This is a follow up from my last post, so if you didn't read it, go back and do so before reading this or it won't make sense :) I think some people got the wrong idea about what I was trying to say.
For those of you who have biological children: Imagine you are sitting in an exam room with your child's pediatrician and she looks at your child, then you and asks, "So why did you decide to get pregnant? Did you always want kids?" "Did you know that you were going to get him/her the night you conceived?"
Hmmmmm..... How do you answer that? How do you think that might make your child feel at age 4? Age 5? How does it make YOU feel? Do you think that you should have to answer this question in front of your child?
You might say "Yes we always wanted kids but he was a surprise!"
For those who have adopted children, we get that question a lot. Yes, its an opportunity to witness... but its also an opportunity for a child (and parent) to feel singled out. How much to tell? Where to draw the line? How do you know how your child REALLY feels when they hear someone ask that?
I personally LOVE to tell people about our trip to Ukraine and everything leading up to it. It was all God all the way. We could not have done it ourselves and we know we were meant to be Mariah's parents all along. We had things confirmed for us over and over in ways that only God could do. Of this I am sure and for those who are actually interested in hearing our story and all of the little details that make it amazing I love to share it. We love Ukraine and look forward to a day when we can go back again. It weighs heavy on my heart every single day that we left 119 orphans behind in Mariah's orphanage alone... and that was Baby House #2 in one city.
Christians today fight over where to place playground equipment for children who come once or twice a week to play for a few minutes. I've seen an orphanage full of over 100 children who's outside activity time each day consisted of walking in a line, in groups of 2, holding hands past the dilapidated remains of what was once a play area. Who fights for them?
Why did we adopt? Because God commanded us to.
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
If you say you are a Christian then that verse is talking about YOU. And lest someone think I'm tooting my own horn here, I don't think God meant that if you adopted one child, you were off the hook when there are MILLIONS of orphans still waiting for someone else to just obey God and give them a home or at the very least, help someone out who is willing to bring them home.
I've seen them. I've cried for them. I've dreamed about the ones left behind...
"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Prov. 24:12
That verse rings so true for me. I've seen the needs. I've looked into the eyes of children who just wanted to come over and get a bit of attention for just a moment.
I've come back home to the U.S. where we take everything for granted. The church doesn't even seem to know about orphans much less care about sponsoring them, hosting them, or sending families to go adopt them. We live in big houses, drive nice cars, spend way too much money on things we don't need and happily live in our own little bubble of complacency when children who are just a plane ride away go without enough to eat or clothes that don't have holes in them. We sit in business meetings on cushioned pews, in buildings that have central air, and fight about where to spend our money when God has already told us what to do with it.
So yeah... that's why we decided to adopt. We realized that God has blessed us beyond what we could ever deserve. Why did He do this though? So we could wallow in it? No. So we could share it. We very clearly felt God tugging at our hearts for the children with no families. God's heart is for the orphans.
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,Is God in His holy habitation.
God doesn't care if you don't think you have enough money to adopt, or enough of this or enough of that... God equips those who answer His call. I've witnessed it first hand.
Every child deserves a family and every child has a potential family if God's people would just quit turning a deaf ear to God's calling.
In the United States, if one family out of every four churches adopted a child, there would be no orphans in this country.
(according to a speech given by Kay Warren - Rick Warren's wife)
There is an estimated 800 million Christians worldwide.
There is an estimated 140 million orphans worldwide.
According to those numbers, if 6% of the people who call themselves Christians adopted ONE child then there would be no more orphans.
So to sum it up:
What I want to say when someone asks me, "So why did you decide to adopt anyways?", is all of this and more... but what usually happens when I start talking about God calling us and how many children are left behind and what her life was like before we adopted her is a quick interjection of, "Oh you are such special people for adopting a child like that." "You did such a wonderful thing and she is SOOO lucky to have you!" Nice words, yes. Well intentioned I'm sure, but again, not exactly flattering to the little 4 year old who is now my daughter.
She is special. She is wonderful and we are lucky that we listened to God so she could be part of our lives. God thought so much of her and valued her so much that He placed it on our hearts to go get her. She has always been a part of our family in God's plan.
So if the question is asked in front of her, the answer is just going to be "Because Ukraine is where my daughter was." Because it was.