And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Galatians 4:3-7 (NLT)

One of the most amazing and most unfathomable acts of love that God has ever done for us is to adopt us as His children. We are so far below Him, and so far removed from His glory and power, yet He has opened up His family to us. We can come into a close and loving relationship with God.

Our Journey to Adoption

Our church teaches a lot about adoption and orphan care, and as Josh and I have been exposed to the facts and the more personal stories of orphans and adoption, we started to consider a different way of building our family. We always intended to have children after being married for a few years. The more we found out about adoption though, the more we felt that adoption was a wonderful way to build our family.

From the statistical information gathered by UNICEF, there are 14-17 million orphans in the world. With so many children without a family, and with the population of the world becoming unsustainable, adoption became the very best option for Josh and I. We have been reading and listening to a lot of information about adoption. We know there will be struggles along the way, but I think there would be struggles with raising children regardless of how they began their lives in the world.

The Process

When you begin the adoption process, you quickly realize that you have to make some very important decisions before you even start your paperwork. One of the first things we had to do was pick a country to adopt from. We read and made some charts to help us narrow down the list. We felt that US children receive better care in foster homes and emergency shelters than a lot of orphans around the world, and we felt led to international adoption. We discovered that there are some countries that have requirements that we were unable to meet, be it age or weight or length of marriage. We also knew that we wanted a young child, under 3 years old. Those helped to narrow down our choices. After that we tried to pick a country that had a history of stability in their international adoption program with the USA. In the process of research, I read about the number and the conditions of orphans in Russia and felt very strongly about adopting from Russia.

We decided to move forward with international adoption from Russia. We chose a local agency to work with and began the process. We completed a basic application, then an in depth application. We wrote out our life stories. We asked friends to write reference letters for us. We had to choose a guardian for our child in case of our deaths. We had to submit financial statements, physicals, and copies of all of our vital papers.

Currently we are still in our Home Study process. We had a series of interviews with our social worker, and several research activities that we needed to do: find out about Russia, find Russian cultural contacts in our city, research medical conditions that our child has a strong possibility of having (from Russia, that means FASD, attachment issues, and malnutrition). I visited a local store that is run by a Russian woman, and has imports from Europe, including Russia. I also attended the International Women’s Day Party that this store hosted, focusing on Russian culture (although there was entertainment from all over Europe).

What’s Next

After our Home Study is finalized, we will have more paperwork to fill out, for the US and for our Russian dossier. Once our dossier (the huge packet of information about our entire lives that we sent to Russia) arrives in Russia, we will have a 3-6 month waiting period before we receive a referral of a child. We have been told that it is very probably going to be a boy because we are open to either sex. At that point we will travel to Russia and meet our potential child. Then we will schedule a court date, which we will travel to Russia again for and after the court approves, we will travel a third time to Russia to pick up our child and bring him home.

We are excited and nervous, but it is going to be such a wonderful experience. I am already sometimes overwhelmed by all the potential issues we might face, but I know that God will take care of us and our child. He will give us the grace and strength that we need and will protect and provide for us throughout this process and our lives.

Here are some more scriptures about orphans and adoption. There are more: the theme of adoption is throughout the Bible.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26 (NLT)

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1:5-7 (NLT)

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:4-6 (NIV)

Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27 (NIV)