Supporting Adoption (Even If You Don't Adopt)

When I was 18, I spent a summer as a counselor at a local Christian camp.  I could probably write a whole different post with stories of that experience, but there is one conversation I remember vividly.

I had thought I was done with being a counselor for the summer, since I had to prepare for starting hygiene college in a few weeks, but I had this feeling that I should go back just one more week.  I ended up being a co-counselor with a girl named Lindsey - and it was a good thing I went back that week, because Lindsey came down with an awful sickness and spent most of the week in bed, so I was able to take over counselor duties for our girls.  On the last night of the week, Lindsey was feeling better.  As the girls slept in our teepee (we all slept in teepees - it is a really cool camp), Lindsey and I stayed up late talking.  In the darkness, Lindsey asked me "If you could do one thing before you die, what would it be?"

And without really thinking about it or knowing what I would say, the words just came out.  I whispered back, "I would like to adopt a child."  Through those weeks of spending so much time with these girls, I realized I could indeed love a child who was not biologically mine.

Ever since then I have had an internal passion for adoption - but it is hard to put it into words most times, because it is clear that our family is not being called to adopt a child.  At least not right now.

However, over the years I have realized that even though we are not in a place where we can adopt a child ourselves, that doesn't mean that I can't still support adoption.  The truth is that if you believe in Jesus, you are called to care for orphans.  That may look differently for different families, but we are all supposed to do it.

There are a few ways to support adoption even when you don't adopt a child yourself, and I listed a few ideas below.

1. Be excited for those who are adopting.  You have to realize that this is a big deal for families that choose to follow God's call by adopting a child.  This is a brand-new member of their family that is being added!  It's just as big a deal as if they announced they were pregnant.  People often spend more time wondering why they are adopting, or thinking "I could never do that", than being excited about their friend's new child.  That is a pity.  I think a little excitement can go a long way in encouraging the hearts of those who are adopting.  If you want to go all out, consider throwing them a baby/new child shower!

2.  Donate money or hold a fundraiser for a friend who is adopting.  Obviously donating directly is a huge blessing to friends who might be adopting!  Adoption is extremely expensive, and helping financially is a really practical way to get involved.  If you are comfortable, ask your friend if you can contribute to their adoption fund.  There are also many ways to hold a fundraiser if you are organized enough to do it.  I have had friends who did some "spring cleaning" and held a garage sale, then donated all the money they earned to their friend's adoption.  Online auctions for donated items, or giveaways where donations earn entries are also good options.

3. Pray for those you know who are adopting.  Pray that the process would go smoothly, for financial provision, that their wait would be short, and that the Lord would prepare them and their child for the moment they are matched.  Then pray for final legal details to go through without a hitch!

4. Find an organization to support.  If you don't know anyone personally who is adopting, you can still support adoption by finding an organization that supports adoption and supporting them.  I am a Focus On The Family fan, so I would point you there first.  I know you can call 1-800-A-FAMILY and ask to specifically donate to help children in foster care find a permanent family - you can even become a regular donor for that specific cause if you would like!  Or find an adoption agency near you and see if there is a way you can donate or help.

As Christians, adoption should be important to us, because God adopted us as His sons and daughters!  Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, and as a result we are called His children.  He is a Father to the fatherless - adoption is the heart of our Heavenly Father, and it should be in our hearts too.  I so admire those who follow God's example and adopt those children who are in desperate need of a family - what a beautiful picture of what God has done for us.

I hope you find a way to support adoption, and that these ideas help! If any of you have any more ideas or resources, I'd love it if you would share below!

Note: If you would like to help a wonderful family with their adoption, please check out this amazing giveaway on Natalie's blog, She Builds Her Home!  Some of you may remember Natalie from her last blog, Extraordinary Love.  I started reading Natalie's blog several years ago, and I am so excited and proud of her and her family for answering the Lord's call to "care for orphans . . . in their distress" (James 1:27).  So for a chance to donate to place a child with this wonderful family, and for a chance to win some great prizes, check out her giveaway here!
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blessingsandlilacs said...

Callie, I love this post! Adoption is something very dear to mine and Jake's hearts. We were praying and in contact with agencies this summer actually, asking God in what way to start our family: biologically or through adoption. A little positive sign answered that pretty quickly. I sincerely hope to adopt in the future, but love your ideas on how we can support even now!!

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