Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts on Adoption

Adoption is becoming or has already become a sub-culture in mainstream Christianity lately and while I'm glad that people are taking adoption and orphan care more seriously, I am often at a loss when someone asks me why adoption is so close to MY heart.

The truth is that there are many things I say about why I am such a huge advocate for adoption, and all the reasons I give are true, but adoption is such a huge issue that sometimes you can come across as trite when you say things like "I feel called to adopt", "Because there are children out there who need homes", and "Because God tells us to take care of orphans", or even "I've known since I was young that I wanted to adopt". The problem with all of these explanations is that the reasons why I want to adopt are so much more complicated than that.

I remember a conversation I had with my Mom when I was about five years old. She explained very simply that there were children that didn't have a Mommy and a Daddy. Five year old me was flabbergasted by this idea "What? No Mommy and Daddy to tuck you in at night?! No Mommy and Daddy to sleep with when you had nightmares?". The consequences of growing up without parents was very real to me in that moment. If five year old me had been able to go collect those children right then I would have mothered them the best way I knew how! I mean, everyone needs someone to tuck them in at night...right?

It seems crazy, but that conversation is really the basis of which my desire to adopt stems. That childlike horror at the thought of a parent-less child and the desire to nurture that I felt as a young child is still the instinctual response I give when people ask "Why do you want to adopt?". Because, let's be honest here folks...the concept of children without nurture is truly horrific.

When I was seven years old, one of my cousins was put up for adoption as an infant. My parents discussed offering to adopt her, but my brother was only ten months old at the time and we weren't in a great position financially, so they decided that it was not an option. My mom was sad and I was sad, but life moved on.
I remember seeing her in the hospital. She was just a quiet little bundle with an abundance of black hair, but she was so precious. I haven't seen her since that day, but I think about her every few months and wonder how she's doing and what kind of person she has become over the years. It hurts my heart a little when I think of the relationship we missed out on and I hope that her adoptive family has treasured her.

The adoption of my cousin solidified the thought that I wanted to adopt. That somewhere out there, there were children who needed a mommy and someday, I would be their mommy.

In the past few years, I've read so many books, articles, interviews, and testimonies about adoption. Seriously, I have a shelf of adoption books on my bookshelf. I've talked to people who have adopted or are in the process and read adoption blog after adoption blog. I know so much about adoption and still there is so much to learn! I've known families that adoption has almost torn their family apart and read all the horror stories. It's a good thing that God calls us to do hard things, because folks, adoption is HARD!

Before I started dating my husband, we had a conversation about adoption. Due to my lack of tact, it came out of my mouth sounding like this "I plan on adopting children. Are you okay with that? If you aren't, we aren't supposed to be together." It's no small wonder he stuck with me!

The Bible talks about adoption/orphan care in several verses.
Psalm 68:5-6 says
"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."

James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

and Matthew 18:5 says "And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."

It's not like God is silent on the issue. Still, I think the most compelling reason I could give when people ask "Why do you want to adopt?" might be "Because I can."

A quote from this blog sums it all up.

"...We adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are the rescued."

No comments:

Post a Comment