Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adoption Questions: Part 1

Baby B 2

Why Adoption?
I know - this is the first question on everyone's mind. My answer is three-fold.

1. We wanted to be parents. We've known for years that it might be difficult for us to have biological children, and we're just not all that interested in walking too far down the fertility treatment path right now. It is an emotional, expensive, stressful time (from what I understand, having watched friends go through it) and we felt that we'd rather just put that kind of time, energy, etc. into an adoption process.

2. We have a heart for adoption. We've always talked about growing our family through biological AND adoptive children. Personally, I've felt a tug toward adoption since I was a teenager. I have wonderful family members and friends who've been adopted. I've watched people from church and work go through the process. And I've known for a long time that I wanted to do it. I believe that God has placed this desire within us, and we're simply walking down the path he has placed before us.

3. I'm adopted. So is Josh. Not in exactly the same way, since Josh and I were both raised by our birth parents.

But God, through Jesus, adopted me into His family.

In Galatians, the apostle Paul talks about the difference between slaves and heirs.

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4-7

Apart from Jesus, I would be considered a slave. I'd have no claim on God's promises, blessings, or family. I'd be an outsider - just like unpaid household staff. And I'd be bound to God's rules for my own salvation.

But since I've accepted Christ into my life, believing that he fully paid for my sins through His death on the cross, and trusting in Him alone to make me right with God, I'm no longer a slave. My standing with God doesn't have anything to do with a list of rules, but rather a relationship with Him through Christ. He knew I'd never be able to follow his law perfectly, and in love sent Jesus to die in my place. Through this I know that I've been adopted into God's family, and can now be considered a child of God. I'm an heir to God's incredible promises. Jesus redeemed me, and in that is my own adoption into God's family.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

I really just think adoption is near and dear to God's heart. He is, after all, called the "Father of the fatherless." And in His infinite wisdom, He placed this particular desire on my heart. And Josh's.

As a follower of Jesus, I'm called to care for "orphans and widows" (James 1:27). The Bible actually talks about this concept a lot. I think part of the reason God asks His followers to do these things is because it gives us a little taste of what He is like. And I'm so excited draw nearer to God through this process. I don't think there is any way this process won't give me a new, unique understanding of my Lord and Savior. And I'm excited for that.

I was recently reading a book (one I highly recommend) about adoption where the author talks about how, on a shelf in his office, there are two hats. One is a black cap from his seminary graduation, and the other is a paper cone birthday hat from his son's recent party. He'd adopted this son years before. He spoke about how, even though he'd spent years studying and learning about God through his seminary education and subsequent ministry, he learned so much more about his heavenly Father through what the birthday hat represented. This image of the two hats just sticks with me.

I hope this gives you a feel about our heart toward this adoption, and this baby.

And I'll continue to answer your (many) questions as best I can over the next week. Thank you for journeying with us.


Short Stop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Short Stop said...

It's just amazing - watching you go through this with such faith and trust in God. I love your perspective, and it's a great privelege to get to share in your journey with you.

Love from all of us.

Lynn said...

Wow!!! This is WONDERFUL news!!! Congratulations! It will be so fun to read about this journey with you. We have several military friends that we met in Korea who adopted girls from Russia. How do you know already that you are getting a boy?

Jaimbob said...

Wow Jess! I didn't realize you guys were already thinking about adopting. Yay for the brown family! I am wondering what cased your heart to move in the direction of Russia? I have a friend here in DC who is in the process of adopting from Serbia. I look forward to hearing more about this! :)


Janine said...

Wonderful thoughts, Jessica. Thank you for the great reminder that, as Christians, we are all adopted! And thank you for sharing your heart with all of us.

Allie, Peeps2 said...

Witte - this is fabulous. We will be praying for you and hope that the adoption process goes smoothly. Dan and I have talked about adopting and think it's definitely a kingdom of God thing to do. I pray for blessings on you as you go through the process to adopt your son!

Tom, Beth, and Ainsley said...

Congrats! I think what you are doing is amazing. Good for you! I hope it all works out, we will be praying for you!

Jenni S. said...

Love how you explained this -- it's so obvious how much thought and prayer you've put into it already. Although, I did a double take when I read the whole you and Josh were adopted. I was like, "There's no way -- she looks too much like her mom!!!" Yeah, then I read on. LOL.

Kristen said...

praying for you as you embark on this awesome journey... thanks for sharing your insights and thoughts with us.

Catherine said...

Yours thoughts are beautiful on the subject of adoption. You will be in our prayers as well as you go through this process. I hope it all goes smoothly!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, I stumbled across your blog somehow through facebook (I met you once through the LeCompte's in MI)and wanted to share an awesome book about adoption that I have read: Carried Safely Home by Kristin Swick Wong. It's about her adoption experience and the spiritual aspects of adoption. It's fantastic. I'm so excited that you are following God's call to care for the fatherless through adoption. What an exciting way to build your family. My husband and I just finished our dossier for a child from China. It can be a frustrating experience - adoption is no easier than fertility treatments - but it will be worth it! -Marie VanderWerp
p.s. I have read countless other adoption books and if you want to talk, I'm at mariehalpin@hotmail.com. What agency did you choose?