Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why Adoption Isn't Second-Best (Part I)



The thing about my life is that adoption is woven all the way through, a fine thread of gold. Sometimes it blends, hiding among all the other threads, and sometimes it catches the light while the rest fade away. On a bad day, my eyes are burned a bit. On a good one, I dance it its sunbeam while everything else seeps and grays.

I've been wide awake for all the latest waves on the adoption debate.  
Adoption is good because it gives a child a family! 
Adoption is risky because it separates a child from his family! 

I struggle to land cleanly on one side.

I've felt defensive on behalf of myself and every adoptive mother I personally know, who loves without asking why and forgets altogether, at times, that some families aren't built this way.

I've felt sucker-punched over the gutting realities of trafficking and blurred or even broken ethics. Due diligence is not an option in this age of fraudulence and preying on easy targets.

Adoption might be slipping in the polls a bit these days. Trends are shifting. But at the end of the day,  adoption and orphan prevention are a "both/and" situation. They aren't fair competitors. They're teammates. Anyone committed to tuning their heart to God's heart for the orphan needs to find a way to advocate for both.

My four children came to me for four very different reasons, none of which would have been avoided by offering financial or even emotional assistance to the birth mom. This outcome is complex, in every circumstance. From where you and I sit, it can look like nothing but puddles and mud, particularly in light of the heartbreak these kids were handed.

But I imagine things look different from where God sits. We know he values family. We believe his heart throbs along with every throbbing heart. He invented the language and action of adoption, and we reacted as adopted kiddos often do - so ready to fall weary into our rescue, but curious about what we're missing and suspecting there could be a limit to his love.

This world has been detrimentally compromised by sin, so I understand the argument that God's design did not include fractured families and emotional scars. But we need to tread carefully in this debate, because the healing and emotional prosperity of my four children and millions of others' depends on our unflinching insistence that God is in this. They have got to believe he didn't leave it to a bunch of idiot humans (that would be me and you. sorry.) to make a mess of it all while they stand holding the broom.

This is God's plan for their lives, and though it's not a plan without thick bands of scar tissue, it was intentional and by-design, the most complete picture of redemption I can imagine, an indulgent, showy garden of heirloom roses rising up from the ash-heap.

Every day, children are born with disabilities and illness, in poverty, and into splintered families. God allows the brokenness of our world into our lives in different ways, effectively introducing pain into our stories, yet knowing all along the hurt is often what drives us straight to him.

If we find ourselves teetering on the fault-line of "God intended kids to be raised by their birth parents", let's also consider that God intended a space-finite world without death, which would have born serious implications on the eventual existence of, well, us.

He's the ultimate dumpster-diver - plucking lives out of ruin and breathing holy life back into them; clutching the small, rescuing the wounded, and crafting a future bearing their name in swirly,  hand-lettered ink. There are no cross-outs or strike-throughs, no eraser burns or misprints.

We overstep our bounds and exaggerate our power when we believe for a moment that we created this beautiful movement of people rushing out into the world to find their children.

We diminish the holiest view of family when we begin to define things with logic or science. I was always meant for Ruby, and she for me. From the foundations of the earth, my heart was destined to be bound to those of Ruby's entire birth family. I can't imagine my life without them and I would lasso the moon to have the same with my boys' birth families.

And though I would never have the guts to ask a child to give up all that he or she was born with, I also don't have the wisdom to see that beyond the hurting, it all makes perfect sense.

Adoption as God intended is the gift of a lifetime. Period. It requires profound bravery and blind trust. It challenges our assumptions about what we "deserve" and shatters our ideas about what we have to offer. Adoption is the great trampler of death, restoring hope to the hopeless and building family trees with limbs so love-laden, the leaves skim the ground.



I have much more to say on this topic, so meet me back here soon for Part II.

51 comments:

  1. I love "He's the ultimate dumpster-diver, plucking lives out of ruin and breathing holy life back into them." Beautiful picture you painted there with your words :-) As always I'm in awe.

