by Chris Brown
I remember the early days of our adoption process very well. Dori and I had known since before being married that we wanted to adopt and that the time was now “right.” As we began to sift through the various options and agencies before us, a common, yet daunting question arose with each step, “how will we pay for this?”After years of failed attempts, slow progressions, and discouraging seasons the Lord brought us to Covenant Care. While the cost still seemed insurmountable we knew that Covenant Care would be home for us. So we settled in, working diligently on our application and subsequent home study, all the while attempting to set aside Dori’s paychecks as well as trying our hand at fundraising. We sacrificed. But not us alone, our friends and family sacrificially gave up their own resources—time, energy and money, to help us adopt.
Dori and I had painstakingly worked and saved, our friends had willingly sacrificed for us leading us to this end: one Friday, Dori received a phone call from our caseworker, Beth. Dori couldn’t believe what she was hearing, “A birthmother has chosen you…” That’s all that Dori needed to hear. We were adopting!
Three days later we held our daughter, Piper, for the first time. What a day of rejoicing! Covenant Care encouraged us to share Piper’s story with her from the beginning and so we have done just that. We talk with her about her adoption (although she can say nothing back yet!), we pray for her birthfather and birthmother each night, and we share her story with strangers as the Lord gives opportunity. It’s relatively easy right now, though we know there may come a time where it’s not as easy for Piper. We pray that the “she is so tan” comments won’t break her and that there will never come a time where she feels like she doesn’t belong in our family. But, we know these are possibilities. Adoption comes not only at a great cost to adoptive parents like Dori and I, it comes at a great cost (perhaps even greater!) to those who are adopted, like Piper.
Six months into Piper’s adoption, we had the tremendous privilege of meeting her birthmother. I have never felt such nervousness as I felt in the moments leading up to that meeting. Dori and I prayed, walked into the restaurant, and sat waiting for this woman to whom we owed everything! She sat down, along with our adoptive family caseworker and her birthmother caseworker, and we talked. We laughed; we cried. It was here that I felt the Lord beginning to peel away those feelings of nervousness and anxiety and began to see firsthand the cost at which adoption came to “Momma K.”
In this meeting, I saw the indescribable love that she exhibited towards Piper. I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of how much she had to have overcome, the decisions that she had to make to allow us to raise this daughter that she carried for nine months and how she chose life for this baby. These thoughts consumed me as we carried on that afternoon. The price of adoption for the birthmother is also one of extreme cost.
Adoption is costly—for adoptive parents, for adopted children and for birthmothers. However, this cost is not unmatched. God knows the costly price of adoption. God planned to adopt sinners unto himself long ago, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4-5). He not only planned to adopt men and women, He knew it would cost him the precious blood of His Son (1 Peter 1:19). The Son gave up His life (Ephesians 5:25) so that sinners could be brought into the family of God.
How does the Gospel unite the many different parts of adoption ministry? The gospel is not only good news, but costly news. While adoptive parents give up significant resources, pursuing a child in love before ever meeting them; while adopted children are brought into a new family, perhaps experiencing this at a great cost; while the birthmother has carried this baby to term, chosen life and has willingly given up her own child; our Father in Heaven knows and understands this very well!
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God knows the costly price of adoption. Our Father is intimately familiar with sacrifice, for sacrifice is the heart of adoption as well as the heart of the gospel.