Brian Borgman, Dan Cruver

After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption

Paperback, Three Ebook Formats
(9 customer reviews)

Foreword by Dan Cruver
What do you do when it’s hard to hope?

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After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption, by Brian Borgman

Endorsed by Jedd Medefind, Philip Darke, Kelly Rosati, Bob Lepine, and more.

Parenting is always a challenge, but parenting an adopted child can have some special challenges. Adoptive parents can experience much heartache and even guilt with their adopted children. Many suffer in silence. Borgman writes with a burden to minister to those who are struggling.

After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption talks transparently and redemptively about the often unspoken problems adoptive parents face. Combining personal experience, biblical wisdom, and a heart for people, Borgman recalls the humbling and difficult lessons God has taught him and his wife. This is not a success story, rather it’s a story of struggles and failures set in the broader context of a God who is gracious and continually teaches us the meaning of adoption.


Brian Borgman is the author of several books, a contributor to the Women’s ESV Devotional Bible, and founding pastor of Grace Community Church, Minden, NV (1993-present). He earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Biola University (La Mirada, CA), a Master of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Portland, OR) and a Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Seminary (Escondido, CA). Brian and his wife, Ariel, have been married since 1987 and have three children and one grandchild.


“Truth-telling that plunges beyond cliche and facade.”
—Jedd Medefind

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“It’s all here — joy, hurt, and longing. And this is precisely what we most need: truth-telling that plunges beyond cliche and facade to speak of both the beauty and the brokenness that so often come woven together in adoption, all of it wrapped round by God’s limitless grace.”
Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans and author of Becoming Home

After They Are Yours is a compelling story about saying yes to God and then watching the Father shape and redeem his sons and daughters through love, grace, and mercy.”
Kelly Rosati, Vice President of Community Outreach, Focus on the Family

“It’s one thing to tell the truth about being an adoptive parent, it’s a whole other thing to peer into a man’s soul as he wrestles with God. After They Are Yours opens a window into the life of a father of an adoptive family and allows you to peek into his mind, seeing snapshots of and watching him grapple with his raw emotions. He’s a husband, a protector and defender of his wife. Oh yes, he’s a father, duty bound to raise up his children to live a disciplined life through discipleship, love and second chances. He’s a man…strong yet weak. The power of his struggle beckons you to pray for the father. This book was a glimpse of how God fights for us and doesn’t let go. I wanted to be their intercessor. After They Are Yours reminds us of the importance of having people who will wrap around adoptive families with support and prayer when a family says ‘Yes’ to God’s call to adopt. It reinforces that God has called for a lifetime commitment when we adopt and that He will be faithful.”
Dr. Sharen Ford, Program Director of Adoption and Orphan Care, Focus on the Family

The decision to adopt is heroic. The reality is often hard. This book does not sugar coat the sacrifice that comes standard with adoption. It will help those considering adoption count the cost. And it will provide encouragement and help for parents who have already welcomed a child into their forever family.”
Bob Lepine, Co-Host, FamilyLife Today

“This book will be a blessed resource for all parents who have adopted or are considering adopting a child. It is rooted in sound theology and personal experience. The author is realistic about the unique and significant challenges faced by those who adopt (‘adopt boldly with eyes wide open’), while also extolling the privilege of reflecting God’s grace by seeking to rescue a child from darkness (‘God enters into this abusive, oppressive family and removes us’). The greatest strength of this book is the transparent way in which the author tells his family’s adoption story. He openly shares his own struggles and sins along with his family’s experiences of God’s grace and mercy. His insights will benefit all parents, not just those who have adopted.
Dr Jim Newheiser, pastor, author, Director of the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship, founding member of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals

“Just as marriage is given to us by God and intended to reflect, however imperfectly, the relationship between Christ and His church, earthly adoption illustrates the glorious work of God’s sovereign, gracious adoption of each of us into His family so that we may cry out Abba, Father! And just as marriage is a marred reflection due to our sinful condition, adoption is fraught with peril and pain along with the joy and gladness.

After They are Yours is a vivid, plain spoken picture of that joy and pain. Would that all the adoptive families I have worked with over the decades could have read this as part of the adoptive process! The book also presents a clear, Biblical teaching concerning a proper response to the difficulties which arise in every adoption and in fact in every parent’s life.

