Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
When the doctors told us we wouldn’t have biological children without extreme measures we thought that God must have other plans to grow our family. At that time, we started researching and exploring the possibility of adoption. When it comes to adopting there are three primary options; international adoption, private adoption, and adopting from the child-welfare system. After learning that, at that time, there were 7,000 children in the state of Texas who were orphans and many would never find forever families, we knew exactly which option we needed to pursue. After completing the majority of the adoption process we discovered Toni was pregnant with Miranda, and we were forced to place the adoption on hold. While we were amazed by the miracle, we also knew that God had placed adoption on our hearts for a reason.
Our desire to adopt is more than just the desire to grow our family. It’s greater than our compassion for children in need. Beyond these reasons are underlying Biblical principles that have guided our decision.
First, James, the brother of Jesus, writes that pure religion is caring for the orphans. Jesus himself had a heart for children and said “let the children come to me.” As Christians, we have a Biblical mandate to care for the orphans. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody is called to adopt, but we are all called to orphan care. For some this may mean foster care. For others it means coming alongside a single parent and being a support for their family. Others are able to contribute financially to orphan care organizations. Regardless of what orphan care looks like for you, we should all pursue pure and undefiled religion.
Second, adoption is a wonderful picture of what happens when we trust Jesus as our savior. Paul writes, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5) When we give our lives to Christ we are adopted into the family of God as Co-heirs of Jesus. For us to adopt is a physical picture of a great spiritual truth.
Finally, beyond impacting a child’s life here on earth, we have the opportunity to impact their eternity. As parents it is our job to raise our children to be committed followers of Christ. While we can’t force them to trust Jesus, it is our job to teach them and train them.
This journey of adoption is not an easy one, just as parenting biological children is not easy. However, we feel that God has led us to this place and will continue to provide for us as we passionately pursue His plans for our family.