The Most Important Question You Should Ask About Adoption


We had many questions when we started seriously considering adoption…
And those questions shifted as we wandered down our adoptive journey and especially as we took a hop of faith toward our second adoption.

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this mini-series, you might want to check out our adoption story before reading on.

I remember the day the packet came in the mail.
It was about an inch thick and it was full to the brim with paperclipped documents and forms that we needed to sign, fill out, and return.

There was also a long list of the 479 hoops (okay maybe I exaggerate a bit) that we would need to jump through before we could consider ourselves “ready” to be matched with a child.

Plus a weighty list of books (thick books) that we would need to read before we could fill out the paperwork, before we could start our homestudy, before we could begin our training classes, before we could do our FBI fingerprinting, before we could make our “family book”, before we could officially be– waiting.

You get the picture.
And the more we dug in…the more questions we had.

Good questions like:

Did we choose the right agency?
Should we go with an international or domestic program?
What age range/gender will be the best fit for our family?
How will our friends and family respond?
Where will the financial resources come from to fund the adoption?
What known risks and health or medical concerns do we feel our family can handle?
Are we open to an open-adoption?
Who will this new little one be that God has planned for our family?
Do we have a good support network?
How can we develop relationships with other adoptive families?
Are we prepared to handle trans-racial realities?
Are we willing/able to adopt a sibling group?
How can we rearrange the house to incorporate our newest family member(s)?
What is our motivation for adopting?
How will this affect our other children?
Are we, as a couple, in total agreement about this?
Why did we give away all our baby stuff !?!

And probably a bazillion more–
Really good questions.

But over time, we narrowed it down to the most important question we should ask about adoption.

The Most-Important-Crucial-Non-Negotiable-Critical-Key-Adoption-Question–

Is God telling us to do this?

Really, that’s it.
It’s just that simple.
Though He commands us to care for the fatherless, He doesn’t direct every single family to adopt.
And as much as I might make a very logical list of all the pros and cons of adoption and timing and hardships and benefits and blessings and…
Again, it really just comes down to–

Is God telling us to do this?
To adopt?

Because we know that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts, so much higher than our thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:9

And when we are weak, then He is strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

Because we know that God can cause all things to work together for good, according to His purpose, to conform us to the image of His Son. ~Romans 8:28 & 29

And sometimes, God’s plans don’t make sense from our vantage point.
Sometimes they aren’t–
But it’s because we can’t see around the corner yet,
And He can.

I’m sure it made no sense to some onlookers when we started our second adoption process, just months after our fourth child died.
But we rested in the assurance that it was from Him.
And He stayed in control of the timing.

“There is unwavering peace today…
when an uncertain tomorrow…
is trusted to an unchanging God.”  ~ Ann Voskamp

Our first adoption took just months (literally…a couple of months).
But our second adoption took a complete year,
Because He was in charge of fitting together the puzzle pieces and He knew we needed that time to walk through some piercing days of grief.
Still, the whole way through, we could rest in knowing–

God is telling us to do this.

I have a friend who is waiting on three children from Ethiopia.
They are around the ages of 13, 5, and 2.
Their current family includes children ages 13, 10, and 6.
In no scenario does that equation add up to a formula for– ease.
But their goal isn’t ease…
It’s living in His will.

It’s living out what God is telling them to do.

If you’re considering adoption, let me just encourage you to make that your most important question.
Is God telling us to do this?

And He’ll answer it in different ways.
Sometimes the answers only come when you start shaking a few doorhandles.
And you just might be like me and Gideon, pleading with Him for a fleece or two. ~Judges 6:36-40
But come to Him with a spirit of “If the Lord wills, we will…(adopt).” ~James 4:15

Because then no matter where the adoption road leads your family…
You can rest in,
And cling to…

God keeps him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on God,
because he trusts in God.
~Isaiah 26:3

Make sure you don’t miss the other posts from this series:

And Then He Told Me That I’m Adopted (our adoption stories)
Helpful Adoption Resources
Living Out-of-Control (and how adoption helped us Let. It. Go.)
Seven Reasons That We Love Adoption (and why I think of it every Day-Before-Thanksgiving


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  1. And that is the right question to ask: “Is God pressing us to do this?” It’s the very thing that helps us keep perspective when we are weary in this…Thanks! <3 Barb

  2. You nailed it. The very question we need to as is just that–“Is God prompting us to do this?” It’s the very question we lean on when we’re having those days that are trying. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Barb

  3. So true! This is something my husband and I are currently praying about… Thanks for sharing this with the Thrive @ Home community, Kara.

  4. You’re right, it really is that simple. Is God calling us to do this? I ask myself that over and over again as things swing up and down with our two fost/adopt girls, now tweens. One ended up needing to be admitted to residential after 8 years of interventions at home that didn’t break the walls she had up. She’s been there a year and a half now and we’re looking at reunification, which is a huge gift from God…. to get our kiddo back, and have more of her present with us. But I get scared… “will she slide downhill again with her aggression and moods?” Then it comes back, again, to that one question. And yes, He is. So I’ll leap into that unknown when it’s time. Would love your prayers!

  5. Kelly Hugger says:

    I’ve known my husband wanted to adopt eventually ever since we got married. I’ve always been resistant to the suggestion, telling him that I’m not ready, and I was unsure if I would ever be. But recently, my heart has been supernaturally expanded and I find myself longing for three more boys…

    Crazy thing is that I already have three boys. Little ones. So small that I consider myself insane for having the desire for more little ones. And so, we’ve stepped forward, our application for Home Study is filled out and we’re praying. This week I have almost daily received unexpected and unrequested confirmations of the answer to that VERY question, “Is God asking us to do this?” Today that confirmation came in the form of this post, expressions of the very sentiments in my heart. And I wasn’t even looking for your blog. I was researching the Passover, of all things unrelated!

    So, thank you for being my fleece today, as you’ve put it. Mysterious, isn’t it, how God places these small miracles in the strangest of places?

    • Kelly…your words gave me chills…and tears.
      I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this and how much it encourages me.
      When God’s fingerprints are all over something… I just love it.
      And I think He loves to do this…gives us the extra nudges we need.
      One of mine was so small…but big.
      There was a list of adoption books I wanted (4 to be exact) and I “randomly” stopped by a Goodwill in an area of town that I pretty much never am in…and in the children’s book section…I found 3 out of the 4 books.
      I almost felt scared to say– “God did this.”
      But…we were praying for confirmations and I knew it was from Him.
      Write it all down. You’ll treasure these gifts to much down the road.
      Excited for you and my prayer is that through this, you will grow to know His love deeper and shine His light brighter.
      Feel free to contact me anytime along the way if you need someone to process with… Love, Kara


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