How to Make a Decision With Limited Information


My wife and I are in the process of adopting an infant. Currently, we are reviewing different cases that are coming our way. Our Consultant has simply advised us to review each case and then respond via email with a simple “yes” or “no” to each case. A “yes” response means that we are willing to proceed with the adoption case. A “no” response means that we are not willing to proceed with the adoption case. Often we are given just a few hours to make a decision; and often we have very limited information about the birth mother and our potential baby.

I’m a planner by nature. I love information. In the Army, I was an Intelligence Analyst. I uncovered massive amounts of information, put it together into a presentation, and then briefed the Combat Commander on the situation taking place in his battle space. As a Pastor, I spend approximately 15-16 hours in studying all kinds of biblical information before I present a single sermon to my congregation. I love information. So this whole process of proceeding with an adoption, with very limited information, is definitely putting me outside my comfort zone.

So, what do I do? How do my wife and I make these decisions? How do we respond when the next case comes our way and all we have is the name, age, and ethnic background of the birth mother and a simple due date for the child? Well, I don’t know what the right answer is, but here is what we’ve been doing…

  1. Praying – My wife and I may have very limited information, but our God has all the information. He alone possesses all knowledge and wisdom. So, my wife and I have bowed in prayer (time and time again), asking God for what we want and need most…wisdom and courage.
  2. Trusting – This whole process of responding to adoption cases has caused us to trust the Lord. Sometimes we pray about a case and, honestly, we still don’t have much clarity on how to proceed. Sometimes we’re still left in the dark about how to proceed. So, we trust the Lord and cling to the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6, which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
  3. Deciding – In the end, we just make a decision. In a perfect world, we would have all the information we wanted before proceeding with an adoption case, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Indeed, in a perfect world the process of adoption would be totally unnecessary. So in a very imperfect world, with very limited information, we make a decision, bathed in prayer, while fully trusting the Lord.

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