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  2. Amen. I struggle with this as Our Girl aches for her birth family, as a tween. I have come to realize that she is comforted by the fact that God's back up plan for her was to be in our family forever. Yes, she's ours, but she was theirs first for seven years. She stares at her newborn pictures, where she's held by her First Mom and awed by her First Dad and knows she was loved from the beginning of time. I am in awe as I watch her looking for how God has been weaving her story. She's been asking, "So what were you doing when I was....."? Sometimes her questions stab me as she thinks about her trauma and where we might have been while that was happening, but I think she's beginning to realize that He was always there. This is a timely post for me tonight--this stage of our journey is this post.

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  3. Since you're speaking about your kids, I noticed that your family photo on the sidebar needs updated with Robert. I'm just saying. I love seeing all of your kiddos, even the big one:)

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  4. i can appreciate all you are saying - it's just that i'm not sure we ever chose to adopt. we were called and we are blessed. i'm sorry for all the loss that is apart of adoption - but so thankful for all the joy that comes with it also! they are just ours and we are theirs. right?

    xo ellie

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  5. Sometimes you hit me with words that I am not ready to hear and even less ready to process. Today is one of those days. I have commented many times before on this subject having adopted nearly 25 years ago. I have seen the scars of abandonment and ridden out the emotional roller coaster of those hurts. I also know that no amount of money nor the best program would have made a difference in whether or not my daughters birth mother would have been able to parent them. It took her over twenty years and six children to find salvation and a way out of her destructive lifestyle. Yes, in a perfect world things would have been different...we would have not struggled with infertility and my girls would have been born into healthy intact families but God saw the depravity of man, in fact new it would be so before the foundation of the world, and had in mind for our family to come together through the world of adoption. While it hasn't been easy I have never doubted that God was not smack dab in the middle offering grace and love and mercy on a regular basis. Looking forward to re-reading this post for depth and chewing on your words a while longer.

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  6. not that this is helpful or insightful, but i just love where your heart is. your adoption stories have been amazing. i watch my friends as they navigate through the ups and downs. the love and respect they have for birth mothers, and the compassion they feel for family. i watch them build up family not tear it down. i also watch them struggle with loss and worry. it takes courage and bravery, resolve and resilience. you spoke truth in this post. beautiful words from the heart.

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  7. THANK YOU! I am tired of feeling bad for saying that my daughter is where she is suppose to be. This new movement of "birth parents are best" has my knickers in a bunch. I suppose in the world's economy, yes - birth parents are best...adoption is plan B. Yet in God's economy....come on now people...This could not possibly be true. I do not want my daughter to grow up believing that her life is somehow second best. I want her to know she is exactly where God wants her to be scars, complicated family tree and all.

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    1. For me, its not about "birthparents are best" vs "adoptive parents are best".

      It is about following proper process and making sure that people aren't exploited in that process.

      An organisation I admire is Malaika Children's Home/Child's ifoundation in Uganda, started by an English woman:

      http://rileysinuganda.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/happy-2nd-birthday-malika-babies-home.html

      http://www.childsifoundation.org/

      Though they do try to concentrate first on family preservation, adoption is stillpart of their picture. Many more Ugandans are adopting now than in the past thanks to the efforts of the founder of the above place and others.

      Also, whether or not a child is returned to biological family or adopted, there is follow-up for THREE years.

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  8. i learned (a little later than i like to admit) that adopting our son was not about rescuing him. it was about teaching our family more of who God is and how He loves us. and this week i got to pray with that sweet boy, and watch him bow his head in anguish over his sin and ask Christ to take it away and move into his little heart. i receive blessings upon blessings. thanks for sharing your stories. (and what's this? did you post in sunshine hours?)

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  9. What I read between the lines of your post, Shannan, is what I have so often read between the lines of your posts: your hurt. And this hurt--the pains of parenting itself, and the hurt of feeling judged over why or how we do this painful parenting--is in my experience some of the worst hurt of all. It's everywhere. Maybe it's in every mother. I saw an unbelievable argument between two mothers, once, over whether or not it was appropriate for a child to have a doll she could pretend to breastfeed over bottle-feed. And I feel the low and deep hurt myself, you know, on several fronts: like the one in which I know so many Christ followers want me to say sorry for having been married twice, and I can't. I can't regret it, Shannan, or the lying down with either husband because to do so would be to regret one or more of my children. All I can say is Christ has redeemed it, glory hallelujah. I read your simultaneous weakness and strength, here, and think it's good to speak your truths and also somehow accept that not everyone will receive them because it's not everyone's time to receive them. This is where I crumble over and over, because some won't accept or believe or buy into or back off or, essentially, adopt my way of thinking. Be bigger and more than I. Rock on in Jesus, Girl. You know He's given you Calvin, Ruby, Silas, and Robert for the right reasons and in the right ways.

