Can anyone ever really be ready for adoption? Likely not. The adoption process can appear daunting, and here’s the truth—you may never be ready. And that’s okay. We thought we knew what adoption might be like. We talked to other families who had adopted, we talked with professionals in the field, and we prayed about the decision. But until we had our own experience and signed up for the journey, there was no way of finding out. We certainly had our own doubts, fears, and questions. Honestly, I don’t know if I ever would have said I was “ready to adopt.” But what I was ready for was to be obedient to God.
When we started, we knew the adoption process could be complex, expensive, emotional, and filled with decisions we felt unqualified to make. The more we learned, the less equipped we felt. I’ll be honest, there were times it would have been easy to pass on it altogether and dismiss the desire in our hearts to adopt.
While we may have felt underprepared to adopt, we felt fully prepared to be used by God. Both my husband and I knew adoption was meant to be a part of our family, and that was enough to give us the confidence to have faith in each step we took. After almost two years, we brought home our little boy, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way!
So, what do you do when you feel called by God to become an adoptive parent?
1. Pray. Ask God what He wants for you or your family and trust that He knows best! His counsel is perfect, and when we need advice, He knows all things and will give wisdom, insight, and knowledge if we ask for it (James 1:5)! This is the first and most important step in the process. It’s how you know you’re ready, and it’s how you find peace in the process going forward. Psalm 145:17-19 reminds us that the Lord is righteous and kind in all He does and hears the cries of those who call to Him. Start with prayer and ask for God to confirm that you should adopt.
2. Decide what type of adoption you’re looking for. There are so many types, so be knowledgeable about your options. Do you want to adopt locally? Do you want an open adoption or a closed adoption? The list goes on and on. God made us all with different desires and callings. Know what yours is!
3. Make a phone call and take the first step. After deciding on what process you’re interested in, talk to someone more knowledgeable than you about it. This could be a reputable organization or a trusted friend who has done it before.
4. See (and repeat) step one. When you prayed, didn’t God confirm that you should adopt? That’s all you really need. It’s okay to be scared of the unknown, but start running toward the goal anyway—with a deep inner confidence that God’s given you everything you need! And along the way—He’s not going anywhere. If He gives you the strength to start it, He will continue to be faithful while you’re in the middle of it.
No matter how much time the process takes, remember that God never left you to do it on your own. There will be hurdles to jump, tears to cry (both happy and sad), and new stories to write, but trust the Lord who is strong and mighty, and keep walking—one step at a time! Every story is different, so never compare. Have the courage to take the first step and walk your own path!
Our family’s first step was simply calling a local adoption agency that we had heard great things about from other friends who had adopted and asking lots of questions. After that, and about 3,429 other steps, we brought home our baby boy, Axell, and of course, every hurdle was worth it one million times over. What story does God want to write in your life? What adoption process do you need to begin? Begin praying today about what God wants to do in your own family, and follow His lead!
Need help praying about your adoption next step? Start the God’s Got This: A Strategic Plan for Adoption Bible Plan, Ask for Prayer, or watch How to Neighbor.