How Adoption Shows the Gospel

Megan Moore

Contributing Writer
Published: Oct 16, 2022
How Adoption Shows the Gospel

... The story of adoption touches the eternity set in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) by reflecting the story of the gospel.

Adoption stories tug at our heartstrings because they speak to something deeper, something bigger than us. They are about families stepping out in faith and taking a chance and innocent children being loved and cared for as they should be. Beyond that, the story of adoption touches the eternity set in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) by reflecting the story of the gospel. Adoption is an earthly example of God’s redemptive plan for all of us. 

Miracles amid Pain

The original plan of people was set in the Garden of Eden, walking and communing with God. But humans made some choices that messed that up (Genesis 2:4-Genesis 3:24). So then there was a plan of redemption, through Jesus, to unite us back to God (Romans 5:10), just like the best plan for children is that they are in healthy, stable, loving families. But humans have messed that up. God, remaining faithful, again created a plan of redemption through adoption, bringing children back to the family design He created. 

I have a son, Seth, who was adopted from China. I will not share his whole story because it is only his to share, but it is a given that the story includes pain and loss. We must not let the depth of the tragedy of adoption become lost in the beautiful miracle of it. The pain is what leads to the miraculous. Thus, we must not forget the miracle of God’s abundant grace in that “while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The pain is our sin; the miracle is His forgiveness. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). 

Painful Situations

Orphans are children whose birth parents live in war-torn areas that are too dangerous to raise children, where disease ravages bodies and water is unsafe to drink (if it's even available), where medical care is a privilege reserved for only the richest few, where severe discrimination leads to joblessness and homelessness, where governments dictate who can have children and how many.  

Orphans are children whose parents have died due to some kind of tragedy, many of which we would not tolerate in this country. 

Orphans are children whose parents have made the intentional and unfathomably painful decision to allow their children the opportunity to be adopted into a family that will present the child with options beyond what the birth parents can offer. 

Adoption often starts from a place of incredibly heart-breaking love. 

Just like we are living in a world where evil is present, and pain is frequent. 

A world where Jesus told us that we would have troubles (John 16:33).

Where our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Where Jesus Himself had to experience the agony of being separated from His Father as our sins were heaped on Him, and He “cried out in a loud voice… 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46

Painful Choices 

Yes, there are some truly horrible parents in the world who have done unspeakable things to their children who are now orphans, and that particular adoption story doesn't seem to start from a place of love. Some children come from abuse, drugs, and neglect. These children experience more loss in their first few years than most of us will in a lifetime. They are also wrapped up in God’s redemptive plan. 

Though we have all been harmed by others (Genesis 50:20), hurt by ourselves and our own choices (Romans 7:21-25, Romans 3:23), and daily experience the negative results of a sinful world, “...the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

It Starts with Pain 

Adoption only comes from a place of pain. It may end with love and happiness and security and success. But it only always begins with pain. We get to step in and try to heal some of that pain for our sweet boy. By the grace of God, he will be healed, and he will be happy, and his life will be filled with blessings. He is not his history, but it is a piece of him. A painful piece that can be hard to reconcile that still does not indicate what his future will be. People do not need pity, but their stories, strength, and resilience should be respectfully recognized. 

If you pause and reflect, our salvation only comes from a place of pain. The pain of sin, of separation from God, of Jesus’ death on a cross. As believers, it will end with love and happiness and security. But it only always begins with pain. By the grace of God, we are healed and saved and have an eternity in heaven. We are not our sinful ways. We suffer the consequences, but they do not indicate what our futures will be. God is with us through the pain. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.” (Psalm 138:7

But Then We See the Miracles!

Here's the flip side, the side we are more comfortable talking about:

What an awesome Plan B God created! He's so good at redemption, isn't He? In a broken world with all of that hurt, with children going through all of that pain, God creates the idea of adoption. He tells us to care for orphans (James 1:27) because He knows they are vulnerable. He knows they are the future. He knows that people need family. God put in our hearts this desire and orchestrated our lives to be in this place for this child. He has brought us together as a family because it is the next best thing to being with a birth family. Oh, that He would continue to move for the many, many orphans around the world! That governments would process paperwork and work ethically, that all children who don't have families would get one, and those first families would be able to care for their children. 

Just like when “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Because “once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22.) 

We are all blessed to see God's hand at work in adoption, but we acknowledge that it begins with hurt. We are forgiven and saved, and ourselves adopted as children of God (Ephesians 3:20), but we acknowledge all of the pain inflicted on us and that we have been responsible for. We should not deny the pain. We will not deny the pain. Because our God makes beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3).

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/PIKSEL

Megan Moore is a military spouse and mom of 3 (through birth and adoption). A speech-language pathologist by training, she now spends her time moving around the country every couple of years. She is passionate about special needs, adoption, and ice cream.