The Beauty of Adoption

If Not Us, Who?


Adoption paints a beautiful picture of the gospel—for we were once orphans, but God took us in. He paid the ultimate price to make us His children. So, with an estimated 153 million orphans in the world today, why would many of us in the family of God be hesitant to adopt? What if more people in the church prayerfully considered it? 

In this 11-minute video from The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference, Mark Mellinger sits down with Noël Piper and her adopted daughter Talitha Piper to discuss the joys and challenges of adoption from their experience. Noël Piper is wife to pastor and theologian John Piper and the author of Treasuring God in Our Traditions. Talitha Piper is a student Boyce College in Louisville, KY. 



Noël and her husband were in pastoral ministry and she was working with pro-life groups. But when she felt a growing desire to “do something that involved more of my life,” she looked into adoption.  

What does "ministry" look like in your life right now—at home, church, in the marketplace, in the community? Like Noël, could God be calling you to love and serve in a way that involves more of your everyday life? What might that look like for you?
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Both Noël and Talitha agree that one of the greatest joys of adoption is experiencing the truth of their spiritual adoption. Read the passages below before considering the following questions. 

1 John 3:1-2 (ESV)

1See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.2Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Galatians 4:4-7 (ESV)

4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV)

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


According to these verses, what are the implications of being a son or daughter of God? How could you cultivate an awareness of these truths in your daily life?
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When have you struggled to feel like a child of God? When have you found it difficult to believe that He is a loving Father? What relationships or experiences in your life have influenced how you approach God and relate to Him?
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Noël and Talitha shared some things for families to consider before adopting:

  • Heed the counsel of trusted Christian community.
  • It will be difficult bringing another family’s history into your home.
  • Children will come into the family with emotional challenges.

Despite the challenges, Noël said, “If Christians are not willing to suffer to give a child something steady, who is going to do that?” 

How would your church community respond if you and your spouse told them you were considering adoption? Why?
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What are some reasons you might be hesitant to adopt—age, money, career, ministry, kids, spouse, fear? Why? How did the Pipers' story challenge and encourage you?
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If you do not feel called to adopt, what are some other ways you could support adoption and orphan care?
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When we adopt, we imitate our own beautiful adoption the family of God. Though adoption comes with challenges, God our Father promises to be with us through it all—cheering us on, giving us strength, magnifying our joy, and drawing us closer to Himself.


For more information about The Gospel Coalition, click here