The following letter is to inform our family and friends that we’re officially moving ahead with the adoption process. I thought it would be appropriate to share here.
Brothers and Sisters, Family and Friends,
Cindi and I have been married for over three years now, and we wanted to inform you of some exciting news: We’ve decided to adopt one or two African orphans. We’re trying to let people know who will want to know and who will pray.
We’ve wanted to adopt for a long time, but we hadn’t looked into it in-depth because we thought we were too young (Cindi’s 25 and I’m 24). We had always planned on waiting until we were older to pursue adoption. However, we recently realized that we don’t have to be older than we are now in order to adopt out of Africa (or other places).
In case you’re wondering, we’re not adopting because we can’t have our own biological children. We haven’t tried to have children yet, so that’s not the reason. We do plan on having biological children, if the Lord wills. But we’ve never thought that we needed to have a biological family before pursuing an orphan. Some of you might have wanted to ask about this but would have felt awkward bringing it up, so we wanted to be forthright about it and preempt any wondering.
Rather, our reason for adopting is that “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). The need of orphans in Africa is incalculable. Their “distress” is severe. And we have the Gospel, a family, and a home (in that order). Moreover, we ourselves have experienced the grace of adoption, and on a much grander scale. We were slaves of sin, and are now children of God (Romans 8:15). We were dead, and are now alive (Ephesians 2:1-7). God was our Judge, and now He is our Father. We faced a foreboding future in hell, but now we anticipate an abundant inheritance in heaven. God is the Father of the fatherless, and He has made Himself that for us. With all of this in mind, the thought of us not helping orphans is outlandish. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). For us, this means adoption.
There’s one other element at play. God loves diversity, and we love diversity with Him. Jesus Christ is praised in the book of Revelation because, as the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders cry out, “You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). God’s family is colorful, because God is creative and because the bond of Christ is strong. We think this is beautiful, and therefore we desire for our family to mirror this every-tribe-tongue-people-nation diversity. The loveliest family in all the universe is God’s, and its loveliness is well-worth reflecting.
The chief reason why we’re informing of you of our plans is so that you can pray. Please do pray. First, pray for the orphan that God may have for us. Pray for his or her salvation. We are not bringing a child into our American home so that he or she can grow up and live the American Dream. We are bringing a child into our Christian home so that he or she can grow up and learn to follow Christ. Running water, medical care, and a solid education are very good things. But hearing the Gospel, being reconciled to God, and walking the narrow road to heaven for the salvation of sinners and the glory of God are infinitely better. Ultimately, it is not our own child that we’re wanting. We want God to adopt another child through the blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can’t make this happen. So we beg you to join us in praying that He would make it happen.
Please intercede for us, as well. We are not interested in blazing our own trail here. We must have God going before us for this to be a success—a success in His eyes. Pray that our hearts might be pure, our vision clear, our thinking biblical, and our affections heavenly. Pray that He might provide for us, because unless the Lord builds this house, we will labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). Without the cloud and the pillar, we dare not move ahead. Ask Him to give us wisdom in making practical decisions, and beseech Him to give Cindi patience and diligence in doing the boatload of requisite paperwork and administration (she’ll be doing most of it). And plead with Him on our behalf that, when the time comes, we might be parents who parent like He does. There will be hardships along the way. Pray that we might count the cost now, put our hand to the plow, and persevere without a hint of fleshly regret.
Whether you offer one brief petition or decades of intercession, this letter is meant to capture your prayers. We echo the words of Thomas Lye: “I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.”
If you’ve read this far, thank you for reading and for caring. At the risk of boring you, we wanted not only to state the “what” but explain the “why.” If you have any thoughts, concerns, encouragements, counsel, blessings, or prayers, please let us know. If you think of someone who might want to know about this, please forward it to them.
We know that some of you are considering adopting, as well. If so, please let us know so that we can pray on your behalf as we move through the process together.
All of this is if the Lord wills.
Christ Is All,
Gunner & Cindi
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:15-17).