Friday, November 1, 2013

My Spouse Will Never Agree to Adopt (Adoption Fears and Falsehoods Series)

When you're considering adoption, a variety of fears and falsehoods start popping up in your mind. So far I've shared about the following: "We could never afford to adopt!" and "There's not really a need in the U.S., right?" Today I want to touch on another very common hindrance to pursuing adoption. It's this concept:


Ouch. This is a hard one. I've been there. It's a really difficult spot to be in-ready to pursue adoption while your spouse isn't. It's equally difficult to have your spouse ready to adopt when you aren't in agreement. If this is something you're dealing with, you are not alone. I'm serious. I hear from couple after couple that are encountering this same challenge.

I'm not going to sugar coat this; it may take months or even years to work through your disagreements about adoption. But if the Lord is truly calling you to adopt, He isn't just going to call one of you to it-He's going to lead both of you to happily move in that direction.

So what can you do if you and your spouse aren't agreeing on pursuing adoption?  Here are a couple of suggestions:
  1. Pray. Pray for yourself and your spouse. Ask the Lord to give you a humble, patient, compassionate heart. Ask Him to speak to you and help you see your spouse's side more clearly.
  2. Listen. Without accusing or judging, ask for his or her reasons for not wanting to pursue adoption right now. Listen attentively until you can respectfully and accurately articulate their perspective.
  3. Talk. Share your reasons for why you do want to adopt. Ask them if they are willing to consider your thoughts for a couple weeks or a month. Ask if they could agree to truly go before God to pray about how the Lord would lead.
  4. Involve others. We need each other, especially in situations where we're having trouble agreeing in marriage. Together, ask another couple or your small group leader or your pastor to sit down and listen to both sides of the story. Chances are that having someone else listen, pray for you, and help you work through your thoughts will be tremendously helpful.
  5. Wait with faith. It's rare that God changes someone's thoughts and emotions overnight regarding a big decision. Trust that the Lord loves you and your spouse. Trust that He is working for your good even when it doesn't make sense. Keep praying. Keep waiting. Keep trusting.
  6. Act. Find a way to care for children in need even now. You don't have to sit back and do nothing. Is there another family in the adoption process that you can encourage and support? Is there a crisis pregnancy center in your area that you can volunteer for? Can you sponsor a child? Could you and your spouse become part of the "Safe Families" program? Could you make a meal for a family that's fostering?
Maybe you're someone who is becoming weary in the waiting and you feel like it's just too hard to be patient given the enormity of the need for adoption. I want to encourage you and remind you of what you already know. Take this to heart: We can't deny that God is passionate about caring for children in need. James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." But let's not forget the verses that come before that."Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (James 1:19,20) God isn't just passionate about adoption; He is also passionate about being glorified in our marriages, even as we work through disagreements about things that really matter. Adoption matters to God. But your marriage matters to Him so much, too!

So you and your spouse don't agree today on adoption? That is far from the end of your story! Don't give up hope; you serve a God that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-mighty, and is already up to immeasurably more than you could think or ask or imagine.

* Note: with my new blog re-design, the comments section got bumped pretty far down. We're working on that. In the meantime, just keep scrolling down if you want to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

(For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com)

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