The topic of adoption has really gained widespread attention in the Christian Community the past 10 years or so with guys like Dr. Russell Moore (former Dean of the School of Theology for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and current President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention) frequently preaching/teaching on it as well as publishing books on the subject. My own heart was stirred radically for adoption a few years ago when I heard a message from Dr. Moore on Romans 8 at my churches Bible Conference. There was such power and passion in Dr. Moore’s preaching for Christians to see the physical adoption of needy kids in light of our adoption into the family of God, that there wasn’t a dry eye in the building as we all yearned to do whatever we could to honor God in the process of adoption (whether that was to adopt kids ourselves, pray for those going through the adoption process, give money to those who are trying to adopt kids, etc.). I wondered if the other voices in the Christian community were as passionate, and biblically grounded, as Dr. Moore, and then I came across the book, A Hope Deferred: Adoption and the Fatherhood of God, by J. Stephen Yuille and I got my answer.
Stephen’s book offers a rare glimpse into the raw emotions of a couple dealing with infertility, then trying to go through the adoption process, then trying to stay faithful to God through the adoption process as it way longer than expected, being granted the gift of a beautiful daughter, only to go back to struggling with infertility, trying to remain patient (once again) through the long and arduous adoption process, and finally ends with the couple being granted a beautiful daughter from the country of China. The whirlwind of emotions that the couple feels is easily felt by the readers since Stephen tries to be as open and honest with their struggles as possible. It is painfully hard for us, as Christians, to be open and honest with our struggles with unbelief in a God who has been so gracious and merciful to us, but Stephen does not hold back with talking about the couples struggles. However, he does a fantastic job of taking his readers back to the Scriptures to find the remedy for all of our struggles, and for that I am truly thankful. The book is not filled with pragmatic or moralistic advice, but is slam full of theologically sound advice that makes much of Jesus and little of man. Talk about refreshing! Christian bookstores are filled to the brim with books that want to help us have our “best life now”, but rarely are they filled with doctrinally sound teaching from beginning to end like Stephen’s book is.
Honestly, the first time I picked this book up I expected it to be filled with a beautiful story of how a family overcame infertility by adopting multiple babies, and how we all could experience the same blessings as well if we would just follow these same easy steps. However, Stephen’s book was a doctrinal smorgasborg that carried its readers through a rich exegesis of Romans 8. Consequently, not only do you get a wonderful story about the Author and his families dealings with the process of infertility/pregnancy/adoption, but you are also driven deeply into the text of Romans 8 and other places of Scripture where Stephen shows the reader the rich truths of adoption and what they mean for the Christian from a Biblical point of view. Even though the book is filled with a serious amount of doctrine, it flows very smoothly and nothing feels like it is forced in order to convict the reader of some truth that they need to know. Also, you never feel like Stephen is talking down to you even though it is quite apparent that he is a very smart guy as it pertains to Biblical truth. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about what the Bible says about adoption, while reading the story of a couple who lived through the process and aren’t afraid to admit their struggles, and then their victories, while giving full glory to God.
I received this for free from Shepherd Press via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for this honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.