“My wife, Diane, and I have watched this joy and pain and love lived out in the lives of Brian and Ariel and all three of our Borgman grandkids, and can testify to God’s gracious faithfulness and provision for them, and to God’s love of adoption, on earth as it is in heaven!

“I highly recommend this very accessible, truthful picture of adoption.”
Judge David Gamble, elder; President and Trustee of City of Refuge, Gardnerville, NV

“Too many people enter the adoption process with false hopes, images of grandeur, and rose-colored glasses about their future with an adopted child that too often are based on marketing and adoptive parents not sharing ‘the rest of the story.’ The consequences of such misguided beliefs and motives can be devastating to the adopted child and adoptive family. Thankfully, we now have After They Are Yours to protect well-intentioned, prospective parents from the perils of ignorance and prepare them for their future. Through his raw honesty, vulnerability, and insight, and scriptural truths as his foundation, Borgman gives potential and current adoptive parents, and any other parents for that matter, an invaluable resource to ensure that they can enter into the life-changing world of adoption with eyes wide open.”
Philip Darke, President of Providence World and co-author of In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence

“Brian invites us into his family’s adoption journey with refreshingly raw honesty, where he articulates the very real challenges and very real joy found in the day-to-day ‘after they are home.’”
Andy Lehman, Vice President of Lifesong for Orphans and Founding Board Member of the Christian Alliance for Orphans and the Orphan Sunday campaign

“With the explosion of the orphan care movement among evangelicals in recent years, this book provides a timely, much needed perspective on the challenges often facing adoptive and foster parents. As Borgman takes readers on his family’s journey of adoption, he does not hold back on some of his most personal struggles. While some of these anecdotes may be difficult to read, this transparent, gritty story highlights how God loves to take the messiest of situations and then transform them for his glory. This book provides a healthy dose of realism every prospective adoptive parent needs, followed by practical insights and the hope of redemption that is only found in the gospel.”
Matt Oettinger, Campus Elder/Orphan Care Ministry Leader of The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, NC

“Adoption, like missions for so many years before, has been sold to sincere disciples by romanticizing the calling. And as in missions many have flung themselves into the noble life-altering calling of adoption only to find themselves secretly wondering if they have been sold a bill of goods. The prince has turned into a toad. The good news is most refreshing to those who feel stuck in a bad story but are too ashamed and afraid to admit that reality is not that charming. Too often we unintentionally promote noble callings, like missions and adoption, with the lure of prosperity; not because we promise blessing, but because we do not honestly warn of difficulty. Brian Borgman’s book is long overdue. He boldly unveils the secret too many are unwilling to discuss: adoption can be very, very hard. This will be a book that I will buy and hand out to many couples who with starry eyes plunged into the calling of adoption and are now in the full shock of difficulty. They, like Bunyan’s Mr. Ready-to-halt will find in Pastor Borgman a Mr. Great-heart who tells them as the sincere and weary traveler was told, ‘Your travel hither has been with difficulty, but that will make thy Rest the sweeter.’”
Bob Bixby, Lead Pastor of Redeemer Church, Fremont, CA

After They Are Yours is a compelling acknowledgment that parenting adopted children can be uniquely challenging. Brian Borgman lets us step into his family’s experience as he unashamedly shares the joys and difficulties of their adoption story. Pain and loss are an inescapable part of every adoption, and Borgman points us to the gospel that provides both the framework and the fuel that families will need for the challenges that come. Grace and grit indeed; this is an excellent resource.”
Stephen Story, Executive Director of Covenant Care Services


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Weight5 oz
Dimensions0.25 × 5.06 × 7.81 in
Imprint or Series

Cruciform Standard


Print / PDF 978-1-936760-92-3
ePub 978-1-936760-94-7
Mobi 978-1-936760-93-0

US List Price

7.50 Ebook, 9.99 Print


102 pages


Paperback, Three Ebook Formats

9 reviews for After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption

  1. Blog Review

    “I highly recommend this book for those thinking about adopting, those currently in the adoption process, and for those who have already adopted a child.”

