• Wow! Just Wow!

    Date: 2013.04.19 | Category: Adoption | Tags:

    After talking with a friend, I felt I needed to clarify what I wrote a little bit.  I am not talking about the adoption agencies, I don’t know these specific families, I know nothing about adoptions in Liberia, or the Magazine Above Rubies, but what I am talking about is how the church was portrayed.  The title says it all “Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession”.  The number of adoptions have fallen drastically in the past few years.  The last thing that needs to happen is for people to be turned off even more to adoption.  The truth needs to be told.  There needs to be lots of information on all sides.  There needs to be safe guards in place to protect all who are involved.  There needs to be lots of support for the child and the family.  But really….how can anyone say that the church is wrong for promoting adoption of the orphan?

    I recently read an article by Mother Jones, that many are talking about, called “Orphan Fever”.  I read this article and was livid.  It makes me angry that people would take something that is good and pick the worst possible scenarios and act as if that is the way everyone who is a Christian feels about adoption.

    I have always taught my children that when they become instantly defensive or angry about something they need to look closely at why they became so angry.  Is it because there is a grain of truth to it and you need to change something about yourself or is it because something truly needs to be defended?  I was obviously upset about this article so I started to look at the reason why I was angry.

    One of the reason I became so angry about the stories in that article is because there are supposed to be safe guards  in place to protect against this kind of thing. No child should end up in a worse situation after being adopted.  The article makes it sound that way for the first family.  My children will be loved and we have more than enough love, resources, people, and abilities to care for them so I know that wasn’t it.

    Another reason is because the article makes it sound like Christians aren’t adopting because they love the child but because they are trying to evangelize them.  I know that doesn’t apply to me.  It’s not that I don’t hope that my children will be saved, in all honesty I do, but that isn’t the main reason we are adopting. We set out to adopt our children after having a true sign.   We knew these were our children.  Each time it was a little different but it was a sure sign.  We loved these children.

    There were many other points in that article that had no bearing on why we were adopting.  So one by one I ruled out the reasons why I would take it personally.

    Which lead me to the real reason it made me so angry.  It made me angry because it shines such a poor light on why the church is promoting adoption.  One of the things I want to do most in the coming years is show the church why it is so important to promote and support adoption.  Many people feel unable to adopt because of lack of support or lack of money or lack of guidance and just plain fear.  God says in James 1:27  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.  The church should be helping people see the need and God’s calling for adoption, but Satan is a crafty little fellow.  He decides “Let’s make adoption and Christians look bad. Let’s really scare people away.”    It’s hard to believe that this could be done yet this article does it.  That is why I was so angry.  It takes away from what the church is and should be doing.  How can trying to help orphans find a family be a bad thing?

    Satan loves to use things like this to make us fearful.  Fearful of what others might say.  Fearful of what others will think.  Believe me I know.  I’ve talked about it a lot lately.  In my post about keeping my eyes on the Lord.  (Blog Post)   And I recently posted about people questioning my daughter about our adoptions. (Blog Post)

    I am beyond thrilled that God has led us to these children.  I realize that our family is unique.  I realize that this is out of the norm.  It just breaks my heart to hear others question it.  Let me rephrase that, I understand if someone is truly asking questions because they want to know.  I’d love to give you statistics.  I’d love to give you a glimpse of just how bad institutional care is for a child.  I’d love to share with you what I’ve seen and how my heart has been forever changed.  I’d love to tell you about how God has led us to these children.  I’d love to share with you just how blessed our whole family feels.  But I know that many of these questions aren’t asked because the person is feeling inquisitive or truly wondering about adoption for themselves.  These questions are asked with disdain and dismay and sometimes outright disgust.   The sad part is I know I’m not alone in being asked these questions,  I’ve read many blogs lately where moms have complained about the questions that they are being asked.  There is actually a whole series of videos on you-tube showing the questions people get asked about adoption. (Video)   What kind of questions you might ask?

    Here’s a list of some of the one’s I’ve been asked recently and yes, I’ve even blogged about that before. (Blog Post)

    Aren’t you done yet?

    Don’t you think you have enough already?

    Don’t you realize what adopting children with special needs will do to our taxes?

