Saturday, July 18, 2009
More Thoughts about Adopting
I was looking at the TARE network the other day. I first read all the success stories of people who had adopted. It also included people who had been adopted and how much it meant to them. I read these stories to buoy myself up; sometimes I feel so nervous about what I'm planning to do. It was truly encouraging to read the different accounts people gave of why they adopted and how they arrived at adopting the children they received into their family. Many of them used the term "forever family", a phrase I'm sure that the adoption agency coined. It is a wonderful way to describe how these children have been given a permanent home.
I was especially heartened to see that a number of single men and women adopted- some of them adopted quite a few kiddos. One women lives on a ranch and adopted several children. There is a photo of them, each on a horse. One little guy is on a small burro- so cute!
After reading the stories I then went to the TARE gallery. This is a listing of children who are already up for adoption. It includes children's photos, biographies, medical conditions as well as what sort of home would best suit each child. Most of them are sibling groups and teenagers. There's no shortage of older children who need to be adopted.
I was pondering about teenagers. You know, if you adopted teenagers, they would only be with you for a few years and it would give them a home at last. Then you could adopt more kids after the first group grows up and moves on. I don't know, just thinking. On the other hand, the younger you got them the less wounds they would have to heal from and you will have saved a child from a lot of potential suffering. God has people He wants to adopt the teenagers and He has people He wants to adopt the younger ones. Each of us is called to fullfill a specific purpose so we can perform all the good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
I wonder, though: are all God's people surrendering their will to His as far as adopting children goes?
It seems to me that the families who do adopt, adopt A LOT of children. I know families that have adopted 6-14 children. Obviously, they have surrendered to the mission God has purposed for them to do. Nevertheless, my question is: If every Christian family out there was truly listening to God's voice about whether they should adopt or not, would the few families that do adopt need to run virtual orphanages out of their homes? Are there not some children who would thrive better in a small family where they could receive more individual attention? This is not a criticism of those who adopt so many, by the way. They have crowns with many jewels waiting for them in heaven. I'm just saying that there seems to be an extreme disparity here. Surely, more Christian families should be adopting. I don't believe God has purposed every Christian to adopt, but I fervently believe that every single Christian should be on their knees praying to God about whether they should adopt or not. For some that answer will be, "no". For many more out there, that answer will be, "yes"!
After all, what does the Bible say about the orphans and the widows? Is there not a warning to us all in Matthew 25:31-45? What about James 1:27? In fact, get out a concordance and look up all the scripture that has the word, "orphan" in it and see what it says. Excuse me, see what GOD says.
Adoption is not something to jump into, but there should be praying and perhaps even fasting to seek out God's will to be completely sure whether we are submitting to God's will in this respect.
Back to the TARE gallery: There were two brothers that caught my eye. One was a teenager and the other 9 or 10 years old. They weren't what I imagined for Derek and myself but I keep thinking about them. I just have to pray for God's guidance. I'm not wise enough in myself to decide. God has already planned for the children He is going to put in our house. I figure He'll give us someone easy at first since I've never done this before. Famous last words, maybe?
I was a stranger and you invited me in.
...whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me. Matthew 25: 35, 40
I was a stranger and you did not invite me in...
...I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these,
you did not do for me. Matthew 25: 43, 45
A religion that is pure and unstained is this:
to take care of orphans and widows.... James 1:27