Russell Moore is the dean of the School of Theology and senior VP at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He tells his story, personal and theological, of adopting two Russian children in his new book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches. I come at this from a different angle: Kris and I have never adopted any children, so I cannot speak from experience at all. So, I’m all ears when Russ Moore talks about adoption.
Let’s hear what you have to say about adoption… needs, advice, questions, suggestions? What are the reasons to adopt? What are the challenges? Who has a story to tell? How does our Christian impact the choice to adopt?
Russ and Maria, his wife, went to Russia and found two boys: one boy rocking up and down on the bars of his crib and the other one stroking the mustache on Russ’s face … and maybe seeing a man for the first time. They were lying in their own waste, in squalor, and he and Maria adopted these two boys and made them their own.
Moore’s contention is that adoption is so central to the gospel that the more we are “attuned to the gospel, we’ll have more of a burden for orphans” (18). Russ, himself, had to be talked into adopting by his wife. He now challenges the church to take adoption as a mission.
This book is a rich tapestry of experience — the adoption process and parenting and beyond — and of theology, a constant back and forth of the two. Here are the issues Moore addresses:
1. Are they brothers? how his own rude questions showed him the gospel.
2. Planned parenthood and what’s at stake.
3. Don’t you want your own kids? how to know if you should consider adoption.
4. Paperwork … navigating the practical aspects.
5. Jim Crow and racial identity and adoption
6. It takes a village … how churches can encourage adoption.
7. Adopted as a past tense and how parents etc can think about growing up adopted.