A common statistic thrown around is that 95% of people who think about adoption end up not adopting. That’s a huge number. I didn’t believe it at first. But today I think I do….. I’ve talked to so many people who have thought about adoption. I don’t just mean they thought: That’s a nice idea or If I can’t have my own. I’m talking about people who look at pamphlets. Contact friends. Browse waiting child lists. Those people are the ones who are saying no.
If you are on the fence about adoption – if you have questions or concerns – if you feel the Spirit’s gentle tug toward adoption – if you have this urge in the pit of your stomach thinking, maybe I could do this….
Here is what I would tell you:
First, adoption isn’t for everyone. That sounds a little harsh. But not everyone is cut out for this type of parenting journey. Its just the truth. I would say if you want to have a child who loves you, behaves, and acts like a normal child: don’t adopt. Most of the children come from hard places. Even those adopted from birth. The adoption journey isn’t for everyone. Russell Moore sums up this point quite well. If you are feeling unequipped, but still called…..keep reading. God equips those He calls.
I would also tell you, adoption is wrapped around the mystery of beauty and loss. You will have to face difficult things. You will have to mourn and grieve. You will be asked to enter into the loss of someone else. A birth parent. And your child’s loss will always be a part of your family (and you). You will have to learn how to heal the broken pieces of your child’s life. But you will learn the beauty of God’s healing. You will see Him work miracles and literally witness Him make beauty out of ashes.
If you are still feeling the tug in your heart, I would tell you this: adoption is God’s heart. If you want a front row seat to watch God work: ADOPT. I could spend hours telling of how God provides, protects, and leads those who adopt. Money should never be an excuse, by the way. Life should never be an excuse. Age should not be an excuse. Would a child rather have an old parent or no parent? Our Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I’ve seen God answer prayers, move mountains with governments, bend the “rules,” and change “estimated wait-times.” Whatever the road block you imagine, remember our God is far bigger than any obstacle. He desires to set the lonely in families. He will do it.
Now that you have agreed to let God handle the obstacles, let me remind you: adoption is eternal work. We know the things in our life will not matter once we are gone. We cannot go to the afterlife with our pool. Or nice car. Or fancy vacations. We cannot expect to make a mark on eternity if we do not invest in the right things. We labor. And strive. We will sacrifice our money, but also our time. Work hard at building bonds (whether we reap the benefits or not). We adopt because adoption will echo into eternity.
Finally, if you are still wondering if you can really do this, I would tell you about my daughter. Liana. In all of the pictures before we brought her home, she was sad. It was behind her eyes. The sadness. Loneliness. She never smiled. Her eyes were, well, empty. Our daughter had no family. No one to tuck her in every night. No one to kiss her when she bumped her head. No one to wipe her tears. Alone. What is family to you? How important are those bonds you have (or wish you had)? Let me show you what a family can do…..
Her joy is contagious and so beautiful. Her capacity to love is amazing. She has changed in so many ways. She’s not just a number. Nor a statistic. She is a person. A little soul. Worth more than any excuse. Worth more than your fear. Or your plan. God has a plan for her life. For every little life, even the ones the world has forgotten. God hasn’t forgotten. He sees them. Do you?
There are other Lianas out there. Other little ones, with souls and an eternal destinies. If you don’t adopt, don’t let it be because of fear. Don’t let it be because of inconvenience. I challenge you to keep praying. Keep researching. Keep taking steps toward adoption. Let God’s Spirit lead you. He will close the door. Or open it. Just take one step at a time. And email me. I’d love to talk to you about adoption. I could explain terms for you: open, closed, international, domestic. I could point you to some resources. Help you decide (if) when and where to start.
Don’t take my word for it. Here are some other thoughts from adoptive parents……
“I think adoption is probably the best thing we ever did for our family. It is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but the hardest things in life are always the ones most worth doing”
“I am capable of much, much more than I ever dreamed with the LORD as my strength. I am blessed with a beaming, joyful face every day.”
“It’s humbled me in a way nothing else could. It’s made me see the face of God in a way nothing else could.”
“It’s hard, and painful, and brings a whole different set of issues to the craziness of parenting. BUT, it’s beautiful and rewarding and we wouldn’t trade it for anything!”
“God is bigger than your fears and their hurts. It’s a challenging mission to build a family through adoption, but if He’s calling, listen, and be prepared to see both the pain of the curse (in yourself and your children) and the forgiving and restorative LOVE of the Lord.”
“Never go into it as a mission project. My kids aren’t a mission project or something I rescued. They’re my son and my daughter…..’Missions’ have these big emotional peaks, parenting is life – good, bad, crazy, frustrating, disappointing, fun. ”
“Be very careful when you ask God to let you be the hands and feet of Jesus…you will be changed and so will your kids.”
“We talked about it for over 15 years. Fear and life held us back. I’m so grateful that we let those fears go and adopted our son.”
“Gear up for the spiritual warfare! Get your battle gear on!! Be prepared for the enemy to attack….he hates “family” and wants to hinder you from answering these calls.”
” God WILL go before you. God WILL provide for your child. You WILL be amazed at His great love for us all!”
“They aren’t just kids. One day they will be adults, carrying our family name, and making families of their own.”
“I would say it is not for the weary or faint of heart. I would say it will WRECK you!!”
“You won’t think of children the same anymore. You will think of their lives as a whole and how that one child’s life was changed twice. It will be on your thoughts daily. It’s not rainbows and fairy tales – it’s hard work. But even with all that – it’s oh so worth it and I love that girl something fierce.”
“It is scary and there are so many unknowns which will cause most people to walk away. But if you decide to give up control, your life will be more blessed than you could ever know. You will experience miracles that you would otherwise never get to experience. And you will NEVER regret it. However, you might regret not doing it.”
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