Friday, June 04, 2010

The weight of adoption (and of having a blog)

My poor, defunct blog.

I feel like my happy little corner of the internet has fallen into major disrepair.

The posts are few and far between, I never know what to write about, I am slow to get my pictures uploaded, and Blogger drives me crazy.

I'm thinking about switching to Wordpress, and I'm also thinking about committing to one post a day. But I don't want the posts to be lame "filler", so we'll see.

Truth be told I love the concept of blogging and I've always enjoyed writing. I also have random opinions on various topics so blogging is probably a decent outlet for me. (On the other hand I hate confrontation and get my feelings hurt sometimes, so maybe it's NOT the best outlet for me!)

Today for example I'm thinking about adoption. Big surprise, right? Well, more specifically I'm thinking about the heaviness of adoption, the ethics involved, and the risks. Yes, risks. (Life is a risk no matter what you decide to do, I suppose.)

I love truth. Well, most of the time. (Sometimes truth is hard.) I want my children to tell the truth, I want my relationship with my husband to be based upon authentic commitment where we are truthful with one another, I want to live in such a way that I am pure of heart and honest...with myself, with others, with God.

And yet, sometimes the truth is ugly. Sometimes it is not something you really want to hear. Coming clean is hard--for everyone. But the alternative, to remain in darkness, to keep secrets that fester and eventually bleed over into bigger and deeper wounds, is much worse. I know this from my own life experiences.

How does this relate to adoption, ethics and risk, you ask? Well, because when you bring a child into your family, there are many, many unknowns. It is, like most things in life, a calculated risk.
My boys lived in three different orphanages during their first 16 months of life.

I wasn't there.

So I can't say for certain that they were always fed.

I can't say for certain that they were never hurt in some way.


They were what people would call "vulnerable children." And, as much as I hate to even think that something horrible could have happened, well, it's possible.

Lately I've felt burdened by the fact that some things will never be brought into the light. I'm not really talking about my sons anymore--they are healthy and happy kiddos who can't wait to start Kindergarten and get new backpacks. They had a life before I knew them and I treasure that life, even as I know that it wasn't ideal in many ways. I'm okay with the fact that I wasn't there.

Really I'm speaking in generalities about the idea that, in general, orphans are vulnerable.
Recently, several sad stories have come to my attention, stories of hurting children struggling to pick up the pieces. Families struggling to pick up the pieces.

This is all part of the adoption conversation. Or at least, it should be. If I advocate for adoption, I need to advocate for a lot of other things, too.

This is where ethics comes in.

This is why we chose the adoption agency we did.

This is why I believe in education and training for adoptive parents, and why I believe in churches and organizations providing resources to families in crisis.

This is ultimately why I believe in adoption. (No, it's not because we as Christians are "adopted." Honestly that analogy has NEVER resonated with me. In the least.) It's because we are commanded to care for the widow and for the orphan. It's because God sees the fatherless and He loves them. Left to languish in orphanages, the fatherless remain vulnerable. Most likely without a future. God created children to be raised in FAMILIES. AND, I believe that God created children to be a BLESSING and a healthy, natural part of marriage and life.

Basically I'm in this strange place right now where I'm just feeling the weight of adoption. I'm thinking about situations where I desperately want the truth to be known. So many dark places that need the light of Jesus, illumined by truth so that darkness can no longer win. Part of me wants to run and hide and back away from orphan care altogether. It's messy and can be so discouraging--and I'm not even dealing with any of this in my own home. Still, I feel it, as we prepare to adopt again and continue processing our change in direction.

Yet I don't think hiding is really the answer. I don't think shutting my heart and home down to children in need is what God is wanting me to do. These kids are vulnerable. They need families, and healing. Four-plus years ago my sons needed a family to walk their respective roads with them. One was decently developmentally delayed. Couldn't walk. Hardly any teeth at nearly a year and a half old. Two months after joining our family he was walking, and all of his teeth came in. In some ways I believe he is still in the process of healing. We're getting there, I think.

All of this to say, I refuse to give up. God wants to use what we have to give. Adoption is a beautiful thing. Even when it's hard. Children, vulnerable children, are precious in God's sight. What if we had buried our heads in the sand and not brought our boys home?

So that's my blog for today. No fancy pictures, no brilliant insights. Just random thoughts I've been having about the pain and beauty that I see all around me.


Marissa said...

No fancy pictures needed. I am grateful for your words, because the weight of adoption is weighing on me too.

Pain and beauty. It's such a crazy place to be.

Cindy said...

This is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

Shana said...

I don't have much to say, but good post. And I know that comments are encouraging, so keep up the good blogging. :) (BTW, I am also thinking of switching to wordpress. I reserved my url the other day.)

Cat said...

Timely post for me. I've been struggling with a lot of the issues you mention. Things have come to light in the last few weeks that have made me question, made me fear, made me sad beyond belief and thankful beyond measure. I don't think I'll ever know "the truth" and maybe that's a good thing. It's beautiful and terrible and scary and amazing all at once. And so. very. hard.

Someone said something to me the other night that has been ringing in my head ever since. She said she didn't know how someone could adopt without being a believer. I hadn't ever thought about it like that before, but the stark truth is - for me, for my family - we just wouldn't have made it without His strength, holding us, guiding us, providing grace.

Only with His help have we been able walk through this minefield of adoption...

Sorry for such a long comment - great post.

Emily said...

I definitely needed to hear this today.


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