Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches

By: Russel D. Moore

This book is an excellent resource and encouragement for any Christian. It is helpful because the world, unfortunately, has always had and always will have orphans until Jesus comes back. Children are fatherless as a result of the sin that entered the world through the fall. We are thankful that he has provided governments and private agencies the ability to send these fatherless children to loving homes but we as Christians have a special calling to create an adoption friendly culture.  In Adopted for Life Russell Moore goes through the practical ways that we can be adoption friendly.

Dr. Moore and his wife adopted two boys from Russia carefully and he accurately weaves biblical principles and theology into his own adoption story. He goes through the ups and downs of their
roller coaster of building their family. That alone is encouraging and shows the work of God in their lives. In the Bible it is stated many times that we are adopted from being orphans into God’s family as sons (Eph. 1:5, Rom. 8:15). This is something I have been mindful of and I thought it was a neat concept. However, after reading this book the concept was made so much more clear. When we are born again into the family of God we can remember leaving behind our old life and following Jesus. This is something that Dr. Moore relates to adopting his sons. He says, “The trauma of leaving the orphanage was unexpected to me because I knew how much better these boys’ life would soon be. I thought they knew too. But they had no idea. They couldn’t conceive of anything other than the status quo. My whispering to my boys, ‘You won’t miss that orphanage’ is only a shadow of something I should have known already. Our Father tells us that we too are unable to grasp what’s waiting for us-and how glorious it really is. It’s hard for us to long for an inheritance to come, a harmonious Christ-ruled universe, when we’ve never seen anything like it.”(page 46) This entire book is filled with Gospel connections like this one. It not only pointed me to desire to support adoption but it also pointed me to worship my Savior who adopted me!

The church also plays a big role in supporting, teaching and pursuing adoptions. Talking about the rarity of focus on adoptions in the church nowadays, he says, “It becomes a focus only when a church member personally faces infertility or knows of particular children without parents. Until then, for most of us, adoption rarely crosses our minds.” He encourages pastors and leaders in the church to make a culture that is hospitable to adoption. Dr, Moore goes through how churches can help or hinder adoptions.

In Adopted for Life, Dr. Moore also goes through the ups and downs of the adoption and post adoption process. He talks about the journey the Lord took him on of coming to terms with adopting his children. Many people are similar, as he was, who think that adoption is plan B, a last resort, or long term babysitting. In regards to this he says, “That’s a common sentiment, one that I shared myself at the beginning. Adoption seems to many infertile couples (including Christians) to be a second-best option for those who can’t in any other way have children “of our own.” He talks about how to know if you or someone close to you is ready for adoption. There are many misconceptions about adoption and Moore goes through these as well and he talks about the correct and biblical ways to think about all aspects of adoption. He also goes through life after adoption and what struggles and joys one might face (both child and parents) giving very practical advice and ways to handle these situations.

Overall, I would recommend this book to almost anyone! Even if adoption is not on the horizon for you, it is still helpful beyond words to go through the theology of adoption (ours and orphans), the church’s role in adoptions, and also to know what happens in the process of adoption on so many levels. Russell Moore is transparent and thorough in the book making his book easy to follow and intriguing to read. This is one of the best books I have ever read!

Book Review by Hannah Ahlgren

You can buy the book here.