I have been attempting to write this post for a while. Encouraging others to consider adoption is something that can hit some nerves. Some people just don't want to hear about. Some are excited to hear and are considering adoption themselves.....
As I look into the beautiful face of my baby boy I have decided to live life stepping on toes. The statistics on the amount of orphans in the world is overwhelming. I do not by any means believe that it is every families calling to adopt a child but I do believe that it is every families responsibility to care for the orphans of our world in one way or another. And I also believe that adoption is the right choice for more families than choose it. I just can not beleive that it is in God’s plan that so many children remain without loving homes. We are to be God’s hands and feet. We are his solution to the orphan crisis. Adoption will not solve the problem for many of the children that will be orphaned in the years to come. This will take incredible worldwide social change and an end to the events that cause children to be orphaned. We, as the people of God, need to work hard to eliminate the circumstances that cause children to be orphaned. This is the . But for those children caught in the middle, loosing families due to poverty, war, sickness or a number of other reasons, adoption is a beacon of hope. You may not be able to solve the orphan crisis for the millions of , but could you be the answer and hope for one?
Adoption is a beautiful thing. It is an amazing reflection of the love that has been given to us to share with others. We were created to love others. So have you considered? Especially for those of you that are beginning the conversation of "should we have another?" or "are we ready to start our family?". Traditionally, adoption has been seen as a way to grow ones family in the case of infertility. Any reason that a child is provided a loving family is a good one. But I am really encouraged to see how many families are choosing adoption not as their second but as their first choice in growing their family. Have you considered? I mean REALLY CONSIDERED. When you are having the conversation about starting or growing your families is adoption an option that is being discussed? What reasons do you have to push it aside? Are they good reasons? Or does fear and doubt creep in and make you close yourself to the possibility that this may be what God has for your family. Here are some of the reasons we had; or we know others have that cause them to shut the door when it comes to adoption:
“Money” - This was the most difficult thing for us to get past when we were deciding whether or not to adopt. The high costs of adoption seems overwhelming. John was still in school, I was working part time and we had only a couple thousand dollars in savings. Because John was in school, we had access to student loans to get us started. We really questioned if going into debt to adopt was a smart decision but now that I look back, I would go into as much debt as needed to bring a child into our home. We go into debt for much less important things in life. And then the next step for us was to have to rely on others to help us bring our son home. My first phrase in life was "Me do it". I hate asking for help. Raising the money was the most difficult but also the most rewarding part of the process for us. Money is so important in our culture so giving it to others really means something. There were so many individuals that were intimately involved in our adoption process because we were forced to ask for help. And help we received!! From so many places we would have never expected. When you say "we can't afford it" have you really looked at your finances? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for help to give a child a home? Are you willing to make some sacrifices? Maybe now really isn't the right time due to finances, will you consider when you are more financially sound??
“I don’t need to, I can have kids of my own” – So could we. Infertility was not an issue for us. But just because you can, it is the right choice for your family? Is there a child out there that needs you or a mother that is desperately hoping for a to raise the child she can not take care of herself?
“I don’t know if I can love a child that doesn’t look like me” – You can. Love isn’t about looks or blood, it is a choice. Choosing to love brings so many blessings.
“What if they have serious problems? I hear horror stories about adoption” – Yes, there is risk to adopting a child. But there is also risk to birthing a child. You could be given a child with autism, a child with a birth defect, a child with a personality you don’t like, or any number of things by adoption or birth. Having children is risky business. We are all messy. Yes, there are horror stories out there about adopted children. But for every one of those, there are a hundred families that have been blessed beyond imagination from adopting. I can connect you with some of these families if you want to see.
“The paperwork is overwhelming” - Yes, it is...... but so is labor. It is a pain but it is doable. I can help you through this if you need it!
“People are on waiting lists….I hear how long they wait…this must mean there are not enough children to go around….there isn’t really a need for me to adopt” – False. The reason there are waiting lists is because the process to adopt takes a while and getting children through the system in an ethical way takes time. There will always be children out there in need of homes. Telling yourself that there isn’t a need, just isn’t the truth.
“I just don’t feel God calling me to adopt” – This is the only reason that I can hear that makes sense to me. We are not all called to the same things in life. But we are all asked to be open to God’s leading. Are you really open to adoption or does fear make you keep this option out of reach?
I urge you to be open to it. If there is even a part of you that reads this and feels some sort of tugg at your spirit, start exploring your options. Talk to families that have adopted. Spend time with them. Ask questions and be honest about your fears and reservations. Those of us that have adopted probably had the same fears and can share how we stepped past them. Maybe your reservations are valid and they are the reason you will not adopt. Or maybe, this is just the beginning of an amazing journey that God has you on. A journey that will begin with a tugg and end with a sweet child in your arms that becomes your own. A daily reminder that LOVE WINS!