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    1. Hey, Lady. Thanks for this.
      I'm always interested by your take. I didn't write this from a place of pain and don't generally feel judged for our decision to adopt. But I hear this debate gathering steam and every time people insinuate (or plain SAY) that this is Plan B, I just wish they would back up the truck and offer a bit more clarity, because one day, these little kids will be trolling the web and read for themselves what their parent said publicly. THAT breaks my heart. Because I think most people, even those yammering about Plan B, have their heart in the right place. But words matter. 99% of the pain I feel related to adoption is for the sake of my kids and their birth families, and that pain is blisteringly real. So, stay tuned for some of that. ;)

      I so understand what you're saying about your story and love your willingness to share. I'm certain there are people reading these comments that needed to hear your words.

      xo!

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  10. The courage is for all . . . the adoptive parents, those surrendering (by choice or otherwise, but ultimately choosing to let it be), and eve for the children. To trust that yes, as you said, God purposes it. I'd love for us all to just freely live our lives as they are and as we're called to them, without the worry about what people might think and without feeling like we're always looking around our shoulder. That's what I'm restless for; that we wouldn't have a smidge of shame in our decisions or defensiveness. I suppose it's Heaven I long for.

    Know this: you are doing a great thing, and you cannot come down from here. (Nehemiah 6) This is for you. You make a profound impact and the glory and grace of God is reflected through your life through and through . . . here, on the streets, in your family, through the way you love. Brave on, friend. Boldly brave on. For Him. Amen.

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    1. The courage belong especially to the children!
      Thanks for your words here.

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    2. Amen! It takes way more courage for my children to choose to trust us and love us after experiencing so much hurt, than it takes for me to choose to love them or that it took to adopt them. Adoption is second best in a perfect world. But in the imperfect world we actually live in, God has orchestrated us to be their family and my kids to be our family. Thanks for your post! I've been feeling divided, also, about the whole debate. And I do think there is much more we can do as believers to equip birth parents to care for their children, but in the meantime the kids that are already orphans can't sit around waiting. They need homes. In the country my kids are from, they are probably 20 years behind in caring for people with special needs. And while I long for the day when families are equipped with resources to care for their children and have a real option to keep their kids born with special needs at home, the truth is that is going to take a long time. Progress always takes time. And for while that is taking time, these children are wasting away in orphanages and institutions and need a family and a place to belong.

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  11. Oh, thank you for this! We have been fostering a precious three year old girl for two years, and we adopted her a few weeks ago. I have been struggling with a sort of "survivor's guilt." Why do I get to raise her, and her mother, who loves her dearly, does not? (Of course I know why, but it makes me so sad to see her mother hurting.) I read an article many months ago by another blogger who said adoption is God's plan B, His second best for these kids. Those words have been soul-crushing to me. It feels like I have harmed her in some way, because she grew in my heart, instead of my tummy. That idea makes me feel like I will never be good enough, and that God never intended for me to be her mother. While I understand the intent behind the statement (God does not ever intend for families to be broken), it has been so crushing for me. The circumstances that brought our sweet girl to us were not ones of severe abuse and neglect, but rather, the effect of years of poverty and generational sin. I am struggling to accept God's sovereignty in this, and your words were like "apples of gold in settings of silver." Thank you!

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  12. Such great words and perspectives! I forwarded this post to so many of our adoption families in our life. Yesterday was some good friends court finalization, and this post along with 4 other links/tweets about adoption were so perfectly timed, it was such a blessing to be able to send to this new mom just starting out on this adoption road!

