Why My Decision to Adopt Had Little To Do with Infertility

When we decided to look into adopting through foster care in 2010, we had been married for 22 years. I was 49, and we had no children of our own.

 

Fall 2009

Fall 2009

 

In our 30s we made some efforts to get pregnant through infertility treatments, but to no avail.

During those years two different friends approached us about adopting a newborn. We turned them down. It was not that we were not interested. We wanted to keep trying to get pregnant. But the years continued to pass without any success.

Playing at the beach in Thailand with children from the Mercy Center Children's Shelter

Playing at the beach in Thailand with children from the Mercy Center Children’s Shelter

The last time I gave adoption any serious thought was in 2007 when we lived in Thailand. We looked into adopting a Thai child from a local orphanage. That didn’t get very far.

When I did think about adoption, it usually was a baby or toddler that came to mind.

But, by 2010, almost 50 years old, with plans to go back overseas as missionaries, I definitely wasn’t thinking adopting here in the U.S. I was moving on with my life taking advantage of the freedom I had without children.

Then God grabbed my attention. Danielle’s too. I don’t think she had moved on from the idea of having a family through adoption like I had.

Before I go on, I want to state that I think it is perfectly fine for a couple to build their family through adoption solely based on the motivation of wanting children of their own.

However that had little to do with what God was doing in me.

God directed my attention toward the fact that hundreds of children in my community were in foster care. Many of them were available for adoption.

Danielle and I were attending a conference, Verge, that was about missional lifestyle, both home and abroad. That was February of 2010. I thought it was the perfect place to be to help prepare for our “inevitable” move back to Thailand.

Then we were sitting listening to the Aaron Ivey band share their stories of adoption. Many of the band members had adopted internationally. But then they began talking about the children in our own communities waiting to be adopted in the foster care system.

Whoa! I thought to myself. What does adopting foster children have to do with being a missionary?

God already had me on a journey of obedience. Obedience to the life of a Christ follower. For most of my life I had segregated my “Sunday Life” from my everyday life.

To be fair, if someone asked me if I was a Christian, I quickly replied, “Yes!” However, my life didn’t always show that. If I was honest with myself, I was more interested in serving my desires than God’s.

About 10 years ago, I decided to allow that to change. My intent was for my talk and my walk to be the same. Integrity.

I still miss the mark. That is why I need Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

But here is a simple way that I began to integrate my lifestyle with the teachings of Christ—if He talks about living life a certain way, I allow that to become a way of life for me.

Here are some examples:

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  Romans 13:8 NASB

Instead of reading that during a Bible study or devotion and thinking, “that’s nice, but who really gets totally out of debt these days?” We decided to apply it. It took awhile, but now we are debt-free, completely.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…Matthew 28:19 NASB

Danielle and I began going on short-term mission trips, lived in Thailand for six months, reach out to internationals in our city, etc.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.James 1:27 NASB

I could quote many verses that talk about God’s heart for the fatherless. Interestingly many of the verses also include widows. However this verse throws in “keep oneself unstained by the world.”

Speaks to me about walking the walk.

So, for weeks after the Verge conference, God re-calibrated my thinking about how caring for orphans and at-risk children reflects His heart.

Caring for orphans is one of the most missional things a Christ follower can do.

When you think about foster care, adoption, or orphan care in general in this context, no one can escape the responsibility, especially a Christ follower.

The only question that remained was how would I care for at-risk or fatherless children.

Question – How are you caring for fatherless and at-risk children?

 

If you want to read more of our story of infertility, fostering and eventually adopting you can find it on Amazon—Adopting the Father's Heart

 

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Why My Decision to Adopt Had Little To Do with Infertility

  1. What an awesome legacy of following Christ you will leave to your son! I pray that more people in the Church consider fostering and adoption as a mission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world, especially the little ones who have no one else.

    We currently have 3 foster littles, and the Lord has saved them from a generational curse of drugs and abuse (and general stupidity! HA!). Praying now that we get to raise them in a home full of love and Jesus. =) Thanks for sharing your story and for being part of the blog hop.

    • Thank you Jenni. I would think you already have impacted those little guys in a positive way regardless if they remain in your family or not. Maybe you will even get to have a positive influence on some of his biological family members to continue breaking that curse. God bless you guys!