Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Isaiah 1:17

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are you ever going to have a BABY?

“Are you ever going to have a baby?” I get this question from a lot of people--including my own daughter. Some people have even asked me if I have something against babies! It probably won’t surprise you that I don’t mind that question a bit, because it opens the door for me to talk about something I’m very passionate about. Since why we chose to adopt an older child is a very common question for our family, I’m going to attempt to answer it here. When hubby and I actively began the adoption process, we truly felt comfortable opening our home and hearts to a child of any age. Through the church, we have ministered to children from the age of newborn through high school. We love kids. Each and every age is so amazing. At the same time, we also decided to leave the infants for infertile people, and decided that if we wanted a baby, we’d go the old fashioned route (though due to chronic physical issues, pregnancy is not a very appealing option for me) People who are seeking to adopt are usually in 1 of 2 categories: they are passionate about orphans, or it’s plan B (conception being plan A) I’m not knocking plan B-- I firmly believe our plan B is often God’s plan A J But I’m sure you can understand how a couple hoping to conceive would desire to adopt an infant, and more often than not, an infant who looks like them (not every family enjoys being a walking billboard for adoption) So we figured we’d leave the babies for those who need them. We’ve since changed our minds on that matter--as we’ve received several e-mails begging for adoptive parents for domestic minority infant adoption. Our hearts go towards the need, so now that we know the need is there too, it's possible we may end up with a baby in a couple years, should God lead us in that direction. But I digress. Adopting an older child certainly isn’t the easiest route, but it may well be the most rewarding and satisfying. Believe it or not, a lot of people haven’t been incredibly supportive of our decision, even pastors have questioned our choice, informing us (now mind you, not even ONE of the people warning us have ever been an adoptive parent) that “these kids have problems” and “how would you know how to parent an older child when you’ve never parented an infant?” My answer to the first is that we all have problems, and thank God he doesn’t avoid adopting us because we have “problems”! My answer to the second objection is this: by the grace of God. It saddens me that people don’t think that older children deserve the same loving home an infant does. That’s what it comes down to really. People say they want to see older children in loving homes… many just don’t want it to be their home or the home of someone they love. Some people even go so far as to blame the child (though no one has been brave enough to do this to my face) saying that obviously there’s something wrong with the kids whose parents aren’t willing to parent them. I assure you, it’s not the fault of the child if their parent makes the choice to love illegal drugs instead of their baby. It’s a not child’s fault if their parent chooses to beat them, or molest them. It’s not the child’s fault when a parent chooses not to feed them or supervise them, or provide them with clothing and shelter. Do some of these kids have “problems”? Well, of course! Are these “problems” insurmountable? Well, I don’t know. Is anything insurmountable with the power of God? God has blessed my family abundantly. He hasn’t given us a great deal of monetary wealth, but he has given us a wealth of love and compassion. That is the answer to why we have chosen to adopt older children. This is a family built on love, and we are so excited to share that love with the children God has appointed to our family!


Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to describe how happy I am to read this. I seriously almost feel like crying. After considering being childfree for many reasons (don't find pregnancy, birth, or early childhood years appealing, like having quiet time, don't want to defer my dreams so I can have bio-children, have a real heart to help people in the world and feel that the responsibility of children would make that harder) I began to realize that I did like children but mostly older children who are more independent than babies and infants.

As such I am now considering adopting an older child far in the future (I'm still pretty young).

It is so nice to read an adoption blog that doesn't make adoption into something one does as a last resort and, as such, something that is less desirable than having biological children.

You and your husband have inspired me to write about my own thoughts on this subject on my blog.

It's so heartening to know that there are people out there besides me and Jillian Michaels who see adopting exclusively when you are able to bear your own children as a viable alternative in life.


Laura said...

Thank you for the kind words :)

I hear you on the frustration that many people only consider adoption plan B. I think children are an amazing blessing no matter where they come from. My heart cannot help but go out to the 147 million orphans in the world. Unfortunately many people seem to be too wrapped up in genetic odolatry to notice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to procreation, but I wish more people would consider their part in making the world a better place. I understand it's easy to get caught up in car payments, promotions, marriage, etc, but children aren't going to be magically cared for if we just stop thinking about them.

Once again, thank you for your comment...and thank you for considering the possibility of adopting an older child someday. Here in the US alone we have 123,000 kids in foster care awaiting adoptive homes. So many of these kids are considered virtually unadoptable due to age (and sometimes unfortunately ethnicity is a factor as well) The future for children who age out of the foster care system with no place to call home, is bleak. Obviously the benefits to these children finding homes are huge, but the benefits to opening your heart to these children is unbelievable :)