The church is an organic collection of individual orphans turned adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them as orphans (John 14:8). The reason Jesus was born, according to Galatians 4:4-8, is so that Jesus could redeem us (v. 4); and the reason he came to redeem us is so that God could adopt us as sons (v. 5). The result is that the Father sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts so that we can cry “Abba, Father!” (v. 6).
Now that we are adopted sons instead of slaves in bondage, we have an eternal inheritance through God. It’s because of teaching like this that J. I. Packer wrote in Knowing God,
Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption. . . . If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.
Because God is a Father to the fatherless and a protector of widows (Ps. 68:5), he commands his adopted children—the bride of Christ—”to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). Adopting, assisting with adoption, and foster care are some (though not the only) means of fulfilling this biblical vision and command.
Once a couple decides that they are open to adoption, one of the great fears and barriers is often the financial costs associated with it.
There is no magic-bullet solution. There is an adoption tax-credit for out-of-pocket expenses, though it is scheduled to be cut in half next year.
One ministry to be aware of is the ABBA Fund. They work with individuals and with churches to provide support in fund-raising, receipting, interest-free loans, etc. If you are in the adoption process, considering adoption, wanting to help fund adoptions, or would like to see your church develop an adoption fund, the following summary might be helpful:
What Is the ABBA Fund?
ABBA Fund is a non-profit organization that partners with churches and Christian families to administer interest-free loans to those who want to adopt.
Can Individual Families Apply for a Covenant (Interest-free) Loan Directly with ABBA?
Yes, if they are Christians and if they have completed their home study.
What Services Does the ABBA Fund Provide to the Church?
The church sets up an adoption fund. The ABBA Fund then assists the church in
- reviewing applications,
- qualifying applicants for the interest-free loan (based on preferred financial/spiritual criteria),
- receiving and dispersing funds,
- administering tax-deductible receipts,
- following up for loan repayment, etc.
How Much Does It Cost the Church?
There are no administrative costs for ABBA Fund’s services. They can do this on account of their generous supporters.
How Does Money Get Raised for the Local Church’s Adoption Fund?
There are several possibilities:
- fund-raising efforts,
- special offerings,
- donations, or
- church-budget contributions.