The urgent need of adoption echoes throughout our entire world. Unfortunately, the need is so great that it’s beyond what most can really comprehend. We forget that attached to each number is a face, a story, a soul.
The amount of children who need the protection of trustworthy, reliable, and loving parents is overwhelming. In the United States, the most recent data tells us that there are more than 427,000 children in foster care. Of that number, just over 110,000 are waiting to be adopted.1
In North Carolina, the number of children in foster care hovers at 10,500. This is a 25% increase over the past five years, a rate of growth that has led state officials to call it a “state of crisis.”2
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to shine light on the desperate need of our nation’s children to be loved, protected, and cared for. As a Christian organization, the topic of adoption is especially meaningful to us. Our belief in the value of life at every stage has been (and always will be) the driving force behind our care for our clients.
This “state of crisis” should bother everyone. But this crisis should especially bother Christians, and here’s why:
God cares for orphans
Biblical scripture is filled with instances where God cares for, protects, rescues, has compassion on and speaks up for the fatherless. This is extremely significant because Christians, by definition, are called to be like Jesus in every way. Russell Moore, in his book Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches, puts it this way:
“God everywhere tells us he is seeking to reclaim the marred image of himself in humanity by conforming us to the image of Christ who is the image of the invisible God. As we become Christlike, we become godly. As we become godly, we grow in holiness—differentness from the age around us. This God-imaging holiness means, therefore, an imaging of God’s affections, including his love for orphans.”
In other words: God cares for orphans, and so should his people. If we don’t, then there is a problem.
Adoption is the gospel
As Russell Moore puts it, “The whole universe is…an orphanage. But then there’s Jesus. When we were still orphans, Christ became a substitute orphan for us.” This is where the beauty of adoption lies. Christians know and believe that all people were meant to have a relationship with God. Sin (rebellion against a holy God) has separated all people from him. We are now spiritually without a father, without a home, without a future.
When Christ came to earth, he lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death to pay for sin, and then was resurrected, reuniting with God all those who believe and receive salvation. Because of Jesus, we are adopted into the family of God and now have the hope of heaven (an eternal home and inheritance).
Christians believe that adoption here on earth is a picture of the spiritual adoption every Christian has experienced. Moore says of this picture, “Think of the kind of credibility [earthly adoption] lends to the proclamation of [the] gospel.”
We as Christians can’t help but be affected by adoption, because we have been adopted. Adoption is our story, and that knowledge compels us to play a part in earthly adoption, as well.
Adoption is warfare
When the current condition of foster care is referred to by state officials as a “crisis,” they are more right than they could ever know. Any situation where children do not have a stable home or family is tragic, to be sure. But it is ultimately symptomatic of a much deeper tragedy: humanity’s separation from its true and rightful heavenly Father.
Adoption turns that tragedy on its head and says, “No more. Never again will you wonder where you belong or who will love you. You have a new name, a new family, a new future. Forever.” Adoption is the bullhorn through which the gospel message can be proclaimed throughout Greensboro, throughout our country, throughout our world.
Adoption is not just a good deed, an act of charity, or “the right thing to do.” It’s a fierce and victorious battle cry, a proclamation of the freedom and family that can be found only and forever in the name of Jesus Christ.
So what does this mean for you?
So should every Christian go out and begin the adoption application process right away? Probably not. But should every Christian play a part in the story of adoption? Absolutely. All believers have a role in the global story of adoption, whether that be through fostering and/or adopting a child themselves, or counseling, praying for, or financially supporting others who will.
Apathy towards the local and global need of adoption may indicate a deeper apathy towards spiritual adoption. If you’ve never considered how you could or should be involved in this issue, the time to start is now. Begin by learning about the needs in your own community. You can find information about the needs in Guilford County here. Another wonderful resource is the previously mentioned book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore.
And of course, another practical way to invest in adoption is by getting involved with the Care Center. GPCC works daily to empower women to choose life for their unborn children and to become parents themselves or to bravely place their children for adoption.
The need to protect and care for children in our world is urgent. Apathy and inaction are not options for the Christian. What can you do to bring an end to this “state of crisis” in Greensboro?
Mary Holloman is the Communications Assistant at GPCC. She has a ruggedly handsome husband, two ridiculously cute kiddos, and an unfortunate weakness for Diet Mountain Dew. You can read more from her at her blog, AllMySpringsBlog.com.