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  13. I LOVE this! We have no adopted children and no plans to adopt but we have many friends who have. I especially LOVE "God's design did not include fractured families and emotional scars." Is this not true about sin. PERIOD? God's design NEVER included hurt, pain, sickness, heck, gossip! But, he knew we would be human and sin and he provided a way through his perfect Son. And, he uses sinfilled, yucky, imperfect humans every day to advance his kingdom--and adopt sweet children who will grow up to advance his kingdom even more!

    My issue with the adoption debate (and perhaps you plan to address this) is the assertion that ALL are called to adopt because we've been "adopted" and that, somehow, I am less of a christian/parent/person if we do not adopt. Sadly, I think "adoption" has become trendy and "what the cool kids are doing." It truly believe (and have observed) that some people don't really have the heart (or calling!) for adoption. They simply want to jump on the bandwagon. Shaking my head..........

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    1. Yep, I'll talk about some of this. My take is that we are all called to care about orphans, but care involves more than adoption. It's up to each of us to find a way obey!

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  14. I, too, love the part about God being the ultimate dumpster-diver. It's so important to remember that we are all spiritual orphans adopted into God's family. I always enjoy your perspective on adoption. I never gave much thought to it until I started reading your blog three years ago.

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  15. like SO many things on our planet earth..i am learning that i don't know. i don't have the understanding and so often..me included we wield our opinions and throw around verses..mostly taken out of context to justify our opinions
    the older i get and the deeper i wade into God i am seeing i know nothing. He is God! His ways ARE NOT our ways
    who am i to see behind the story unfolding here .. i can't see the future...ugh!
    i am moved by your plea..your struggle to defend but not...to try and see both sides
    and your momma's heart is so torn
    it is enough to make you want to throw up your hands. i have never adopted and will not even tread upon this sacred ground. if anything my disease has taught me that if you haven't walked in my shoes but you have heavy opionions on dealing wtih chronic pain...living with a bag of poop...and so forth...please don't tell me how it is...because you have no idea and that is how i feel with adoption. i have never walked this journey
    i know several people who have and i admire their courage...their love...their trust
    as i do yours.
    your words matter...you have been given this platform to shine..even though it is uncomfortable at times. just speak what God would have you to. be the voice
    love you friend...your plaid curtains rock..just sayin....;)

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    1. Always love to hear what you have to say, T.
      As for the curtains - I get emails EVERY day asking where I found them. I haven't outed you publicly since I assume you're not hankering to go into the curtain business... But now? Look out! :)
      xo

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  16. Wonderful words! Speaks to my soul this morning. We have two adopted children. Daryl was our foster son for three years. Amelia was adopted from China. A six year process. On March 26, 2012, a judge in Chicago stamped Daryl's paper, making him legally our son. On that exact same day, we were in China at the US Consolate, finalizing the paperwork to bring Amelia home. The fact that both of their adoptions were finalized on the same day seems a fitting exclamation point to a long, long sentence. A sentence full of pain and joy. And certainly a sentence in which God's hand can be traced through every word. . I am so thankful that He built our family—in surprising and hard ways—that bring him glory. Thanks again, Shannan, for sharing your story and your thoughts. Blessings!

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  17. All our family is blessed because of adoption and we all (including the kids) thank God for the path He chose for us.

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  18. oh shannan! You hit a homerun on this one! I cried when I read the line "I was meant for Ruby and she for me"! So perfectly written. I am an adoptive mama too (Im the girl who lives by the coop Keeper) and I just want to wrap myself around your words and carry them with me. I am not so well spoken or written like you. You have a gift, a talent with your words. If I could figure out how, may I share this post of yours on my facebook page? You just say it so well, so much better then I ever could and I would just love to share your words. They made the inner, hurting parts of my heart (because of my childrens past) just cry. I just cried when I read your words. No sin was ever meant to be and yet it was a part of Gods plan. I have always told my kids that while born to another they were meant for us. From the very beginning of time meant for us. God doesnt readjust plans to sweep and fix up messes. Beauty from ashes my friend. Love that.
    Thank you for being a well spoken gift to those of us who just arent as articulate as you. God has given you a gift and I love that you share your words.
    Patti (from Crown Point Indiana)

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    1. Hey there, Hossier Lady! :)
      I'd be honored if you wanted to share on FB. It's super easy - just click the blue fb "share" button at the bottom of the post and it does the work for you.
      Thanks for walking alongside me on this road. Have a great day!

