed my heart at the display of my daughters’ Christ-likeness. My resistance crumbled. “Okay, they can stay,” I conceded. Four years later and I am proud to call these two young men my sons.
I’ve tried since becoming a Christian a decade ago to bring my children up in the way of the Lord that when they are older they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) I’ve done my best to teach them what is most important in life and how to live a life of active faith and obedience to the Lord.
Yet, I fail, daily. I am a sinner saved by grace, wretched and self-absorbed in my flesh. One singular action betrays that and testifies consistently to the loving grace of our Lord Jesus, the fact that we adopt. This has been perhaps my most powerful witness to my daughters.
It is hard. I’ll not sugar-coat that truth. We’ve been stolen from, lied to, threatened even. We’ve shed tears, grieved, been frustrated. It’s no fairy tale. Happily ever after seems like a pipe dream on occasion. My oldest son, adopted at 16 from Memphis and deeply immersed in affliction to this day, testifies to this fact.
In fostering and adopting, you immerse yourself into the misery of the human condition. You reach deep into the cesspool of human sin and select one, or many, to rescue from their plight…just like Christ did for you, if you are a believer.
And through it all, our family has clung to the cross and to one another confident in the fact that despite the hardship, all that the Lord has brought have heard and seen the life-changing message of the Lord Jesus lived. I rejoice in that.
I rejoice that my daughters came to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
I rejoice that all of my daughters intend to adopt at some point.
Adoption has destroyed me. More appropriately, the Lord destroyed me, the old me, and made me a new creation in Christ. He did the same with my family, rearranging the entire order of our existence. Adoption is but a natural out-pouring of that newness.
Yes, adoption will affect your birth children…in the greatest possible way. I can think of few other ways to bear witness to the Gospel to your own children than to love another child as if he were your own, to adopt, as you have perhaps been adopted by our heavenly Father.
Considering this, maybe birth order is not so important after all.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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