“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
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Thursday, April 4, 2013
So What IS Adoption
I have written several posts on adoption over the years including Thoughts About Adoption and The Importance of Adoption and Special Needs.
Today I'd like to share some more thoughts regarding adoption. Is it possible to have any more? Yes. :)
I have read several articles lately about adopting children from terrible places. Many of those children have been literally RESCUED from a life of despair and misery. 2 of our own daughters were in these awful places, and are now home with us.
There is a sentiment that I think needs to be clarified. Some find it offensive for somebody to "rescue" a child. They will say this is no reason to adopt.
Others will say that you are only adding to your family in a different way and if you are adopting for any other reason, you shouldn't.
These are sticky subjects, but I'd like to share my own feelings on the subject.
While I agree that if you are only doing something out of a guilt driven obligation, then please re evaluate what you are doing.
On the other side of that "rescue operation" is an entire life of commitment, and it goes beyond 18 years of age!
In fact, if your commitment to ANY child, biological or adopted is 18 years, please reconsider whether you should adopt OR give birth!
So what exactly IS adoption?
Adoption is to take another child who is NOT born from your body, into your family and GIVE THEM YOUR NAME, YOUR INHERITANCE, YOUR LOVE and YOUR LIFE.....JUST as if they had been BORN TO YOU on that very day!
On the birth certificate, YOUR name is there! It is as if you gave birth to that child! Period.
Your child is GRAFTED INTO your family as a part of a living, VINE. They will bear fruit and thrive in the family. They ARE EQUAL in value just as a child from your body. There IS NO DIFFERENCE and SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENCE!
If you cannot see an adopted child in that light, then please reconsider why you want to adopt.
As far as being "rescued". I can honestly say that YES, our children, especially those who adopt children from some of the most despairing places are PLUCKED out and RESCUED! Had they not been adopted, they would be in mental institutions, tied to beds, drugged, and starved and even worse, NEVER LOVED. :( THAT IS REALITY.
So when you see pictures of my sweet girls, or others who blog about their children.... THEY WERE RESCUED. But that was NOT our focus, nor IS it.
We have never felt our girls owed us anything for bringing them home. Just because a child is brought out of dire circumstances does not give them any obligation towards the family that brings them in. They are hurt and traumatized.
WE as PARENTS have EVERY obligation given to us to MAKE our ADOPTIONS WORK and to KEEP OUR COMMITMENTS that we have made to LOVE and CHERISH our children. In TIME, our children respond to our LOVE and their LOVE for us is truly cherished.
For the couple who is only wanting to add to the family in a different way than childbirth....
KNOW what you are doing! There is nothing wrong with wanting a family, and adopting children if you want a family. But there are no blank slate children, and adoption is the other side of the coin of great loss. Understand that the children you bring home have had a LIFE before you! They will not appreciate you disrupting the life they know, and it IS a trauma for them! Understand that they are not there to fulfill YOUR dream of being a parent. They didn't ask to be an orphan and they didn't ask for YOU to adopt them! DEVOTE yourselves to them and LOVE them unconditionally no matter what. If you cannot accept the possibility of a child having mental health issues , physical issues, learning disabilities, or behavior problems..... please reconsider why you want to adopt. Many parents have biological children with all of the issues mentioned above and they successfully raise their families.
So many potential parents MISS OUT on the BLESSING because of the fear of a special needs child. They walk away or decline a referral because that referral does not match their dream of a family. NO CHILD can meet the unrealistic dream that some have, nor SHOULD they be obligated to. I have often looked in the mirror and asked myself, "Why would my child want ME to be their mother?" "Does my reflection give a child acceptance? Is my demeanor loving?" (I am not talking about beauty) Frown in the mirror, smile in the mirror, show a loving face in the mirror and an angry face in the mirror. Our children sense and see what is in our hearts.
God does not give us children to make our lives smooth. He does not give us children to make us look good. Many of us are surprised by the struggle parenthood brings, but parenthood is God's design. HE designed for us to relate through family. And HE is the perfect example of what we as parents should be; ever patient, ever kind, long suffering, full of mercy and grace, justice and holiness. And we CANNOT do that on our own. We need the Lord and the Holy Spirit to indwell us each and every moment of every day.
God has given us a love to share. He has given us a love for our children before they were our children. Our love for the beautiful picture of adoption is rooted in the fact that GOD adopted and RESCUED US! We were the poor and naked and distraught and cast out, and we didn't even know it. Yet, he dragged us out of our fog into His marvelous light.