Having been able to bring our adopted kids into our home this year has been both an immense challenge and blessing. Borgman, writing from his own families experience, provides encouragement, exhortation and Biblical perspective for adoptive families who may be surprised that things don’t run as romantically as they may have first imagined when they bring their kids home.
Bergman draws his counsel not just from his own experience, but how the promises of God in the Gospel of Christ have sustained him and his wife through their often difficult experiences.
Nothing has taught me more about the Gospel than adoption. Prior to bring our kids home, the adoption process brought depth and clarity to my understanding of God’s loving pursuit of my lost soul and the immense price He paid to monergistically make me his child.
After bring our children home, I quickly saw the other side of the analogy with our heavenly adoption. I saw myself identifying with my kids in how they treated their adopted parents. Taken from the only thing they had ever known, and having been abandoned many times in their short lives – they now were in a strange new environment, with committed parents who loved them, and loved them enough to give them boundaries. Trust was/is hard and slow. And with out trust came fear and self-reliance. They did not know that I would be there in the morning after putting them to bed. They did not trust that I would come back from work after leaving in the morning. They would not obey a father they did not trust. They had no idea how much I love them. How much we have sacrificed to make them our own.
How often do I treat God the same way?
Bergman’s short book affirmed and reinforced much of what we have been learning as new adoptive parents. Parenting in general and adoption in specific is intense spiritual warfare. Unless we rest in the promises of God and rely on his daily bread, we will and have been wrecked on the rocks of this warfare.
Here are a few quotes that give you a taste of the encouragement this book brings:
When we primarily look at adoption as giving orphans homes, it’s tempting to think of their placement in a home as the happy ending— the child who was without hope and home in the world now has a loving family. Yes, the day an orphan becomes a loved-on child in a permanent family is indeed happy. But let’s never forget that the post-adoption journey always involves some suffering.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 9). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
Adoptive parents are called to step intentionally into brokenness for the purpose of healing. They make boys and girls, whose biological parents cannot raise them, into their own sons and daughters. This is mercy, and it will require a lifetime of ministry.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 47). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
Ask yourself why you pursued adoption in the first place. Did you want a pat on the back? Honor for rescuing someone from a dangerous place? The gratitude of your children? Or did you want to obey God in something you believed he had called you to do? If so, look to him for your reward. You should certainly not look for that from your children.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (pp. 51-52). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
In fact, adoption is war, but adoptive parents must remember that, despite how it sometimes feels, this war is never with the child. Adoption is a war “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6: 12). Satan opposes our mission, parents. He would much rather have children live in abusive and negligent homes or in orphanages— anonymous, unwanted, and largely ignored. And the last thing the Enemy wants to risk is to have children raised in the love and light of Christ’s gospel.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 54). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
Adoption, like marriage and parenting in general, has a way of ruthlessly exposing what is in our hearts. It is a great opportunity for ministry, as we have seen, but that means it is also a great revealer of idols and sinful attitudes.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 60). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
When you have set up the idol of the perfect family in the high place of your heart, you will not only be disappointed with the lack of perfection, you will also see anyone who brings in problems as an enemy.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 64). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
This means that every adoptive parent is each in their own situation and circumstances by the wise, loving decision of a gracious God. That adopted child is yours by a sovereign act of the Lord of heaven and earth, not by chance. During the tough times, we need to remember that God does have a plan for our adopted children— and for us. He never makes a mistake.
Borgman, Brian (2014-09-30). After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption (p. 103). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.