Adoption Cost

I'm sitting at my daughter's piano recital thinking about the cost of adoption. Don't judge me. I was fully engaged for the three minutes she performed, but what about the other 87 minutes?

I could be sleeping, like all the other dads. I’m tempted to take a picture so you can see what I’m seeing. I’ll finish writing this blog instead.

We’re getting closer and closer to holding our little Korean child in our arms. I love hearing our kids pray for their Korean brother or sister to “get to us quickly.” We know that God is orchestrating events in this child's life to bring him or her to us.

We still have a lot to learn about adoption (and the costs), but we have discovered a few things.


Adoption Costs More Than Money

Just like anything you do for Jesus, it will cost you. Here’s the breakdown: it will cost money, certainly a lot of time, definitely some energy, and surely some emotion, convenience, and normalcy.

Some people have a fairy tale picture of adoption. They think the song Oh, Happy Day! is always playing in the background. The first plane ride will crush that picture. It’s more like Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting. Adoption isn’t a fairy tale; it’s warfare. As Tony Merida put it, “Adoption care isn’t easy; My wife never considered cussing until we adopted.” And she's a pastor's wife!

Parents who adopt and foster don’t change clothes in telephone booths or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but they have a calling to step up where others have stepped out.


Adoption Costs a Lot of Money

“Can you afford to adopt?” We can’t afford not to! Actually, most adopting parents can’t afford to adopt—and live the same life they’re living. There are sacrifices.

There are 153 million orphans in the world. If orphans were a country, they would be the ninth largest. Our family cannot solve the global orphan crisis by ourselves, but we can do something! One adoption doesn't change the world, but it does change that child's world.

Why aren’t more people adopting? Some of our friends just adopted and it cost them $50,000; it cost another couple $40,000.

Some of you reading this are praying about adopting. I want to let you in on a little covert operation: All adopting families are secretly praying their friends will adopt as well. You may be asking, “Are we crazy thinking about adoption?” Yes! you are. But so was the Father of the fatherless when He sent His own Son. Crazy love explains why God forgave us and adopted us. Crazy love leads someone to a cross to die for sins. I’m not going to put on a front before you: crazy love is expensive. It will cost you!


Adoption Costs a Year’s Wage; Abortion Costs Less Than a TV.

Why is adoption so expensive and abortion so cheap?

I love the church God has called me to pastor. There's already an adoption and fostering culture in it. I’ll never forget when my wife walked in the door and said that a friend of ours in our church told her, "If you need financial help with the adoption, we want to help.” We are not going to take them up on the offer, but it meant more than they will ever know. God has supplied for our adoption.

That’s what a church should do. When families decide to adopt or foster, there should be a village laboring together to get that baby home!

A church should not only be strong against abortion, but be active in adoption. Churches, my plea to you is that you champion life and do it loudly—but don’t fail to adopt the millions of children whose mothers did not abort them.

It cost $350 to have an abortion. Honestly, if the roles were reversed and adoption only cost $350, I'm not sure we would see a big difference in the number of adoptions. Money is not the issue; motivation is. Let me try to bring some motivation to you . . .


Adoption Cost God His Son

Our adoption will cost us all of $40,000—that's a lot. Actually, that’s nothing!

It cost God the death of His Son to adopt us. A little green paper is nothing compared to that sacrifice!

You can’t put a price-tag on something of infinite worth. Tony Merida has it right: “The deepest and strongest foundation for adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans.” God is relentless in His pursuit of His adoptions.

Our Korean adoption is bigger than our family. We’re participating in a grander picture. God is a Father to the fatherless. When someone adopts a child, it's a shadow to the reality of a heavenly adoption.

Adoption is a real-life illustration of the gospel. He loved us like His own, because He went out and made us His own! He brought us to His table when we didn’t have seat. 


Adoption Will Cost You If You Act on It

Sarah and I are not humanitarians. We are a family trying to live out the Gospel. We have three amazing biological children. We're passionate about adoption because of theology, not biology.

Caring for the fatherless is a new focus in our life. If it becomes your focus you may:

1.     Consider adopting.

2.     Consider fostering.

3.     Give some money to a family who is adopting. (Not us, though; God’s already paid for it out  of His bank account.)

4.     Raise awareness.

5.     Develop a fund.

6.     Host orphans.

7.     Begin to read a book on adoption (Perhaps Adopted for Life by Russell Moore or Orphanology by Tony Merida).



A Couple of Ex-Orphans Adopted by God’s Grace

We're Adopting!

We’re thrilled to begin our adoption journey. When we told our daughter Everly that we were adopting she immediately said, “I want a sister” (she already has two brothers…we feel her pain). Our son Weston wanted to “trade in” his little brother for a Korean. We told him it didn’t work like that.

Many people ask, “What makes you want to adopt?” Here’s why:

1.    We are motivated by Theology, not Biology.

Most people assume infertility as the reason for adoption. We didn’t know if we could have biological children because Sarah had leukemia when she was a child. The doctors had warned her that the treatment may affect whether she could have children.  We always knew this and kept adoption “on the back burner.” Fast forward 7.5 years and we have three amazing biological children.

Biology is not our motivation–theology is. We are adopting because we were adopted. Spiritually, God adopted us and brought us into his family…not because we were good, but because He is gracious. We had nothing to offer…nothing to bring to the table–and He still said, “I’ll make you my child (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).” God’s an adoptive Father.

2.    We are motivated by the Global Orphan Crisis.

There are 153 million orphans in the world. If orphans were a country, they would be the ninth largest. Many of these kids end up “aging out” of the system. 60% of the girls who age out become prostitutes. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

We can turn our head, plug our ears, and walk away, but that doesn’t change reality. Life can quickly become very indulgent and very narrow. The global orphan crisis bothers us because it bothers our heavenly Father.

3.    We are motivated by Exposure.

We met orphans…and it changed us! We have close friends who have adopted internationally from the Congo, others from South Korea, others who are providing transitional foster care, and others who adopted domestically. We have family members and friends who have helped to start orphanages in the Philippines and in Cambodia.

My wife has been exposed to orphans from a young age. I did not have that exposure until the last couple of years. I thought I was a pretty spiritual person. I could name famous pastors and theologians and had the privilege of meeting a few them. I could name all types of theology books, but I could not name an orphan. That bothered me!

God has a plan to care for orphans–it’s called His people. When we deserved to be left lying in our sin–God came and adopted us.