Question: What do you think about single women (or men) adopting, particularly adopting children with special needs? Is it ok for singles to adopt or would it be better to wait until they are married?
Answer: We are thankful to hear about godly single men or women who want to adopt children with special needs.
Question: How did you know that He called you to adopt? Can you try to explain what that looked or felt like for you? Was it simply watching the video, feeling moved and horrified, and trusting that He would help you figure out how to bring a child home?
Answer: On one hand, I prefer not to answer with old blog posts. On the other hand, I’d rather answer that way than wait until I have time to re-state the old blog posts!
So here is the meat of it, all in one place~
Comment: I understand that it may be the case that the majority of adopting families are Christian, but my family is not…and we are adopting a child with special needs. I don’t think it’s necessarily being a Christian that leads one to adopting a child with special needs, it’s having a special heart.
Response: You are absolutely correct that simply being a Christian is not what leads people to adopting children with special needs, or there would be no orphans with special needs.
*We were told that the number of Christian congregations in the United States outnumbers the number of children in the US foster care system by three to one, so if one family from each congregation adopted one child from foster care, there would be no US foster care system.*
It is much more complex than that, more complex than I could do it full justice here.
A few brief thoughts~
God is the Father of the fatherless and brings orphans into families, whether the families give Him the credit or not. He is not limited to only working with people who acknowledge Him, just like He holds the atoms together and the earth spinning on its axis on its orbit around the sun without most people being aware that they are seeing His power at work. Although they benefit from what He does, they do not recognize Him in it or thank Him for it. I explained more of this Biblical view in the recent post titled, “He rules the world with truth and grace.”
That being said, the high value that the Judeo-Christian perspective places on human life is consistent with adoption of children with special needs, whereas under many other belief systems that type of adoption would be a logical absurdity. It may help also to understand that not all Christians live consistently with a coherent Biblical worldview. Polls have shown that most self-identified Christians in the United States today live off a belief system similar to the secular culture around them, with some religious activities and adornments added to their otherwise secular lives. Sadly, even most of those who mentally assent to a Biblical worldview don’t make their daily decisions from that basis. (By the way, a basic Biblical worldview can be identified and quantified for polling purposes without much difficulty.)
Someone (I’m sorry I cannot remember where I heard or read this) observed that most people in colonial America, Christians or not, lived their everyday lives from a Judeo-Christian worldview, and most people in modern America, Christians or not, live their everyday lives from a secular worldview.
Original source material from history (not edited by moderns for political agendas of their own) clearly shows that since Christ came, when most of the Christians in a given era have made their decisions from a Biblical belief system, they have made a major positive impact on the culture surrounding them.
In contrast, when most of the Christians in a given era were ignorant of the Bible, they subsequently lived like the surrounding culture, at times becoming indistinguishable from it in their lifestyle choices, with negative consequences for the wider culture. We in the United States are, however, still living off borrowed capital from the past, from the results of the Biblical worldview of those who laid the foundation of and built on our culture. Many people take that borrowed capital for granted, and even credit it to basic human decency, but that just shows an unawareness of the larger sweep of history, or of the true reality of thoroughly pagan cultures, which are of course made up of basic humans as well.
To illustrate the difference between simply claiming, and actually living out a Biblical worldview, a self-identified Christian of today could feel an emotional surge of compassion for an orphan with special needs, but because his worldview is secular, not take any actual steps toward adopting the child himself. [Note what I did not just say! I did not say that all reasons for not adopting are illegitimate or unBiblical!]
The desire to preserve one’s own best interests at the expense of helping those who are more needy is totally foreign to Biblical teaching, but it does fit neatly with a Darwinian, survival-of-the-fittest approach to the world. The baba of one of the children in very poor shape in Katie’s former orphanage expressed her opinion that she should not be adopted, and that the parents who are adopting her should choose a child who was healthy instead. This is entirely consistent with what she would have been taught to believe from an early age under Soviet tutelage.
In contrast to pagan thinking and practice, early Christians (for one of many examples) regularly rescued the infants who were thrown away with abandon by the ancient Romans, bringing the babies into their own homes and rearing them as their own children, without regard to whether the children would eventually vindicate their parents’ risky move, and prove to the naysayers that they were “valuable to society” by graduating with honors from Yale University. (Tee hee hee!) There is also no evidence that the early Christians obsessed over whether or not they could provide a better life for the children than the one they would have after being left to die of exposure. Understand that most of the early Christians did not come from the wealthy upper echelons of society. They trusted in the Lord to take care of them and obeyed Him out of love.
It should be mentioned that even seemingly selfless acts can have selfish motivations, such as–but not limited to–being admired as heroes, satisfying some personal need to be needed, getting brownie points with God, or just fulfilling one’s own preferences, as in, “it’s my thing.” We believe that motives are God’s territory, and that includes the purification of people’s motives. We don’t trust in the goodness of our hearts, or see ourselves as special at all. In fact, when I first realized that some people were going to admire us as heroes (I started out thinking we’d be seen as totally crazy!), I began to pray that God would continue to make and keep our motives totally pure.
This is a truly fascinating subject, and I would urge you to look into it further, with an open mind. It’s hard to understand where we are as a culture today, or why we’re here, without learning what came before this time, and how we got here. But modern revisionist historians cannot be trusted to help you understand this, because their belief system allows them to play fast and loose with the truth for the sake of their agenda. They know that if they can convince people of their version of the story of the past, they can manipulate them to come to certain desirable-to-them conclusions in the here and now. It works somewhat like skilled advertising. Get them to accept certain assumptions and they will act in certain ways.
For honest, well-researched, comprehensive treatment of the subject, I’d recommend the author Rodney Stark, maybe his book “For the Glory of God,” or perhaps “The Victory of Reason.” For an accessible, relatively quick and easy read, I’d recommend “How Christianity Changed the World,” by Alvin J. Schmidt. The following is an excerpt from Schmidt to demonstrate why our family would not be considered unusually praise-worthy by other Christians for adopting Katie were we all making our decisions based on a profoundly Biblical worldview:
“It was this callous, compassionless [ancient Roman] culture that the Christians entered. Unlike the pagans, they showed compassion in caring for the weak, the sick, the downtrodden, and the dying, often risking their own lives in the process. One historian writes that the Christians ‘in the midst of manifold and malignant pestilences…did not hesitate to devote their services, and too often their lives to the sick.’ By putting their lives in jeopardy, they took seriously Christ’s command to visit and care for the sick. They understood what Jesus meant when he said, ‘Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’ (Matthew 25:45). They also understood another of Christ’s teachings: ‘Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13).”
This historical understanding is another part of the reason our family does not have inflated ideas of our own heroism, or consider that we have special hearts.
We are, however, thrilled to be allowed a glimpse of God moving among His people, breaking our hard, modern hearts, weaning us off of our diet of artificial substitutes for the real thing, giving us a hunger and thirst for His Word, and a steely determination to live it out.
Yes, Aslan is definitely on the move.
“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
“In service which thy will appoints, there are no bonds for me;
My secret heart is taught the truth that makes thy children free:
A life of self-renouncing love is one of liberty.”