You started your adoption journey with the knowledge that it might not be easy. You prepared for the obstacles you might face: the costs, the waiting, facing rejection before finding your perfect match. As a Christian, you were called to make this life-changing decision, and you knew that with God’s guidance, you could handle anything that stood in your way.
But as the calendar pages turn, and there is still no phone call, the doubt starts to creep in. Why hasn’t anyone chosen us? Is our adoption plan still God’s plan? Maybe we’re not cut out to be parents.
Adoption doubt is completely normal. All parents, whether adoptive or biological, have moments of uncertainty. They wonder if they are ready, if they have what it takes, and if this is truly the right choice. These doubts make you human.
There are many ways the dark cloud of doubt can slip into your mind. It may take the form of questions such as:
- Is there something wrong with our profile, our home, or our life?
- Will I change my mind about adoption?
- What if I’m not a good parent?
- Are we financially ready?
- I love the idea of the child, but will I actually love the child when she arrives?
Fear and doubt can deceive you into questioning your faith. Don’t succumb to negative thoughts or let them knock you off course. You can lean on your Christian faith to lift you out of adoption doubt. Just turn to the Bible for powerful truths about how even the Lord’s most faithful followers wrestled with doubt but trusted in Him to lead them through.
3 Bible Encouragements to Lift You From Adoption Doubt
1. Be Patient Like Abraham and Sarah.
God took a long time to fulfill his promise to Abraham and Sarah. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. However, Abraham and Sarah remained childless as they neared 100 years in age. When Abraham was 99, God told him that he would have a boy. Both he and Sarah showed doubt when they laughed at the prospect of bearing children at their age.
“God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of people will come from her.'”
“Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!'” (Genesis 17:15-18).
God moves in His own time, which can be difficult when His plan does not match the timeline of your desires. He knows the right time, so be patient as God unfolds his plan for your Christian adoption journey.
2. Gain Perspective Like Joseph.
Joseph’s story is a powerful lesson on perspective – on seeing the forest through the trees. If you looked at any isolated moment of Joseph’s life, it would be easy to doubt that God had a higher purpose for him. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. He was then taken to Egypt and forced to work for Potiphar. There, he was falsely accused of assaulting Potiphar’s wife and then thrown into prison.
“As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, ‘This is the way your servant treated me,’ his anger was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:19-21).
Joseph continued to make investments in his faith, even when they didn’t seem to pay off. He knew that all this suffering was part of God’s bigger plan, and holding onto that vision helped him endure.
When you are suffering, it can be challenging to take a step back and see the bigger picture. You may be at a point where you have invested a significant amount of time, money, and hope into the Christian adoption process, and it feels like you have nothing to show for it. Adoption doubt can overwhelm you if you focus on these isolated moments of suffering. It’s important to shift your thinking toward the bigger plan to endure the tougher parts of your Christian adoption calling.
3. Show Humility Like Esther.
Esther reminds us to choose humility over pride.
Esther had risen from her humble Jewish background to become the Persian King’s wife. When her cousin Mordecai informed her of the evil plot against the Jews, he begged her to reveal her true Jewish heritage to her husband and save their people. Esther had a moment of doubt. By telling the truth, she stood to lose her power, her privilege, and even her life. She could have made the prideful choice to turn her back on her people and protect herself, but she did just the opposite.
“‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish'” (Esther 4:16).
Don’t get trapped in a pattern of prideful thinking about your own desires. Remember, this is not all about you. Your Christian adoption is also about God’s higher calling and the life of a child. Like Esther, show humility by trusting in God’s plan.
How to Lift Yourself From Adoption Doubt
Even though adoption doubt is normal, you don’t need to live with it. Here are some ways that Christian couples can take prayerful, mindful action to lift themselves from adoption doubt:
- Be proud of the life God gave you.
- Practice positive affirmations. God has a plan for you. Say it to yourself over and over until it becomes your new pattern of thinking. It’s amazing how positive affirmations can change your outlook.
- Practice gratitude. Make a list of everything you are grateful for. Keep a gratitude journal. Practice gratitude rituals like saying grace before a meal or thanking the people who serve in your community.
- Turn your energy outward. Get out of your own head. Instead of dwelling on negativity in your life, focus on the good you can put out into the world. Bring a meal to a homebound neighbor, volunteer at an early childhood center, or visit a nursing home. Doing God’s work will make you feel good, as well.
- Communicate with your spouse. Be honest with each other about your adoption doubts, and listen without judgment. Consider speaking with a counselor or someone at your church.
- Speak to a financial advisor. If your doubts are finance-related, bring in professional help, and create a realistic plan.
- Speak to other Christian adoptive parents. It can be comforting to seek advice from those who have walked in your shoes.
Put your Christian adoption journey in God’s hands. Liberate yourself from the burden of adoption doubt by reminding yourself that God’s plan is bigger than you can grasp right now. Hand your adoption doubt and fears over to Him, and trust in His plan to lead you through.