Sometimes we write out of duty. Sometimes we write out of passion. The former meets a need while the latter forwards a revolution. I’m hoping for the later. You see, I’ve spent the last six days in pursuit of – sometimes in battle for – one of my passions, which is to see children adopted into Christian families.
I’ll chronicle the whole story soon, but the short version is that Thursday morning, we heard of newborn twins who were about to be placed into the foster care system in another state. Through some quick phone calls and a little legal wrangling, we convinced the hospital to hold them for 24 hrs, which allowed us to get on a plane, fly to where they were, and persuade social workers to allow us to adopt them.
Friday afternoon, 36 hours after hearing about the twins, we walked out of the hospital, having grown our family from four children to six.
Reading this back, it seems ridiculously fast. I guess that’s because it was ridiculously fast. Telling the story with all the details actually takes 30 percent longer than living it in realtime did. Rather than just give you all the specifics in chronological order, I want to use our story to shatter a few adoption myths – and maybe even challenge some of your feelings about adoption.
Myth #1 It’s hard to adopt an infant in the US.
In a word, Bull Pucky. Ok, that’s two words. Humor me. I’m tired. I just got off an airplane from adopting our twins. These girls, who we named Anna River and Mercy Rain, are our second and third infants we’ve adopted in less than two years.
Our first, Zoe, took four months from filling out our first paperwork to holding her in the hospital nursery. We received the twins – admittedly a high speed adoption – the day our home study update was complete. The reason many people wait for so long to adopt is that they are very narrow in the color of child that they want to adopt. Sad to say, even among Christian couples, the line for white babies snakes out the door while the line for babies of color is pretty short.
Between our three girls, we have five races represented. I was already at the airport on the way to get them when a a friend asked what race the twins were. I realized then that I hadn’t asked. It wasn’t an issue. I was adopting them to give them a home, not to put them on a shelf like a set of dishes. They didn’t need to match the ones I already had. When I finally found out (half Caucasian, half Japanese, half Thai) and called our boys to tell them, they all cheered on the phone. My white boys were excited to have Asian sisters. Kids rarely have problems with this sort of thing. Parents do.
If you are willing to adopt trans-racially, there are babies born every day that need mothers and fathers.
Myth #2 It’s cost-prohibitive to adopt.
I’m not going to lie. It’s not cheap. Last time I checked, nothing I really wanted was cheap. It’s expensive, but it’s not cost-prohibitive. In other words, if you want to do this, you can find the money. God is so in favor of adoption that I have seen Him bring money in from all over the world to rescue a child.
There are a lot of people who would like to adopt but for whatever reason, are not at a place in life where it’s possible. Those people are often happy to help you if you ask. With Zoe’s adoption, we held a fancy-schmancy fund raising dinner among a community of twenty-something missionaries and raised $14,000 in one night. Yes, from missionaries. Strangers heard of our plight and sent us money. It wasn’t about us – it was about what God wanted to do.
In the end, your decision to adopt will cost you roughly the price of a used car. That’s it. I’d dare you to look at my girls and offer to trade me for a low milage minivan. Not interested…and your minivan will rust away. My girls are going to change the world.
Myth #3 I could never love another child like I love my biological children.
I actually have a fair amount of grace for this misconception, but those who hold to it are holding to the belief that they muster up their own love rather than express the love God puts in their hearts.
Be honest. Do you have it in you to love a 7lb ball of flesh and bone whose principle talents involve you getting up at night to feed and clean it? Probably not. God gives parents an incredible love for their children – and you can trust Him to do it with adopted children too. Laying eyes on my 3 adopted daughters for the first time, I went through the same emotions that I did when seeing my three biological sons. We live out the love He gives us. It’s all we have ever had anyway.
Adoption is doable – and it’s imperative we do it, if we’re going to fully express what the writer of James called true religion, caring for the widow and orphans among us
I’ll be writing about this a fair amount in days to come, because there are children within a day’s travel of your house who will never know the safety of a Christian home if people like you – yea, even you – don’t embrace the spirit of adoption and love them well. Hopefully these few lines will give you enough to think about and spur some discussion.