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Have you ever prayed with God for something that almost felt dangerous? A prayer that is one that if God said yes, it would completely change your life forever? The kind of prayer request that you know you could only do with His guidance, truly allowing yourself to surrender to Him? Yet you know in your heart that when you are praying, that God is calling you towards this direction?

Adoption of a child can be that terrifying, yet incredibly powerful and selfless prayer. It's a calling God chooses for many of us if we only will take a moment to listen. He will show us when it is time, and you will feel in your heart you are making the right choice despite your doubts. Here are signs you are being called to adopt.

You understand that not everyone is a fit.

It’s common to hear young Christian couples say, “one day, we’d like to adopt.” It’s almost a cliché. In our good desire to care for orphans, we shouldn’t enter thoughtlessly into adoption. It is something we should consider with God and really plan ahead for. The adoption process, and even more so adoptive parenting, takes certain skills and strengths. It is not enough to have “the right values” of compassion, patience, open-mindedness. Adoption is not just another way to serve God by doing good deeds. You would be responsible for taking care of another one of God's children.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, we are reminded to work together to build up Christ’s body here on Earth: "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” In this passage, we are reminded that each of us is given different gifts. Continue to be prepared to do inner-reflection on if your gifts are the right fit.

You know you can love a child that isn't biologically yours.

Adoption can be an amazing way to realize your dreams of becoming a parent and sharing your life with a child, but it will not satisfy dreams of being pregnant or giving birth. Before you pursue adoption, you have to be certain that you are ready to love and accept an adopted child as your own, regardless of where he or she came from biologically.

Many couples to adopt because they have discovered they are infertile. Infertility can be a difficult situation to accept, and it is normal for couples to experience a period of grief and loss. Before beginning your adoption journey, it is important that you and your spouse have both moved through the grief process and have fully embraced the decision to adopt. It's normal to mourn the idea of not being pregnant, but still feel excitement from the idea of having a child that is not yours. Try talking with an infertility, marriage, or adoption counselor to help you through this process and ensure you are both ready to fully commit to adoption.

You are financially stable.

Whether you pursue a domestic or an international adoption, there are adoption costs you must prepare for, including medical, legal and travel expenses. While you can never be perfectly stable when it comes to finances, there is a fine line between being barely able to afford your current lifestyle, much less an additional mouth to feed. God might be calling you to adopt still, but wants you to set yourself up for success first. Reevaluate your budget and make changes as necessary.

You have done your research.

You and your spouse should have a thorough understanding of what adoption or foster care entails. Before determining that you’re called to adopt, it would be wise to attend local classes, read several books, and make intimate friendships with other adoptive families. It’s important that you understand adoptive children’s experiences of loss, grief, and trauma. You’ll also need to be aware of what will be required of you as you seek to help your child and stay emotionally healthy as a family. Once you have completed these steps and still feel confident, it’s a sign God is pulling you in the right direction.

You feel ready to adopt, no matter what obstacles you face.

Adoption can be a complicated process which is why you need to be committed from the very beginning. One of the biggest signs that you’re ready for adoption is that the potential challenges don’t deter you. If you’re truly ready to become parents through adoption, you’re ready to face any difficulties you encounter, because you know it will all be worth it in the end when you have your perfect little bundle of joy. You feel confident that you have God backing you, and additional support from friends, family, and your church.

You have the patience for the process.

The adoption process can be long and, at times, difficult. Completing a home study, waiting for a match and meeting prospective birth parents can be overwhelming and discouraging. These should be seen as exciting steps to becoming a family despite know you will have to wait in God’s timing. You don't have to have the patience all the time, however you and your spouse should understand that it could be months, maybe even years before you actually are able to bring a child into your home. 

As Christians continue to welcome orphaned and abandoned children into their lives, homes, and churches, we show as a community to the orphaned world what it looks like to be loved unconditionally by the Lord. Adoption is a beautiful and selfless way to grow your family and strengthen your relationship with Christ. Don't be afraid to take that next step, and bring home a child who needs you.

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