In this stage of life, it can be tempting to forget now and then that the reason children are placed for adoption is because there has already been some kind of suffering in their birth parents' lives and in their little lives. And though you don't necessarily realize it at first, adoptive parents are not exempt from suffering either. In fact, in a beautiful way, by becoming adoptive parents we are committing to walk through the suffering with our little ones.
In a great article called No Such Thing as Adoption Without Suffering, Dan Cruver talks about the picture this is of our adoption into the family of God.
The same thing is true of our adoption by God. The adoption to which we were predestined (Eph. 1:5) could not have happened without Jesus redeeming us “through his blood” (Eph. 1:7). There is no such thing as being adopted into God’s family apart from the suffering of Jesus. Jesus cried “Abba! Father!” in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36) so that we could become sons of God who cry “Abba! Father!” by the Spirit (Rom. 8:15). Our adoption necessarily involved suffering—infinite suffering.So if you're waiting for a referral and the journey up to this point has been long and emotionally trying, persevere! Christ suffered on our behalf that He might make us sons and daughters. And He will equip you to do the same as you bring children into your family as well.
Yes, we still suffer, but we do not suffer as those without hope (1 Thess. 4:13-14). Because of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit of adoption, God turns our suffering into a window that allows the eyes of faith to get glimpses of what will one day be.
Though there is no such thing as adoption without suffering, for the Christian there is also no such thing as adoption without glory and unspeakable joy. Right now we live in “the sufferings of this present time” (Rom. 8:18), but there is coming a day when all who have been adopted by God through the suffering of Jesus will “be glorified with him” (Rom. 8:17). We will one day share in the glory of the resurrected Jesus. This means that the day is coming when everything sad will come untrue. This is the good news of the gospel. This is the hope that moves us forward in “the sufferings of this present time.”
So, whatever kind of suffering you are being confronted with in the adoption of a child (whether you are the birthmother, child, or adoptive parent), don’t lose sight of the gospel. Only the gospel can fill you with fresh hope, endurance, and, yes, even joy in the midst of your heartache now. Your adoption by God has profound relevance for the adoption of a child (and all the suffering involved in it).