Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore :: Book Review

I have Missy over at It’s Almost Naptime to thank for recommending this book and letting me know when the Kindle version went on sale for only $3.99. I snatched that deal right up. I have been drawn to the *idea* of adoption for as long as I can remember (at least since high school), but now that I am a mom it’s becoming more than just an idea. I’ve been following Missy’s adoption journey for a year and a half, and in just a couple short weeks she and her husband will be bringing home their new daughter from Ethiopia to join two brothers and two sisters already here. Her story has certainly inspired and enlightened me to the beauty, joy, heartache, fear, love, and blessing that is adoption.

Now, on to the book review.

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore
Kindle version here

In my preview last week, I gave this book 5 stars.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started it, but I quickly found that it was not a handbook on how to adopt a child. Rather, it is an illustration of how our adoption as sons and daughters into the family of God relates to the adoption of orphans into our families. Based on the title, you may think this book is only for families who are considering or pursuing adoption, but you would be wrong. Read on.

Russell Moore does a fantastic job of presenting God’s call to the believer to care for orphans in a very straightforward, yet graceful way. The tone of the book is not at all condemning toward those who do not have adoption on the top of their priority list, but he does implore you to reconsider becoming involved in some way. Moore himself was extremely reluctant to consider the possibility. Once you read his story and dig deeper into the relevance of adoption, you will likely find yourself grappling with how you can and should get involved.

We are invited to explore how “encouraging adoption – whether we adopt or whether we help others adopt – can help us peer into the ancient mystery of our faith in Christ and can help us restore the fracturing unity and the atrophied mission of our congregations.” Adoption is so much more than an *option* for infertile couples or couples who want more children, it should be a part of the culture within our churches that sees adoption as part of the Great Commission and an outward display of the Gospel itself. He urges churches to take the lead in promoting and supporting adoption.

“What if we as Christians were known, once again, as the people who take in orphans and make of them beloved sons and daughters? … Imagine if Christian churches were known as the places where unwanted babies become beloved children.”

A great deal of the book is focused on our understanding of our own identity as sons and daughters of God which came about through our own adoption in Christ. Both the doctrine of adoption and the mission of adoption are explored. I have read Bible verses about my adoption in Christ, but Russell Moore digs so much deeper into that reality than I ever realized was possible. Our adoption as God’s children is not a second-best solution which makes us sort-of sons and daughters. Through Christ, we belong completely to Him and are part of his real family and we have a real home with him. In the same way, when we adopt children and bring them into our family, they belong completely to us as real sons and daughters, not a fill-in or second-best to what we could have had. Adoption is absolutely a picture of the Gospel, in an authentic way – not just as a metaphor.

“The unbelievers in your community – or in the mission fields you serve around the world – are hungering for belonging. You know this. Show them, then, the beauty of what the Scripture says about adoption in Christ.”

This book has so much more great insight that I haven’t even touched on, so go ahead, read it yourself – and be blessed and challenged!