    Don’t you realize what adding these children on to your insurance will do to our insurance premiums?

    Don’t you feel bad about not having enough time to spend with each child? 

    Aren’t you worried about quality time? 

    Aren’t you worried about one on one time?

    What about dance and soccer and all the other fun things they won’t be able to do?

    Aren’t you worried about what this will do to your other kids? 

    Why in the world would you get four at once?

    How did you afford them?

    Why didn’t you just adopt from this country?

    And my all time favorite….

    Have you lost your mind?

    Wow!  Really?  How about it I ask you some really personal questions just for the fun of it.  I’ll ask a disparaging question, not because I really want to know the truth but because I feel the need to feel superior to you in some way.   It feels like I’m being attacked for wanting to go to China and get MY children.  Which too me is like someone questioning why I am choosing to carry this baby to term.  I’m not doing this because I’m “addicted” to adoption.  I’m not doing this to feel better about myself.  I’m not doing this to save another soul, though I do pray that is the outcome.  I’m not doing this so I look good in my church.  I’m not doing this so someone will write an article about me.  I’m not doing this for any other reason than these are my children and I would move heaven and heart to get them.  All I want to do is love them.  I want what is best for them and if you think what is best for them is staying in their home country and living in an orphanage, then I’d have to use the same response that Dan gave our daughter, Cassie, to use, “What the heck is wrong with you?”

    Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that the life of an orphan sucks!   It’s not all warm and fuzzy.  Here’s the truth for our Min.  She will be on the street, in a very poor part of the country, without her wheelchair, with no education, no ADA, no disability payments, and NO WHERE to go.  So will she be worried about one on one time or no dance or all the other fun things she might miss out on?  Nope!  I’m pretty sure I can guarantee you that she won’t be.  I don’t gamble but I’d bet money on that one.  She IS my child.  I’m not going to apologize for loving her and caring about her.  Or Let’s talk about my Ben, Eli or Evie?  You think it would be better for them to die alone in an orphanage?  Do you think they really care about soccer or how much one on one time they will get?  They will die ALONE in an orphanage. It’s not a maybe, it’s a for sure.  They have non-fixable heart defects.  No one will be holding their hand. No one will comfort them.  No one will be crying any tears.  No one!  How could that, in any way, sound better than having the love of a family?

    Does it suck that many in China aren’t able to care for their children.  You’re darn right it does.  Does it suck that families feel they have no other choice but to abandon their child in hopes that they get care?  YES!  I hate it.  I wish I could fix it, but I can’t. We are talking about 100’s of years of superstitions.  They believe a child who has a birth defect is a curse to the family.  There are many, many things in their culture that make caring for a child who is ill an issue – money, family beliefs, one child policy, needing a male in the family, etc.   I can’t change China’s policies, but I can help Min.  Maybe someday I will be able to let her family know that she has been taken care of and is loved beyond measure.  I mean they cared for her for almost eight years.  I believe that they loved her and did what they thought was best.  And for that reason, I pray every day for peace for my children’s birth mothers.  I can’t even imagine what that must be like.  I can’t imagine the pain they must be feeling.

    In the meantime, I know that there are many who will disagree with what we are doing.  That is a hard thing to take.  Because how can loving a child be viewed as wrong?  How can trying to make a child’s life better be viewed as wrong?  That is the hard part about being a Christian and living in this world.  You follow God’s lead and do what you believe is the right thing to do and people will still criticize you.  Which is why you always need to keep your eyes on the Lord.  You’d think at this point I’d be okay with this.  People are going to question things.    I should know by now that you can’t please everyone, not everyone is going to agree with you, and not everyone is going to support you.  It just hurts, not because I want them to think more of me, but because I want them to understand how many hurting children there are all around the world.  That is why I started this blog, to show how beautiful adoption is.  I wanted to show how by setting out to bless a child, you end up being the one who is blessed beyond measure.  Children deserve a family and love.  I just want to make others understand that.  I guess that is it.  Think what you want about me but open your eyes to the plight of the orphan in the world.   Do what you can to help another child.  Spread the word.  Satan would love nothing more than for all of us to forget the orphan.  But James 1:27 tells us differently…..this is true religion.