    The subject of adoption is one that is very near and dear to my own heart. Two years ago, my wife and I adopted a girl from North Carolina and as a result of that adoption, our lives changed significantly. Many things we thought we were prepared for in reality we were not. Conversely, many things we thought we were unprepared for in reality we were fully prepared for when those events arose. Adoption is very serious, very scary, yet a very rewarding endeavor. Furthermore, adoption has its own set of myths, both good and bad that either drive individuals to or from adopting a child. Brian Borgman, in his excellent book After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption tackles many common issues adoptive parents face while providing valuable biblical guidance on how to deal with problems that will certainly arise while remaining focus on the task at hand as a parent of an adopted child.

    Borgman provides personal insight into the adoption process to include events that took place prior to his own adopted child coming home on a permanent basis as well as the issues his family faced once their child became part of their family. He aptly dispels many common myths while providing valuable tools for adoptive parents to consider and implement. As I read this book, I was struck by the commonality of Borgman’s experience with his adopted child mirrors that of our own. While the specific events may be quite different and the respective children’s pasts not quite the same, nonetheless, the underlying issues he faced are essentially the same my wife and I face both prior to our adoption process being finalized and even to this day. Thus, everything Borgman states in this book had personal significance and applicability and I would venture to say that anyone who has adopted a child will have the same experience when reading this helpful book. On more occasions than I can count, as I read something Borgman said it was as if a light was shone into some areas of concern and struggle for my wife and me.

    One prime example is found in Borgman’s chapter on adoption as a ministry of grace. He rightly notes “Adoptive parents are called to step intentionally into brokenness for the purpose of healing.” For those who may forget the long term nature of this healing process, Borgman reminds them “it will require a lifetime of ministry.” This is an important truth for adoptive parents to remember. There have been many times when in the chaos of a day, my wife and I have forgotten the ministry of grace aspect of adoption.

    In the midst of the arguing and frustration, in the throes of the battle, adoptive parents must be mindful as Borgman saliently notes that “parenting is both ministry and spiritual battle.” Furthermore, adoption is in and of itself spiritual warfare. The enemy is never the child. The enemy remains that despicable Enemy of old, Satan who detests the very thought of a child being rescued through adoption. Borgman’s statement, “the last thing the Enemy wants to risk is to have children raised in the love and light of Christ’s gospel” truly resonated with me as it reminded and refocused what adoption is all about, namely reaching out to a lost and hurting child to bring them to a place of love, protection, and belonging.

    This reaching out to a lost and hurting child is exactly what God has done for us as His children. This reality is also driven home by Borgman throughout his book and rightly so. We often forget that what God has done for us should be in turn reflected in how we understand the adoption of a child. In those “what if” moments as Borgman describes them, those times when you may question why you adopted this child who is throwing a tantrum, being willfully disobedient, or who seems to have issues that are taxing every fiber of your body, it is vital to remember what God has done for us. Moreover, as Borgman so wonderfully comments, “During the tough times, we need to remember that God does have a plan for our adopted children – and for us. He never makes a mistake.”

    Borgman also brings a very practical set of tools to bear for those times when you feel like throwing up your hands or when you encounter issues that seem more you can handle. One important aspect is that of the need to avoid escalation and provocation. Adopted children by definition come from hard places. The escalation and provocation issue was quite massive in my own home in the first few months after our child came to live with us on a permanent basis. Despite all of the pre-adoption training we received, we were relatively unprepared for the authority battles and quite honestly, when such situations arose, we took the wrong tact more often than not. The principles Borgman shares such as taming the tongue, avoiding escalation, and most importantly seeking wise counsel are truly invaluable and should be noted and applied immediately by all who read this book. There are many who have traveled down the road of adoption and who can share their valuable experiences. Borgman does wisely note it is important to be careful who you choose as to provide counsel and advise with the necessary focus being on a couple who are “spiritually mature and realistic.”

    I highly recommend this book for those thinking about adopting, those currently in the adoption process, and for those who have already adopted a child. Borgman’s personal stories repeatedly hit home, the guidance he provides is biblically sound and extremely practical, and this book will assuredly be a blessing to those who may feel as if they are overwhelmed in the daily grind of what is often involved with adopting and raising that adopted child.

    Mike Boling, Intelmin Apologetics

  2. Amazon Review

    Encouragement While in the Trenches

    Having adopted three siblings from the state 4 years ago my husband and I have wrestled with many emotions and thoughts. This book is so raw and real that it spoke to me on every page. I know Brian and his wife and are so thankful for their transparency and encouragement through this sensitive subject.

