Lately I’ve been getting a lot of negative feedback about adoption. Oh, these comments aren’t spoken to my face, nor are they necessarily even intended for my ears (and eyes, I suppose since they’re mostly things I’ve read). But they sting all the same, and they leave me desperate for some way to help people understand how deeply I love my son (all my sons!) and how committed I am to adoption.
Shocking admission: I agree that adoption is not the best possible option for a baby. In a perfect world, every child would have a healthy, well-adjusted mommy and daddy who can love and provide for them from the moment of conception until the second they leave this earth. But we live in a broken world, and the truth is staggering.
- Every 15 seconds, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa. (Habitat for Humanity UK)
- 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home. (United Nations)
- Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out of the system with no family and no home. (UNICEF)
- And, heartbreakingly, those numbers do not include children who are abandoned, trafficked, or unreported…
The stats go on and on, piling on top of each other and burying me in a pit of dismay. How? How can we possibly make a difference in the face of such adversity? How can we possibly provide for all these children — and not just their physical needs — their emotional, psychological, spiritual, and even cultural needs in light of the sort of grief that must accompany the circumstances that earned them the title “orphan?”
Adoption is a beautiful thing, but we must never forget that it is beauty out of heart-wrenching brokenness. A child is only an orphan because of some horrible, life-altering tragedy: death, disease, war, addiction, mental illness… Or even something less dramatic but no less devastating: the inability of a birth mother or father to parent. It just kills me.
And yet, those of us who adopt are doing the very best that we can. We see an injustice in the world, a bit of brokenness that we can mend — imperfectly, to be sure, but we’re willing to give and love and try. Isn’t that the best that any of us can do? Adoption is just one way that we affirm: we are one. We are one people, one body — and we have one hope. We have open arms. Open hearts. Open families. And when that child becomes a part of our lives, it is an intimate, mysterious, downright miraculous thing. We are fused together, heart and soul. We are family.
Wow. I’m not expressing myself well at all. It’s just been on my heart to post about this, and with or without the right words, I’m just going to go ahead and say that I can’t think of anything that has changed my life quite as much as adoption. I have been humbled, I have been transformed. I have a deeper understanding of love and family, and maybe most importantly I am beginning to grasp the love that our Father has lavished upon us. How blessed we are to be called children of God.
I adore this video. Please take a moment to enjoy…