We’ve gotten the question plenty of times before. It usually comes with an hesitation, or an apology for intruding. Why did you adopt? Why did you adopt kids with special needs? Why are you adopting again?
Don’t hesitate, don’t balk, don’t apologize. Ask me why we're adopting. I want you to know.
I want to tell it because our reasoning is so intrinsically linked to the most beautiful truth in the universe: that we are (or can be) adopted by God himself.
Just as marriage is designed by God to be a portrait of his love for his people (Ephesians 5:22-31), so adoption is a dramatization of what God has done for his people. Having the privilege of literally saving a little life is amazing, but I want you to know the ultimate purpose behind it. There’s no spiritual brownie points, no guilty conscience, no debt to pay back, no savior complex that drives this. Our heart and hope is that we would put on display the far greater love God has for his people. We want these kids to see it. We want to see it ourselves. We want you to see it.
Cortney asked me one time early in our marriage why I loved her. After considering it a moment, I responded "I love you...because I love you." I had to It's not ultimately based on her beauty, or her character, or how fun she is, or the way she smiles at me (though all those are praiseworthy things about her). I love her because I've chosen to love her. Otherwise if one of those factors changes, then my affection would change.
With Jesus, his love is way better. I wasn't just alone and distant, isolated and abandoned. I was in active rebellion to him. I was engaged in war against him and he saw me, pitied me, and chose to love me. The Gospel is so radical in that it says that there's nothing I did to catch God's eye - no intelligent remark, no cute smile on an adoption website, no prospect of gaining anything from me. He loved me...because he chose to love me. And that imbedded-in-his-character love led him to die on a cross, to pay the price to win me into his family.
I don’t know if our kids will ever ask us about their adoptions. We won’t shy away from telling them about it if they do. I want to tell them why. I want them to understand we loved them, because God first loved us.
We're adopting yet again because we’ve been adopted. We love because he first loved us. I yearn that as we share our love for our kiddos that they would hear, understand, and delight in the far greater love that it dimly mirrors. The love of a Father God who loves, not because of anything we can do to earn it, but because that's who he is.
So go ahead and ask me why we're adopting. Yeah, I really want to tell you about Adley. But more than that I want to tell you about Jesus.