I am recovering from reading a very difficult book. And when I say recovering, it shook me to my core.
Why? Because I am a Christian. I am an adoptive parent. We home educate our children. We have adopted Internationally and all of our children are "Social Orphans".
I am a bulls eye target for this book.
One reason I wanted to read it was to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes we can surround ourselves with like minded people and forget there is an entire world out there....
Why did Ms. Joyce specifically target "Christian Adoption"?
Most likely because Christians Adopt! It is a part of our identity. God adopted us. We are to care for widows and orphans.... you know all the verses, and they are true.
The Gospel is a gospel of Adoption! We call to GOD saying Abba! Father! Translated Abba means Daddy.
There is nothing wrong with adoption! It is a good thing.
In the Muslim religion, adoption is not even permitted! Not the kind of adoption we are talking about.
You cannot adopt a child and give them an inheritance. And Muslim countries certainly do not allow Christians to adopt!
In Athiest countries, adoption is not a big thing at all. In fact, under the Old Soviet Empire, doing good deeds for your neighbor was outlawed! People starved, children suffered terribly and nobody helped out of fear of going to prison.
That mindset is slowly beginning to change, but not in time for many children orphaned in those countries.
I distinctly remember taking Erika into a restaurant in Kyiv. She was wheelchair bound, and obviously had some physical handicaps. A young man came up to us and asked, "Where are you from?" We told him, and he talked to Erika for a moment. He went back to his group of young people and asked them, "Where are all the handicapped children in Kyiv?" This is the first child I have ever seen and I've been here 2 years!"
They looked over and replied, with a shrug. "Out of sight, out of mind!"
He looked discouraged. He was an American teaching English second language and had no idea orphanages existed in Ukraine.
Many of my cyber friends have adopted children, just like we have from these countries, and our children are thriving.
I do not think the book was about International Adoption as we know it. We follow the laws, and
have followed our hearts, and God's plan for our families.
We, like many of you, we prepared ourselves for what adoption would be like with children from other cultures, and have worked hard to help our children adjust.
Some of us have taken children who were already here, where adoptions failed and that is especially sad. :(
But the children have thrived.
ADOPTION IS A GOOD THING! ADOPTION IS A GOD THING!
The book was about the dark side of adoption. The side that we don't like to see. But we NEED to see it, so we can make sure that God is being Honored in all. Why Christian Adoption? Once again, because Mostly Christians Adopt! And there ARE wolves in sheeps clothing posing as "Christian".
And the very well may not be.
That is why we have to do our homework.
One thing that Ms. Joyce tried to touch on several times in the book was the Christian's view of suffering. She doesn't understand it.
My own personal view is that each of our children, this moment are right where they belong! I have no question in my mind about that! And yes, each of my children have suffered greatly. But that does not mean their suffering was without purpose or that God loves to cause us to suffer!
The famous question, "How can a loving God allow such suffering?" comes up.
And all I can say is that I do not have all the answers. But God does, and I trust Him.
I also know that God uses people, to fulfill His purposes and He cares deeply for orphans, widows and you and me.
Nobody is left out of that equation.
There has been suffering endured in our lives that seemed to make no sense in it's time, but makes perfect sense now. God is all wise, and I do not pretend to understand all He does or allows. Oh how I wish I could see more clearly.
I wish this book did not have to be written. I wish that the church were more willing to police itself and work hard to make sure things are done right! I'm sure there have been many lessons learned along the way in the messy business of helping others. I know I have learned a lot personally from my own mistakes in this same area.
If we were policing ourselves, this book probably would not have been written.
Truth is truth, even in the messenger is not the one we wanted to hear it from.
Was the book heavy handed? Absolutely. It is written with a lack of understanding of the Love of Christ and how it changes us.
Those of us who adopt children and love them before we know them... are like aliens to those who don't get it.
Did I love our girls before they came home? I would have to say yes, yes, yes and yes.
And that love grew, as love is a VERB. It is a choice to love.
Did this book cover adoption gone wrong? Yes.
Some of those instances I have blogged about right here on this blog, and I don't disagree with what Ms. Joyce had to say. But it is hard....
I know of a ministry getting ready to begin in Haiti, and I hope that before they get started, they will read this book, especially the lessons that Saddleback Church mentioned they had learned.
On a final note: Folks who work in adoption need to be paid for the work they do.
Adoption builds families and puts them together, but it should never be an industry.
Ms. Joyce makes her views of this very clear by using terms like supply and demand. I found that very offensive. No parents I know have ever "demanded" a child, nor have they requested one be "supplied to them". I sure hope this is a gross exaggeration to make a point ; it made it hard to get through the book.
And now, I'll go about the business of loving the family God has brought to me.
I hope and pray that my last 6 posts have not been offensive to anybody. Please forgive me if they have. My intent is never to judge another family or judge where they have adopted from, or how they have adopted. That is between each of us and the Lord.
My intent was to critique a book and it opened up a can of worms that cannot be ignored. To ignore it would be like ignoring the Christian Leader who is committing adultry and saying you don't want to say anything because it might hurt the cause of Christ, when in Reality, the cause of Christ is being hurt.
Please prayerfully consider how this kind of information can help you and what action it may cause you to take.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)