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How Do You Know if You’ve Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

It’s Adoption Awareness Month and I have a number of ideas of posts to share for this month. I got a few different questions asked and I plan on answering them all over the next few weeks.

Here’s a peek into what I hope to share (and I’m sure I’ll come up with more):

  • how do you know if you’ve been called to adopt? (that’s this post!)
  • how to get started
  • how long does the paperwork take?
  • what if I don’t instantly love my adopted child?
  • how to talk about adoption with your adoptive child

Let me know if you have other questions you would like answered or topics you want me to cover!


Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


Okay, on to today’s question!


How Do You Know if God is Calling You to Adopt (or Foster)?

I’m just going ahead and adding fostering in there because it is the same answer.

I have two answers to this question: the long one and the short one.


Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?



The short answer is: you usually don’t know if you’ve been called to it.



The long answer is much more detailed.

I pretty much covered this in a post about faithfulness earlier this year but I often go back this line that Francis Chan wrote in You & Me Forever:

Err on the side of action.

If you were to live until 80 and were looking back on your life do you think you would be more likely to say “I wish I wouldn’t have adopted (or fostered).” or “I wish I would have adopted (or fostered).”

I think we often regret the things we didn’t do instead of the things we did do.

And the truth is, if you are a Christian you have been called to help the orphaned and poor.

We are not told exactly how we each are to do this but we are all supposed to be doing something.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27 (NLT)


Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


Some verses that have really stood out to me in the last few years are out of Ezekiel. If you are familiar with the Bible at all you probably know about the story of Sodom. It was a city that God destroyed (you may remember that Lot’s wife looked back while running away and turned to a pillar of salt, cause that’s not normal!). Sodom was a severely messed up city (you can read about it in Genesis 19). I mean, if you read the chapter you can kind of understand why God would want to destroy it.

But, do you know why God actually wanted to destroy the city? It tells us in Ezekiel 16:49-50:

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needyThey were haughty and did an abomination before me. 


That seems crazy. I mean, there were a whole host of guilts I feel like could have been listed against Sodom but what was actually mentioned? Having pride, excess food and prosperous ease and yet not helping the poor and needy.

Does excess food and prosperous ease sound familiar? It should! If you are reading this now it means you have a lot more resources than many people in the world!


What if, instead of waiting until we felt called to adopt we stepped out in faith and started the process and waited to see if God closed the door?

What if we erred on the side of action?


Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?


While some people will feel called to adopt, some will have it on their hearts from childhood, yet others will step out in faith because they believe all Christians are called to help the orphaned in some way and they know they can provide a home for a child who doesn’t have one.

I don’t think everyone needs to adopt (though I would highly recommend it! 😀) but if you are finding yourself drawn to adoption or wondering if it something you are do or are called to I would suggest taking the next thirty days to intentionally pray about it and do some research on the topic.


Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.
Matthew 18:5


If you want to read more verses about orphan care or even pray through them check out this post.

If you would like prayers while you consider what your role should be in caring for the orphaned and poor feel free to leave a comment or email me and I’ll be praying for you!

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  1. God works in funny ways. My husband and I have just recently talked about the idea of fostering someday and then I start reading your blog! Can’t wait to read your experience and learn from you.

    1. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways . . . 🙂 I can’t wait to see where God takes you!

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