The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Unselfish Adoption

I've had a post topic in mind for awhile but for fear of stepping on any toes, I've not said anything. So in advance, if this is personally offensive I apologize. Sincerely.

Waiting is hard.

Waiting is really really hard.

I compare it to being 8 1/2 months pregnant. You know, the days when people continually walk up and say, "you haven't had the baby yet?!" Of course, you just shake your head, no. Yet you know in the back of your mind that at any moment the anticipated arrival could begin. The very worst case scenario is that you'll go 10 days over your due date and the doctor will induce labour. You have at least some sort of parameters around which your delivery timeline is founded.

Here's the clencher - barring any miraculous actions from Above, adoption cannot be induced.

I read a blog several days ago. I honestly cannot remember where it was but I happened upon it and was slightly stunned. The post subject revolved around something like this: If there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, how is it that we (Canada) seem satisfied with adopting only abut 50 of them throughout Canada this year. And, how is it that there seems to be a continual slow down...more t's to cross...and more i's to dot?! If you have been following our blog at all you will understand that there is some frustration right now because there has been a serious lag in referral timelines. There are many factors playing a role. They are each and every one legitimate.

The writer's concern is that there are so many parentless children in Ethiopia, yet the individual does not feel we (or, the authorities) are doing enough to find more Forever Families faster.

Herein lie my huge concerns.

My first is that this process is not about me. It should most definitely not be about rushing to match the "right" child with us. This is a life decision that is going to affect a little girl literally half way around the world. The right child, our child is out there.

My second and grave worry...

While I too am finding the wait a challenge, I rest in the knowledge that all the steps and court proceedings are on the "up and up". That is to say that while there may have only been a certain number of Ethiopian-Canadian adoptions this past year, I am confident that each adopted child is accounted for.

How disastrous would it be if, in our haste to appease waiting families, to get the orphans out of an institutional setting and a developing country, to "boost" our number of successful adoptions, we lost track of one.

One single yet very human, being.

One child we could not find.

One innocent life missing.

One child lost in the busyness of our trying to match children with their forever


I would rather wait months longer than originally estimated and know that each child is accounted for than "lose" just one.

I read another incredible post by Jason at the ABBA Fund. Truly, it prompted me to post these thoughts. Jason quotes a friend who sums up my sentiments perfectly.

Because, this may truly be one of the hardest things we have ever done.

It would seem nearly impossible for one to make the act of rescuing an orphan sinful. However, as someone recently thrust into the process, I have become well aware that adopting offers a myriad of opportunities for sinful behavior. I have even seen adopting Christians forget about the person they are rescuing because they are only concerned with how the process is affecting them at a given moment of delay or difficulty. Blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, what should inherently mean good for another is devoted to the altar of self. Feeling the natural tendency of my own heart, I have had to pray constantly, “Lord save me from turning the adoption of two Ethiopian orphans into an act of self-serving wicked idolatry.[...]

[...] Adoptive parents can begin to think the world should stop and someone should just hand them their child. They sound like the kids in the aisle of Walmart throwing a temper tantrum demanding their toy. Sadly, the orphan becomes not a child in need but a thing that they want and want now. Believe it or not, I even read the header of one adoption update that included profanity concerning a family’s recent delay. I wonder if they will include that in their forever family scrapbook?

Concerning those involved in adopting internationally, what is just as troubling is when Christians start playing the ‘American card.’ I have read blog after blog that tends to put all the emphasis on rights that the American family should have in adopting kids from other countries. As if we deserve kids from another country, just because we live in a America. This coming from Christians! I am not sure this is the connection between the Great Commission and adoption for which we have been looking.

Instead of respecting (or just understanding) the state of the adoption system in other countries, we act as if they owe us something, specifically their children. The prevailing attitude seems to be, “We have the nice homes and money. Why not just give us the kids?”[...]

1 comment:

John and Andrea said...

Ben and Ashleigh, in following your blog we see and feel the depth of your heart and the pain of the wait. Thank you for being vulnerable and willing to open this sore and share it with us. We will pray that God blesses you and continues to 'grow' you into people that look more like what He would like in this process. Love John and Andrea