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    2. Than,s and since I saw it on Facebook I did share :)
      Your fellow Hoosier girl :)

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  19. God as a dumpster diver - that is a new one :) I love the way you share your sweet heart. I love your bravery. Thank you for so often for sharing truth so kindly.

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  20. What a thoughtful post. It reminds me so much of my (our) salvation story. Adopted into the family of God, saved by grace we don't deserve and loved by a Daddy who we now belong to wholeheartedly and without question.
    I know we don't know each other, but I hope you are doing well today. For some reason, you and your family on my heart so I am going to pray for you all in whatever season you may be going through right now. I hope it's a good one, but life is life and prayer always helps. :) Take care!

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  21. Amen. Now that we have both adopted and biological kids, I've been wrestling with how to explain to others that adoption is every bit as wonderful and sacred. Thank you for this beautiful post.

    I've been reading through the past few weeks of posts here after taking a break from blogs, and I giggled when you mentioned that you were headed to the gynecologist and looking forward to it. We've been cooped up in the house for what feels like forever and I would go to the GP, gynecologist, or even the dentist for a chance to get away :) I never thought that a solo trip to the grocery store would be such a luxury, but I've been dreaming of Kroger for days! Maybe we'll both get a chance to get away this weekend!

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  22. My husband was adopted in the 70's in Wyoming. Evidently there was a serious shortage of families to adopt because my father in law got a call in the middle of the night. Do you want to adopt a child? And they did. Why? They can't give you a definite reason they already had two children they where older and in what is considered an "acceptable" family to adopt at face value they where not it. My husband would have it no other way. He doesn't know why his biological mother gave him up but he figures she had good a reason. She has his information and she wanted to meet him he'd probably do it. But he has never wanted to seek her out and he will tell you. HIS family is the one who raised him Those are his people. It was meant to be that way and he is absolutely and perfectly content with that. BTW we do know his mother had all the support in the world. Bills biological grandmother was willing and able to help his biological mother. So it wasn't that. I think she knew. Knew he was meant for a different story. What is there to argue about?

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  23. I really appreciate your words. You've articulated what I've felt, but haven't been able to put into words when I've read stuff about adoption not being God's best plan for children. I understand where they're coming from, but at the same time I look at my daughter, adopted almost a year ago, and I can't help but feel that she's mine, always been destined to be mine. The story of how God brought us together as a family is beautiful and complicated and leaves me awestruck by His leading and orchestrating- and I know I'm not the only adoptive parent who feels that way. He did it, and I can't claim any credit for what He's done and is doing- I'm not that smart first of all... anyhow, my articulation skills fail me once again, but I just wanted to say thank you.

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  24. Perhaps the problem is that our language on this topic is all wrong. God doesn't have a Plan A or B...that is human language. All through the Bible, we see God weaving His plan of redemption despite our sin and brokenness. We recently adopted 2 children (age 10 and 4) and while their story of being part of our family is different than my other kids...its not A or B. It just is. I find we have to be careful with words like Plan A or B because that kind of language can cause us to dismiss another person's experience..complete with its pain and joy. I know my adopted kids are meant to be part of our family but I also know that their birth family has suffered greatly and still loves them ...its not Plan A or B. But despite it all, the hand of God is working and redeeming. In our humanness, we like to have the loose ends tied up but adoption (like much of life) is full of loose ends and that is ok.

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    1. "Full of loose ends and that is ok." Like much of life. Yes. Thanks for this!

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  25. love your heart.
    my heart is torn, too.
    i never want to seem dogmatic about it, but honestly, after bringing Lydia home, I kind of land on the side that says if you can adopt, you should.
    i know there are lots of ways to support the fatherless…but for those fatherless who will never have a home, i think the best way to love them is to take them in.

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    1. What about those who can't have a home?! I have two adopted siblings, so my heart is for adoption. However, my husband and I don't plan on doing so. Why? Because we are moving our four kids to Africa to start a medical clinic at an orphanage that will also minister to a large refugee camp. Most of the children at the orphanage cannot be adopted out of country. My heart just breaks when we think that adoption is the only answer. I have many friends who are adoption or have (in my one Bible study there are 12 families out of 20), but not one other family is willing to move to Africa for these kids. Is my commitment and love for them less simply because I can't adopt them?

