Happy National Adoption Month! In November, we celebrate the fact that our family was blessed through adoption. Adoption isn’t for everyone, but God does call all to do something about it and help out.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 NIV
At the very least, I think God would like people to be aware of some of the misconceptions surrounding adoption and think before they speak. We love talking to people about our adoption. My son is Chinese, so on mere appearances alone, we can’t really avoid being a poster family for adoption–it’s obvious. I want to talk to you about our adoption because it is one of the best things ever to happen to our family. Because I try to be polite and tactful and not hurt anyone’s feelings, I may not be able to say these things to your face, but you really should know…
- He is “my own.” Yes, another birth mother gave him life. I am thankful to her and pray for her. Words can’t really express how I feel. Perhaps in some ways I should say that he is “ours.” But he is also “mine.” When I adopted my son, I promised that I would take him as my own and never abandon him. If I ever mistreated or left him, I would be held responsible by law, just as any parent would. So by the law and definition, he is mine. I am happy to claim him. It it came down to it, I would die for him. He is mine.
- Yes, we are lucky to have our son. No, he probably isn’t as lucky as you think. Something about the beginning of his life was obviously very unlucky, or we wouldn’t be here together. There is no denying that on some level, he probably is lucky or blessed to be here in America, at least according to other Chinese adults we have talked to. All Americans are lucky for that, not just him. We, his parents, are the truly lucky ones. We have the privilege of calling the most amazing boy our son. It doesn’t matter where he came from, he has blessed us more than we will ever bless him.
- Please don’t use the word “rescue” an orphan. I am not a hero. I didn’t fly in and swoop him up from the bad guys. I don’t wear a cape. I recently talked to a young woman about how much she wanted to adopt because she really thought it would be great to rescue a little girl. Adoption really isn’t about us…it’s about the children. If we want to be a hero, we should become firemen or policemen. If we hadn’t chosen to adopt our son, someone else probably would have because there is a long wait for children from China. More people do need to step up and adopt worldwide, but if that is what we are called to do and we do it, we are simply fulfilling our duty–not being heroes.
- I am so happy that your second cousin got pregnant right after adopting. Yay for them, I say, the more kids the merrier. But if your second cousin was relieved that they had “one of their own” finally, they really need to consider whether or not they should have ever adopted a child in the first place. The very essence of the word adoption means that you take a child in “as your own.” You already had one of your own when you adopted. (See #1) Everyone doesn’t adopt because they can’t have children. Some people actually want to adopt. We thought perhaps we would adopt all of our children, but God had other plans. If He hadn’t, we would have been just as happy. You didn’t need to look and act so shocked when you found out I was pregnant. It was a miracle from God, yes, but all babies are.
Please don’t be offended by my words. When people say these things, it hurts…It feels as if you are telling us that these children we would die for, aren’t really our own. Or that they aren’t just as miraculous as the ones we gave birth to. Or that he needed rescuing. What is worse is that my son, who is already a deep thinker, is taking all this in. He is approaching his tween years, where he will question everything anyway. These words will come back to haunt him and make him question his place in our family even more. Please don’t put doubts in his head. Because he is MINE and I love him. He belongs here with us. This is his home.