    The truth is, when you adopt, you want everyone to see Jesus in the act. But the fear comes when you think all anyone ever sees is the evil in our own hearts.

    Thank you Brian and Ariel for loving Jesus so much that you shared this book with us. Thank you Alex for just being you. Thank you Borgman family for trusting in our Precious Lord for all your strength and wisdom. You all will never fully know how much this book is encouraging and loving to those in need.

    Jesse L. Nuckolls in a 5-star Amazon review.

  3. Amazon Review

    If you have adopted children, or are considering adoption, this book is for you. Brian Borgman not only tells about his family’s trials and blessings with adoption, but intertwines the Gospel and how God has adopted his children. This book will encourage you if you have struggled with the hardship of adopting and it will give you biblical, Godly wisdom if you are considering that road in life.

    Ashley F., in a 5-star Amazon review

  4. Amazon Review

    Brian easily could have been writing my family’s journey through adoption.

    This book is a must read – especially for anyone who has ever adopted or is considering a child through the DFACS system. Brian easily could have been writing my family’s journey through adoption as well. It is so uplifting and affirming to understand that you are not alone and others have gone through the same experiences you are facing. THANK YOU for sharing your highs and lows in such a personalized story!

    Ginny Kiepper, in a 5-star Amazon review.

  5. Amazon Review

    A Must Read for Any Wanting to Foster and/or Adopt.

    So clear and encouraging. Very much to the point that adoption is hard, but well worth it. Also in that we must rely on God to do good to children in need of love and a home. So glad this couple shared their story, but remembering that our own adoption sorry isn’t finished yet. Only God knows and has planned the outcome when we trust Him and step out in faith to minister to the needy.

    HKW, in a 5-star Amazon review.

  6. Amazon Review

    Short, easy and powerful read.

    This book was a captivating read and both convicting and encouraging in its presentation. I was continuously struck by the transparency of Brian Borgman in his failings towards his adopted son and how the learning curve in parenting an adopted child can be quite sharp. We are not adoptive parents ourselves but are open to adopting down the road. This book helped me view the issues at hand with greater clarity and to also have greater empathy to the particular challenges that adoptive parents face. The book continuously points to the power of the gospel to enable adoptive parents to love their children with understanding and see life through their eyes. I would highly recommend this book for adoptive parents as a source of encouragement and a primer for those considering adoption.

    EricJoleen, in a 5-star Amazon review.

  7. Amazon Review

    Incredibly well written!

    Pastor Borgman gives a clear understanding of the trials that come with the blessings of adoption. A must read for anyone considering adoption. Incredibly well written!

    Carissa Feathers, in a 5-star Amazon review

  8. Amazon Review

    A wonderful, realistic book

    A wonderful, realistic book that weaves honest, personal anecdotes about adoption with a solid biblical foundation. It will surely comfort many parents.

    K. Tkaczyk, in a 5-star Amazon review.

  9. Blog Review

    If you don’t want to cry, don’t read After They Are Yours: The Grace And Grit of Adoption. What a powerfully moving, deeply personal, and transparently realistic story about the challenges of adoption.

    With the permission of his now 18-year-old adopted son, Alex, Pastor Brian Borgman narrates the struggles and successes of adopting Alex as a young child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    The beautiful glory and grace of adoption is present throughout; but so is the grit and grime that the devil often throws in and stirs up in adoptive families. It reveals “the other side of adoption” that some adoption advocates and some adoption books ignore, minimize, or gloss over.

    But this book is not just for families considering adoption or those struggling with adopted children, it’s also useful for pastors and Christians to better understand the needs of adoptive families in our congregations. Indeed, any parent who struggles with unruly children would find this a helpful book as Brian so honestly describes both his painful parenting failures, but also how God led him to wiser and more skillful approaches to disciplining his children.

    This book will move you to prayer, not just for Brian, his wife Ariel, and Alex, but also for all adoptive parents and adopted children everywhere. Above all, it will move you to praise for the God who adopts children with far worse conditions than Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and who so patiently and perfectly disciplines us every day of our rebellious lives.

    David Murray, Head Heart Hand blog

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