I believe that parenting is a ministry. The Lord has given us the mighty task of teaching our children what love is, what family means, and who God is. We are to disciple and train them so they may grow into a relationship with Christ; this is our calling as Christian parents.
Adoption is all of that, and more. There is another, deeper layer. It is stepping into a life that Satan would love to have as his own, and letting Christ use us to rescue this soul. It is a battle.
God loves adoption. He is clear about this in His word, and earthly adoptions are a picture of what God did for us in making us co-heirs with Christ. But only recently have I realized that as much as God loves adoption, Satan hates it and does everything he can to thwart it, to discourage potential adoptive families, and to destroy the relationships and healing that adoption can bring.
Adoption and foster care take a child out of a wounded, spiritually weak family and (ideally) places the child in a family where they can come to know Christ. This may be temporary, or it may be permanent. Sometimes there are also opportunities to witness to the child’s birth family through words or actions. Adoption literally brings the mission field right into your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As parents, we must realize that the more discord Satan creates in a Christian family, the better for him. But this is even more of a reality in the lives of adopted children. I believe that the bigger the potential for a powerful testimony of God’s work and healing and power and grace, the harder Satan fights. I think of what a huge testimony our Lindsey already has — and what even greater testimony she will have as God continues His work in her life. This means Satan has her in his cross-hairs; he would like nothing better that to have her firmly in his control, to have everyone who thought we were crazy for adopting a teen to finally have reason to say, “I told you so,” or “You should’ve known better.”
Recently we’ve experienced this entirely too personally. My heart is breaking for a girl that Satan has fooled. She has believed his lies of not being good enough, of not deserving love. She has given herself over to selfish desires, and has fled from those who truly love her because she has believed the Enemy. She has left in her wake a trail of pain and hurt and countless “whys” that may never be answered. Though not within our own family, this has hit us hard because we love those involved.
In all honesty, as I’ve seen the emotional wreckage left behind, my first impulse was to stop our proceedings on another adoption, and to live in fear that we will experience the same thing with Lindsey. At first, I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to continue promoting and encouraging others to adopt…
But that would be letting Satan win. And I’m not okay with that.
Though he may have temporarily won this battle with this girl, Satan will not win the war. I know deep in my heart that though there are no signs of it now, the seeds planted in her heart by those who love God will eventually grow. She cannot escape God’s love, no matter what she does or where she goes. I just pray that He woos her back to Himself sooner rather than later.
“I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,
for I have paid the price to set you free.”
Friends, this is a mission field as full of need as any other. I’m even more convicted about this now.
You can join in this mission, too:
- Offer emotional support to adoptive parents, and pray for them!
- Give financially to orphanages around the world, or to adoption funds around the corner.
- Pray for the adopted children, and for those still in orphanages or foster care.
- Consider taking on this mission yourself.