I have recently stumbled upon some pretty ridiculous articles and books targeted at Christian adoptive parents. They are floating around, just hop on facebook or twitter, I promise, you’ll find them. Articles containing phrases like hopping on the “adoption train” are particularly annoying. As angry as these viewpoints make me, I do realize we live in America and that’s kinda what we are about. Sharing opinions, debating opinions and eventually moving on feeling our separate ways. Every once in awhile, one person is so glaringly correct that both sides agree in the end and walk away hand in hand. (I’m insinuating that I’m right… keep following along.)
I can summarize what I’ve been reading about Christian adoptive parents in one, fairly long sentence. Christian adoptive parents are abusing the adoption industry, creating trafficking issues, adopting for selfish reasons, hoarding children, using adoption as an evangelism tool and finally screwing up the unfortunate kids that end up in our families.
Okay then. Those are some pretty freaking big accusations.
I could approach this by breaking down each accusation and providing supporting evidence for why each of those items does not reflect Christian adoptive parents as a whole. Now, I will concede that there are certainly some wacky evangelical groups that may be doing some odd things and may have some interesting views when it comes to adoption… but I’m talking about regular old Christian adoptive families, not radical fringe groups that unfortunately get grouped in with us regular evangelicals. Back to the point… I’m not going to do what I mentioned above, I think it’s a lot simpler to tell you why we adopt.
1. We adopt because there is a need. A real need. Argue all you want about how many orphans there really are. But there is a need. And until you’ve visited numerous orphanages around the world and held these REAL children with YOUR arms… shut your mouth. Don’t you dare tell me there isn’t a need for children to have families.
2. We adopt because we want to have a family. We are motivated by the desire to have children in our home. Plain and simple, we desire to have sons and daughters because children bring joy.
3. We adopt because we have been given life and love. Our faith gives us a model to pattern our actions after. We worship a loving Father that pours into us abundantly. Why not bring that love into our parenting model… pouring love and grace abundantly into our children, biological or adopted?
4. We adopt because we have room and resources. We can provide medical care to children who have life threatening conditions, we can provide a non-institutionalized environment where a child can thrive under the love of a family. Argue with me all day if you want to but I believe that children belong in families. Now, I do realize and know first hand that many children simply do not have the correct paperwork and background to be adopted. This is where indigenous adoption movements and well run orphanages come in. There is hope outside of international adoption but we need all facets of the orphan care movement, including adoption,to make a dent in this epidemic.
As you can see, for most of us, we have good intentions when it comes to adoption. There is no sinister, weirdo reason for adopting. We aren’t trying to clone anyone or make soldiers or mini-institutions in our homes. We love children. We claim them as our own. Our children are not adopted, they were adopted and they are now in our forever family.
And yes. We will teach them about God and pray that they love him as we do. That He becomes their savior. Why? Because that is our heartbeat. As evangelical Christians we believe we were created by God. We believe that his saving grace is what guides us and gives us purpose. Wouldn’t it be fickle if we didn’t desire for our children to share this faith?
So let’s close this out. Although I know this is only the beginning. We love our children, we cannot imagine our lives without our precious families. Our motivations to adopt are of pure heart. Tear that apart all you want, but in the end, there is no argument. We know the truth and no amount of speculation or attack can take that away.