**So Jon and I went to the meeting and it was a pretty overwhelming experience. I used to have a very strong desire to adopt but I am now viewing adoption as a last resort, something that I am being “forced” to do even. We certainly don’t want to enter the adoption process with hearts like that, we want to adopt because we feel a desire to and because we feel called by God to do so. We are going to keep trying on our own for another couple of months and be praying that if God did not intend for us to have our own children at this point, that he would change our hearts regarding adopting. If nothing happens ‘naturally’ after a couple of months, we will look to see what next steps we need to take in this journey**
I have a student this year in my middle school that was adopted as a newborn. Unfortunately the birth mom was consuming nicotine and caffeine and who knows what else while pregnant and her adoptive mom thinks that these are some of the causes for this girl’s learning and attention challenges that she is having in school. She also sees this girl demonstrating some of the exact same behavioral issues that the biological mother exhibited.
Jon and I are going to an adoption meeting Tuesday night – and I can’t help but have this particular student in the back of my mind. Looking at different adoption agencies online, I am seeing the real effects that Jon and I might experience as a result of adopting a child that comes from a different country, a different race, and most significantly, a different biological set of parents.
I happen to think adoption is a wonderful, amazing thing for couples to do for children who would grow up without a family, and as much as I am grateful that there are options for couples who cannot do it on their own; it just seems so hard and almost unnatural. You have to pay a lot of money (in some cases, not all) and wait a long time. This is not the way it is supposed to work. I am supposed to be able to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby in 9 months; a baby that looks like me, a baby that consumed what I chose to consume while he/she was in vitro, a baby that I have grown to love over nine months, a baby that doesn’t require a home study and paper work and legal fees.
Needless to say, I have been a bit scared about going to this meeting and beginning the adoption process but then I checked out some international adoption agencies online and actually started to get really excited! I found my way to a site for an agency that works specifically with African adoptions and checked out their program in Ethiopia. Tears came to my eyes as I read about the large number of orphans in this country due to famine, poverty and disease and I thought about how cool it would be to take one or two or three of these children out of an orphanage and put them right into our apartment! We could love them and feed them and they would look like night as we look like day, but they would be ours and we would be a family.
As I read on I discovered some information that freaked me out a little bit. There was a FAQ section and a lot of the questions had to do with medical issues. Questions like: What are these worms coming out of every orifice of my child? What is that fungus on my child’s scalp? Does my child have scabies? Worms! Scabies! Yikes!
Unfortunately the answers were not very optimistic. I read things like “very hard to treat” and “may come back” and “parasite”. So are you telling me that I could spend more than $20,000 and 18 months trying to adopt a baby and they will come to me with worms crawling out of their mouth and possibly give me scabies?
Why does this have to be so hard? Why can’t we just have a baby like everyone else can?
I can imagine that to God I am like one of these orphans I have been thinking of. I am not part of his original plan of perfection, I am not part of what God intended. I was not one of God’s own (hebrew). I am dirty and poor and have a lot of challenges myself in the areas of learning and attention and behavior.
What does scripture have to say about this?
We are studying Ephesians in InterVarsity and the very first chapter highlights how we are adopted into God’s family, that we are to inherit all of his spiritual blessings and the love and sacrifice of Jesus.
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (message version)
If we do decide to move forward with adoption, we will not be getting a pure, pristine, newborn; we would be getting a child that is 1, 2, or 3 years old. We would be getting a child that was probably neglected to some extent and malnourished. We would be getting a child with hereditary and biological baggage and if we get a child from a third world country we could be getting a child with worms. But we will take that child into our home and love him/her as if they were our own.
Afterall, while I was unpure, unpristine and had the equivilant of parasites in my heart, God sent his son to die for me so that I might be saved and be part of his family. That is my adoption story.