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    2. certainly not less! The Scriptures teach to CARE for orphans and widows. It however, does not parse out exactly how that caring is carried out in a legal manner.
      Paula

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    3. Jennifer - I have to imagine the comment wasn't a personal indictment on what you are or aren't doing. I think she was simply speaking from the perspective of middle class Americans, with plenty to offer and the means to make great sacrifices. She specifically says, "if you can adopt you should". These are apples and oranges, of course. Wishing you all the best in Africa!

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    4. And for what it's worth - I tend to feel the same way about adoption. I think we purposely (consciously or otherwise) confuse the issue when we bring "calling" into it. We are all called to care for the orphan and the most logical way (though certainly not the only way) is by adopting.

      I think it's pretty important to open our eyes to what's happening around us. I have to believe that if more people were REALLY aware of kids tucking themselves in at night or doing the unthinkable to survive, or simply being alone, they would be prompted to act. Adoption is difficult and challenging and all those things, but it doesn't hold a candle to life as an orphan.

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    5. Jennifer,
      I knew when I said that, it might stir at heart strings. I feel the very same way you do, promise. :) I should have been more clear…
      We have a dear friend who moved to India 15 years ago to start a home…we were there when she welcomed her first two children…we've sponsored them every single month for 15 years, and we've visited them 3 times.
      She doesn't adopt them out to families from other countries. They're her children…she is raising them up to love Jesus and to serve him wherever he leads them.
      Also, we have friends in America who have internationally adopted older children, and those adoptive parents are seriously struggling to love and connect with those kids…talk about heartache!!

      We're on the same page…sorry for the confusion.

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    6. One more thought, Jennifer.
      I did say in my comment that you should adopt, if you can.
      The "if you can" would include children who cant' be adopted…

      Prayers for your family as you embark on the mission God has called you to.

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    7. I figured we were on the same page. For what's it's worth, my sisters were 10 and 15 when they came home. I quit my job (I was freshly graduated from college) to move close to my family and help out for 4 years. Even after a decade, things are still not easy with them, and because of their background (RAD, FAS, 6 years in a Russian orphanage), things may never be. I would LOVE to adopt even having a more informed perspective than many might (I have had ribs broken, strangle marks around my neck, not to mention possessions broken, friendships broken, etc. due to my sisters), but we know we can't right now (although where we are going does allow expat in-country adoption, so who knows)!
      We are not all called to care for orphans and widows, we are all COMMANDED to. I am excited to see a conversation that includes the honest hard things about adoption but still sees the providential, loving hand of God in it all. I think we are passionate about something, we are passionate, so I am sorry for misreading what you intended to say.

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  26. absolutely God breathed.

    i gasped a little inside when you reminded me that, yes, i am adopted.
    hallelujah!

    xo

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  27. I. Love. This.

    and especially this::
    "But at the end of the day, adoption and orphan prevention are a "both/and" situation. They aren't fair competitors. They're teammates. Anyone committed to tuning their heart to God's heart for the orphan needs to find a way to advocate for both."

    Thank you.

    I read this earlier and just now sat down to type up real words. As I thought over your post, I thought that sometimes our own understanding of The Way Things Work gets in the way of our understanding of God's Ways. You know? I love that you can see His sovereignty through the brokenness and that you can point others to look for it too.

    Truly beautiful. Excited for round #2.

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  28. This adoptive Mama couldn't agree more. Reminds me of this quote from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry (which I think you'd LOVE by the way): “Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery. ”

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  29. I wrote a whole blog post about this last year when I "announced" our adoption, just because I wanted people to understand that it wasn't sloppy seconds or something we were only moderately okay with because our other plans didn't pan out. Almost NONE of our plans EVER pan out and I think that is a good thing. God knows I need to make plans and I know he needs to wreck them sometimes to give me his best, because I can't even dream it up.
    Looking forward to part 2!
    http://plumfieldshop.blogspot.com/2013/04/plan-a.html

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  30. I appreciate your heart Shannon and have had a post on this topic of my own rolling around in my head for nearly a year. I wish we could meet for tea to talk it out but since we can't...

