The Church Family and Adopting Families

Living out the spirit of adoption

Scripture teaches that we are adopted into God’s holy family. The apostle Paul reminds us that we have received a spirit of adoption and we are joint heirs with Christ in the kingdom of God (Romans 8:15, 17). To the church at Ephesus Paul wrote that God knew we would be adopted from the very beginning of creation. Adoption, then, is an action ordained by God, and those who choose to adopt are, in a very real way, living out their call to ministry.

A family may adopt for a variety of reasons. Individuals may not be able to have children biologically, they may feel called by God to adopt, or they may be trying to keep a family intact (for the sake of children with parents struggling with addiction, legal, or medical issues). Whatever a family’s reasons for adopting, the church can and should be a place of comfort and refuge. As a church community we can offer love and support to the family.

1. The church can pray for the family. Prayer is a powerful force and through prayer we are connected to God, but we are also connected to the family we are praying for.

2. The church can learn about adoption. If a family in your church is adopting or thinking about adopting take the time to read books and articles or listen to podcasts about adoption.

3. The church can help with expenses. Adoption can be expensive. Offer to help with a fundraiser. Do a money tree or conduct a rummage sale, or simply give directly to the family. Every little bit helps, and it is always appreciated.

My husband and I are in the process of adopting. We have been waiting a year and a half to be matched with a family, and we know this is God’s call for our lives. Both my husband and his sister were adopted, and we are excited to carry on that legacy of responding to God’s call for adoption. We invite you to prayerfully consider how you and your church can minister to those in your lives who are adopting. Please receive this blessing: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Revs. Christopher and Laura Todd are bivocational pastors in Memphis, Tennessee. Christopher is pursuing his PhD, and Laura is a certified health education specialist. They love watching sports together.

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