Lizzy Fraser explains the power of importance of adoption from her own experience with her brothers, and adopting two children herself.
How will my children be affected if I adopt? This is a common and valid consideration amongst those thinking about adoption. It is a big decision. However, it really saddens me when I hear: ‘I couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be fair on my children.’ I am one of those children. My parents adopted my little brothers when I was nearing the end of primary school. I will be honest; it was not an easy ride, but it was, without a doubt, a worthwhile one. I have been blessed to have gained my brothers through adoption and I will forever be grateful to my parents for that.
I have also learnt so much about God’s love for us and our adoption by him, through my parent’s decision. So perhaps we are framing it wrong, instead of asking ourselves what potential negative affects adopting could have on our children, perhaps we should consider the many positive benefits it can have for their walk with God?
Fear or faith
Through my parent’s example, I have learnt that we all have a choice: to live in fear or to live by faith. As a parent myself, I know how easy it is to worry about our children, and to want to protect them from life’s difficulties.
Adopting a child into your family is a huge adjustment for your children so it is right to consider how it might affect them. I still remember that feeling of complete overwhelm, when after a week and a half of getting to know my new brothers, they moved in. Forever. Life changed. We went from a family of four to a family of six, literally overnight, and it took a fair bit of getting used to for all of us.
Fear tells us that we should protect our own children, our own family; but for my parents, God had told them to adopt, so they did. They trusted. I am so proud of them for listening to God, when it must have been easy at times to give into fear and doubt along the way.
God has taught me the blessing of unconditional love and what that sacrificial love looks like lived out in challenging circumstances. I learnt so much through watching my parents act in love towards us all. They did not value comfort (their own or their children’s) above Gods call to ‘look after orphans…in their distress’.
Fear tells us that we should protect our own children, our own family; but for my parents, God had told them to adopt, so they did. They trusted.
Called to adopt
It also makes me wonder. If I had grown up without my little brothers, without seeing my parents model how to live a life in obedience to God, showing unconditional love, would my faith be as strong now? My brothers still have a faith in God. I have a strong faith and was called from a young age to adopt myself. I have two incredible children myself now, who I adopted.
Maybe being a ‘good’ Christian parent is less about sheltering your children from the tough things in life and more about helping them to be Jesus in that hard place, build their resilience and never lose their hope.
We can all do something to honour God’s instruction to ‘care for orphans’.
Adoption is not for everyone. But we can all do something to honour God’s instruction to ‘care for orphans’. There were countless people at our church who showed our family love during challenging times. Some dropped off meals when we needed them, some offered childcare, some offered lifts, or a listening ear. We had some fierce prayer warriors behind us too. I still remember these people, over fifteen years later.
Adoption taught me so much; about unconditional love, perseverance in times of trial, commitment, choosing to trust and not let fear rule your life, and the father heart of God: our father through adoption. God is now teaching me loads about his heart for us and his love, through parenting my own two precious children. Adoption truly is a blessing.
If it is something that you are considering; https://homeforgood.org.uk/ offer information and advice on their website, as well as a helpline to call for an informal chat.