    I completely agree - adoption and orphan care are a both/and not an either/or for Believers! As adoptive parents and orphan care advocates I think it is imperative we think ahead to how our words will affect our children, particularly when the littles are old enough to understand and process them. Absolutely "God is in this" but here is my struggle with this conversation - reconciling with my child that if God is in their adoption into our family, he was also in the mess and the brokenness. And He WAS there, He is sovereign and nothing touched my child that did not pass through His hands.

    He was there before the beginning of time, knowing they would join our family through unfathomable circumstances. BUT, his original intention for mankind was the garden, where perfect relationship reigned. So what the what? He created it to be right, knowing it would be wronged but He made a way for redemption to break through. To dumpster dive for their lives and redeem their stories. So much to dig through for us and for them.
    I spoke to an adult adoptee friend of mine to get her insight before writing my post (the one I have yet to write, although this is inspiring me) and she said, "None of it made sense to me until Jesus. I had to lay down the pieces of my story that I will never know and trust that He brought me where he wanted me to be. I can trust Him with the pieces I may never have."

    God knew there would be sin. He knew we needed a way to be redeemed. Enter Jesus. He also knew there would be orphans as a result of sin. He knew they would need a way to be loved. Enter us, His hands and feet.

    Looking forward to part 2!

    Lindsy

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  31. Yes Yes and Yes! Thank you for this.

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  32. First of all, I can see that you are coming from a place of great love for your children. It oozes through your every word. I also realise this thread is an expression of your own feelings about their situations and perhaps you are unlikely to express things in exactly the same way directly to your children.

    However, one does need to be careful about giving one's child the impressoin that they were saved/rescued/redeemed by adoption as it can make the child feel that they should be indebted to their aparents. That can put a pressure on a child. Also, if I were an adopted parent, I wouldn't want part of my children's love for me to be because they felt indebted to me.

    I love my adoptive parents very much. Do you know why I love them? - it is just because I do, simple as that. It is not specifically because they adopted me, or did anything in particular for me, I just love them because I do.

    I can see that you love your children and I am only saying the above because I know that you wouldn't want them to feel that they need to be anything that they aren't.

    On a more personal note, as a domestic infant adoptee from the 1960s, I did feel a bit uncomfortable about some of the language eg dumposter diving/hopelessness etc because in my case, I don't think that there was anything terrible to be rescued from.

    As an ancient Anglican Aussie, I tend to think, rather than the view of God not giving us stuff we can't handle, I think it more that with God by our sides, there is nothing we can't handle. Also, as much as I love my aparents, I don't think we were meant to be together from the beginning of time and don't believe it was orchestrated by God although God being omnipotent would know that is how things would have ended up.

    Also, as a 60s DIIA, I do feel that women in my bmother's position were often badly treated and I just see a reluctance by some to place any blame on adoption practices at all. Wanting to reform and improve adoption doesn't make one anti-adoption. I respect adoption enough to know that I want it to always be clean and above board. Also, one thing I've learnt is that one needs to learn to separate one's afamily from the adoption industry and accept that when people are challenging the industry, they are not challenging individual adoptive families.

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  33. Thank you for this post, I mean you spoke my heart so fully it amazes me, I naively had no idea how big this debate was until a year or so ago when through a FB group I began to hear the other side of this story, of adoptees and sometimes adoptive parents that seemed, to simply things, anti-adoption. I was often hurt by their generalities, while I am very much pro-family in a broken world that will not always work, and I will not go into my children's stories except to say it would have very much not worked for them. If my children had not been adopted they would have ended up living on the streets or being trafficked, and that is true for many many children today that are left as orphans all over the world. Oh, it's such a complicated subject but making it harder for loving families to adopt is not fixing the problem, if you have a chance watch Stuck (it's on Netflix) it does a great job on this subject. So all I'm left to do is pray, that's all I know for now as I watch my friends child turn 2 years old in Korea with no end in sight to bringing him home and another friend's child turn 5 in Haiti with no end in sight, it hurts my heart.

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