Twenty adoptive parents answered my survey about their adoption experience. First, we’ll see the survey results and their comments. (Some comments are edited for clarity and anonymity.) Enjoy!
1. How many children have you adopted?
- One 35%
- Two 35%
- More than two 30%
2. How old were your children when you adopted them? (Check all that apply.)
- Soon after birth 55%
- Age one to three 35%
- Age four to eight 25%
- Age nine to twelve 10%
- Teenage 10%
3. Did you adopt locally or foreign?
- Locally—from my city 45%
- Locally—from my country 45%
- Foreign 30%
4. Do you have biological children in addition to your adopted children?
- Yes 60%
- No 40%
5. What would you say were your biggest challenges? (Mark all that apply.)
- Behavior (either the adopted child or biological siblings) 54%
- My adopted child doesn’t look like my husband and me. People get confused. 8%
- Physical issues (adopted child) 8%
- My adopted child struggles to feel he/she belongs—emotional issues 31%
- Language barrier between us and our adopted child 8%
- Our family accepting our adopted child 8%
“There was always the feeling of not knowing the biological mother—feeling that maybe the 'other side' would be greener.”
“One adopted child had mental struggles.”
“It became apparent that genetics is a strong factor in the personalities of the adopted children. Also, even at the youngest ages, these children suffer from trauma that has long-range effects.”
“I am a single adoptive parent.”
“We have the problem of people playing favorites. They spoil our adopted daughter, but not our adopted son. (They accept him but don't treat him the same way as our adopted daughter, probably because he is of an ethnicity that is looked down upon.)”
“Our biggest issue was when, as young adults, our children sought out their biological mothers. We were supportive, but we weren't expecting the feelings that emerged from both us and one of our adopted children.”
“It was difficult to relate to/understand their past and what they've been through.”
6. What are your biggest blessings because of adoption? (Mark all that apply.)
- We regard adoption as a ministry. It is a picture of what God did for us. 89%
- We get great satisfaction from the love and joy this child/these children bring(s) to us. 72%
- We were childless before adopting, and now we have the opportunity to be parents. 56%
- We wanted to share our love with orphans. 50%
- We enjoy having a large family. 39%
“I always yearned for children.”
“Our adoption provided a home for a child in a bad situation.”
“We were in love with this child, so we adopted him.”
“It gave us a greater comprehension of what God did (and does) for us as His adopted children. It also enlarged the hearts of our biological children.”
7. How has adoption changed you? (Mark all that apply.)
- It has made me a richer person emotionally and spiritually. 70%
- Adoption has completed our family. 45%
- Adoption has given me a love for needy children. 35%
- Adoption has made me more bitter and impatient. 0%
- Adoption has stretched me in many ways. 85%
“We suffered abuse at the hands of our adopted child, and there was little help or understanding.”
“Our adopted child has kept me young, since I was older when we adopted.”
8. How would you evaluate your adoption experience? (Mark all that apply.)
- More than worth all the paperwork, money, and effort 100%
- One of the most trying things I have ever done 25%
- One of the biggest blessings of my life 85%
- It was not the easy path, but we are glad we did it. 60%
- I feel complete now, because adoption let me be a mother. 25%
- I praise God for directing us to adopt. 90%
Thank you so much, adoptive parents, for completing my survey! I appreciate your responses, but more than that, I appreciate your ministry to these children.
Adoption is the term God uses for what happens when a person believes on Jesus Christ for salvation. It is a powerful symbol of what takes place. Let me share some Bible verses with you.
- For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. . . . But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:14, 15b).
- To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:5-6).
- Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:5-6).
- And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18).
- Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:1-2).
My husband was preaching in Romans and did some research about adoption in the context of Roman law—which was the law at the time of the apostles. At that time, an adoptive child could have even more prestige and privilege than a biological child. The legal steps for adoption were:
- A complete legal rupture with the child’s previous family
- The child is moved officially into the adopting family.
- There were seven witnesses of the adoption transaction, so that there was never any doubt.
God says that when He adopts us into his family, we inherit along with our Lord Jesus—through faith. It is marvelous! It’s amazing!
And, we have the right to go to God and call him “Papa” (or “Daddy”). We have an intimate relationship with our Father. We’re accepted and loved.
Adoption is an important doctrine and image in the Bible. What’s more, it makes earthly adoptions a picture of what God did for us when we trusted Christ for salvation. We were adopted into His family.
I would imagine that, when God adopted us, it wasn’t always an easy road for Him—especially since He hates sin, and we are sinful. But, it didn’t change our state as adopted children, and it never changed His love for us. I am so thankful to be adopted and to have the privilege of calling God my Father!
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9b).