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Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World
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Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Christianity Today:  2018 Award of Merit Christian Living/Dicipleship

In this compellingly readable book Kelley Nikondeha—adoptive mother and adopted child herself—thoughtfully explores the Christian concept of adoption. Her story and her biblically grounded reflections will give readers rich new insights into the mystery of belonging to God’s big family. The Academy of
Paperback, 197 pages
Published August 17th 2017 by Eerdmans
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Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kelley Nikondeha offers us a beautiful and inspiring look at how adoption speaks to us of radical belonging and inclusion - something we could use a lot more of. Kelley and Claude practice what they preach - their home is a place of welcome and inclusion, and they are working in every sphere of their lives to extend Belonging to everyone they cross paths with.

I wondered before I read this, whether it would be as relevant to me, since I'm not adopted myself, and we have not adopted children like
Annie Rim
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kelley Nikondeha's theology of adoption adds new depth the to idea of living out a redemptive faith. From the story of Moses's adoption to Joseph as the adoptive father of Jesus to the fact that Paul calls us into the adoptive family of God, the idea of adoption - of belonging to a family - is part of our human identity. This book is a beautiful intertwining of biblical stories, modern social justice, and Kelley's own experience both as an adoptee and an adoptive mother. Through powerful storyte ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful exploration of the theological and social meanings of adoption and how it can heal some of the wounds of this world. The idea of relinquishing and redemption and mutual choosing—so fantastic. I was teary-eyed at several moments while reading it.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author awas adopted as an infant. She and her Burundian husband adopted two children from a Burundian orphanage. I loved this book, which presents adoption as an aspect of hospitality that goes much further than bringing a child not birthed into one’s family into a forever home. We practice adoption by making a bigger table for those around us, especially those who might be outcast or isolated. After reading Ben Daniel’s Neighbors: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration, I recognize ...more
John Rakshith Prabhakar
An encouraging read if its theology is read with caution

Kelley Nikondeha is a brilliant writer. The ease with which she weaves life story, biblical narrative, lessons from Scripture, and theological implications is masterful. At points, I found myself passionately disagreeing with some of the projected theological implications. Still, I give it 4 stars because the moments of encouragement and edification outnumber those disagreeable moments.
Cara Meredith
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Um, wow. Kelley Nikondeha is one of my favorite new theologians. Jesus the Adopted One, the Gathering God - that right there, I love.
Chari Regina
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Kelly Nikondeha. She is a wonderful writer. In this book that any adoptive family will benefit from, she weaves together her personal narrative with Biblical narrative and thoughts on theology. I didn't agree with everything in this book but I enjoyed hearing her opinions none the less. This book is encouraging and enjoyable, she hits her target audience perfectly.

The publisher provided an ARC through Netgalley. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giv
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was interested in reading this book as I had been looking for reflections on a theology of belonging. I heard (I can't remember where) a quote, perhaps a paraphrase, attributed to Kelley Nikondeha: "Adoption is God's plan for family." Which suggests that we may have an understanding of adoption which is less than ideal in terms of our understanding of family, but as Nikondeha enlightens us, adoption is the model in terms of the supernatural family of God, thus elevating our understanding of bo ...more
Jenni C
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** I was lucky to receive an advanced copy from the publisher for an honest review.

It's not often that I come across authors who challenge and inspire me to re-examine my worldview and theological understanding with such grace and honesty. Kelley writes a compelling work threaded with beautiful stories from her rich experience and deep Scriptural truths to help her readers reimagine their adoption paradigm. Since she can speak both as an adopted daughter and mother to her own adopted children,
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you think this book is just for adopted persons or adoptive parents, think again. Even though I have limited experience with adoption, I found this book to be extremely relevant and challenging. I can't stop thinking about Kelley Nikondeha's assertion that anyone can be family, that Jesus himself was an adopted one, and Joseph the first adoptive father. What a fresh way of looking at the Gospel story and nativity! I highly recommend this book to all who seek to follow Jesus.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I love a book that explores a metaphor about God (think Keeping the Feast by Milton Brasher-Cunningham or Consider the Birds by Debbie Blue or Wearing God by Lauren Winner). This one talks about adoption in beautiful ways for everyone - welcome and belonging and hospitality. I will be thinking about it for a while.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written with thoughtful theological exploration on the meanings and wounds and gifts of adoption. Adoption is God’s plan- the enfolding of each other into our lives despite the barriers we have made. It is God’s plan for us because it is God’s way of loving us, as Nikondeha has written with such care.
Bethany B
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely life-changing, in-depth look at all the aspects of adoption, whether physical or spiritual. Opened my eyes to God’s spirit of adoption at work in me, everyone around me & the world. Easily one of my favorite books ever, will be coming back to read again.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful, moving, and spoke so inclusively about what adoption involves and the heart of God in it. I am encouraged at the exploration she is brave enough to do here. As an adoptive mom myself. I found a call to something greater here. Beautiful, beautiful work!!
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I really appreciated this book, though I think I would have appreciated even more of the author's lived experiences of adoption. Definitely a quality book about adoption but very informed by Christian tradition (though quite progressive). ...more
Lee Pomrenke
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I've been looking for! As an adoptive mom and pastor I've reflected often on theological themes within adoption, but Nikondeha brought in entirely new elements I'd not even considered. I cannot recommend this highly enough! ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Adopted is an important read for adoptive parents and those outside of the adoption world. The story of a adult adoptees are crucial for adoptive parents to hear.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Beautifully written, theologically rich.
Elizabeth Ross
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Beautiful and well written!
Robert D. Cornwall
What does it mean to be adopted? That is the question that Kelley Nikondeha explores in this wonderful thought provoking book. Nikondeha is adopted, and she and her husband have two adopted children. That means she knows what it means to be adopted. While some suggest taht to be adopted is somehow a second class family situation, that is not the case. Writing as a Christian, she reminds the reader that to be in Christ is to be adopted into the family of God. That is, while Jesus might be the onl ...more
Michelle Ule
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting book from many different angles.

I appreciate how Nikondeha takes so many Bible passages and applies them to the plight of the dispossessed throughout the world--whether by being orphaned, losing a homeland, missing community or even simply feeling abandoned.

I learned new insight into familiar Bible passages and was left with lots to think about.

Recommended, for sure.
Christina Causey
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2019
Jesse Holt
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2018
Allison Takats
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Jun 18, 2018
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Feb 20, 2018
Tami Groth
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Sep 08, 2017
Rachel A.  Dawson
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Aug 30, 2017
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Nov 29, 2017
Rachel Ramshaw
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Jun 30, 2020
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Nov 03, 2018
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