I’m sure that this entire adoption process I’m experiencing will be incredibly educational–at every level. Already I’m learning to deal with “concerns” that others have expressed. Though not alarming, the “concerns” have certainly caused me to stop and consider.
Concern 1: This concern is typically expressed by someone, who it would appear, is deeply committed to maintaining the status quo of life. When verbalized, it comes out something like this: “I have a friend, neighbor, co-worker, etc., who adopted a child (and here their voice drops to a whisper) and when the child became a teenager he began to act out and wreaked havoc in their household.”
As I consider: Though this is certainly a possibility, how about the acting out of biological children who “wreak havoc” in their teen years? And in every case we probably need to ask some questions about the parenting skills of the adults in the household. Adoption typically does present a higher risk of family life disruption, but if I have to choose between the safe, smooth way and the risk of following Jesus . . . I’ll choose Jesus every time.
Come to think of it, what about the poor kids who are not responsible for the disruption of the household? 1 in 2 marriages ends in divorce in America today. Shouldn’t someone warn the children that there is a 50% chance that they are going to experience unbelievable pain and hardship if they’re in any given family? Pain and hardship that will in all likelihood cause serious mental and emotional (even financial) scars for years to come.
And then there’s God’s point of view (at least from my limited point of view). Wouldn’t it have been horrible if God would have decided not to adopt us as His children, into His family, because of the havoc we would wreak in His household? “I mean God, this is going to cost You unbelievable pain, sleepless nights, tears . . . ummm, Your Son that You love . . .”
Concern 2: This concern is typically expressed by someone, who it would appear, has my nine year old daughter’s best interests in mind. When verbalized, it comes out something like this: “How is Tabitha doing? You know we’re just worried about her growing up with someone so ‘different’ in her house.”
As I consider: I love that Tabitha is growing up with someone so “different” as her brother. In fact, what I love about it is that she will quickly discover the “sameness” of us all–regardless of race, color or financial background. I love that Tabitha prays every night for the four children we sponsor with Compassion International. Children that are very “different” from her but that have the “same” need for God’s love. I love that Tabs kisses Elijah goodnight . . . and that she doesn’t even notice that she is kissing the cheek of a black baby . . . she’s simply loving on her brother.
And then I think about God. Thank goodness (or more appropriately, thank God), that He is not a racist. The fact of the matter is that I’m not Jewish! And if God had been racist then I would never have been able to become one of His chosen people. No hope now or for all of eternity. As it is, God has chosen to place red and yellow, black and white in my family–which includes believers from all around the world. I hope God doesn’t worry too much about me growing up with people who are “different” from me in the family of Jesus-followers. Ummm, I hope that He doesn’t worry too much about the others in the family from whom I am so different. I’m just happy to be part of the family.