His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“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


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)

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When Love Is A Foreign Concept : A book review part 1

A few weeks ago, my son Joseph called my attention to a book by Kathryn Joyce called, "The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption".

Wow! What a title!  I admit that I was intrigued to find out what Ms. Joyce had to say.  So, I found the book at 1/2 price books and ordered it.

I am planning to write a few posts regarding this book, so please bear with me.

Let me first say that I was not familiar with Kathryn Joyce. Forgive me if you know her well.  Her writing has not crossed my path before, and as I continued to read I could see why.

I must say, I am doing my best to read this book with an open mind, because I think she brings up some very important issues, but her virulent repulsiveness for Christianity comes through loud and clear.  Her mocking voice can be heard near and far.  And it is honestly, causing me to have a hard time receiving any "truth" she might have to share.

So far, I have made it to the first part of chapter 3, and I can tell you that she is like a dragon slayer, trying to slaughter anybody and everybody with a lens that is not in focus. 

You see, Ms. Joyce, from what I can see has no understanding of what true LOVE is.  She doesn't get why people would want children that are not wanted elsewhere!
She doesn't get why the church cares about orphans!

She has some valid points in her first chapter about misapplied affections and skirting laws, but her virulent arrogance against anything spiritual just makes her claims fall flat.

Frankly, I agreed with her about the woman who went to Haiti and tried to take children to the Dominican Republic without paperwork.   I agree laws must be followed! I agree that Christians, or ANY organization involved in adoption should not skirt the laws, be deceptive, or take children just because they are from poor families..... I get that. And if they break the law, then, let the law take care of that.
I also believe that James 1:27 does not mean to care for the orphan and widow SEPARATELY!
It may mean to care for them TOGETHER, keeping families together!

But my agreement stops there.

I get a strong sense so far, and as I said, I'm only in chapter 3, that Ms. Joyce lacks true understanding when it comes to who an orphan is, and why folks like us adopt them!

Yes, each one of our girls are "social orphans".  Each one of them, as far as we know has a living parent or relative!
Ms. Joyce seems to assume that there are parents and relatives ready to jump from the woodwork to take children who have been abandoned or have special needs.
She makes a VERY FATAL mistake here! And I DO SAY FATAL, because many children DIE waiting for somebody to care for them.
In our own home, 2 of our girls were abandoned at birth, willingly, by their biological parents. Neither of our girls were ever visited, even once!  Yet, Ms. Joyce would say they are not true orphans.
Would she rather they linger in dying rooms until the inevitable? DEATH?
Does she see this as a better option than adoption? Really?
She doesn't know what she is writing about! I guarantee that! At least not in this area!

She seems to see adoption as a very negative solution, and makes it very clear that it is over simplified and the loss part of the coin is overlooked.  I can accept SOME of that sentiment. 
Clearly, an adoption takes place because a loss takes place!  There is joy and there is loss.
Their is happiness and their is grief.
Yes....these exist and co exist.

To be continued:


katiemacgregor said...

i have worked in an orphanage in haiti. the majority of our children were 'social orphans' - that is, they had either one or both parents still alive, or other living relatives. in an ideal world, YES, these children SHOULD be given EVERY opportunity to remain in their family of birth. absolutely 100%. by this i mean, if the child is being relinquished due to poverty, for example, there should be formula sponsorships, food programs, micro-loans to help start small businesses to generate income, free basic education etc etc. of course. i pray for those things to be reality with all my heart.

but the fact is, that doesn't exist in haiti. on a small scale in some areas, yes. but for the vast majority of haitians, no. for the parents to keep their child in their care means a death sentence for the child. especially so for those with special needs. i would say about 80% of children in the orphanage i worked at were relinquished in PURE LOVE. their parents LOVED them SO MUCH, that they would break their own hearts in order for their child to have a chance at survival (via international adoption).

it broke apart everything in me to do the intakes with these families. the families who demanded we take their child or else they would feed them chlorox or would dump them in the river, not so much. those cases were relatively 'easy'. but for the families terminating their parental rights out of utter love & devotion...what other option did they have? truthfully? it isn't right & it isn't fair & like i said i pray with ALL my heart that loving families can be kept intact....but TELL ME. what is the alternative? keep the child in that loving family & have them dead in three months because there are so few, resource-poor programs to prevent this- or preserve their life through adoption?

ibesr (hatian social services, who authorise all adoptions from haiti) are trying to drastically alter adoption laws. they are of the mind that haitians should remain in haiti. whether that's with birth families, or in creches (a creche is a haitian orphanage where children are not for adoption, & live in the orphanage until they age out). & they seem to be ok with the fact that this policy WILL 'sacrifice a few' in the process. children will die as institutions & governments figure out how best to manage the situation. & it's so backwards & twisted, because NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO DIE & become pawns in political processes (see russian-US adoptions, hmm).

governments have two choices: either fix the problems that are causing loving families to be torn apart (ie provide the specific, necessary services & resources), or else facilitate legal, ethical ways for children to receive this care elsewhere. oh i know i'm rambling, i know. but...

well, these orphans are my family. these parents are my family. & once upon a time i would have judged them...but then god changed my heart. he sent me to haiti, he had me live & breathe haitian life & haitian culture & haitian family; & showed me what true, pure, unadulterated love really is....& then how can you judge? people judge what they don't understand. & it sounds to me like the author of your book simply does not understand. she doesn't get it.

& in turn, i feel compassion for her. for her ignorance. it's terribly, terribly sad. if she'd even stepped foot inside those dying rooms where your erika & sarah (i think?) were left...she wouldn't be saying the things she is. until jesus returns, we will never experience heavenly perfection. & until he returns, it is our job to care for ALL of gods children, whether they come from our own wombs or otherwise. to me that is black & white. maybe it shouldn't be...but it is for me.

sorry for my long response! feel free to not publish it if you desire, i absolutely will not be offended in the slightest :)

much love to you,

Christie M said...

Thank you so much for your comment Katie!
Unicef, and those like the author of this book have a strong sense that children should remain in country and culture. What they don't get is that the children never see their country or their culture for that matter.

She mentions kids no longer eating borscht. Our kids do eat borscht, and hot dogs ! I eat borscht and don't like hotdogs. :)
This is not culture!
And frankly LOVE breaks down culture. To put culture above love is so foreign!
And maybe that is the issue. The idea of Christianity is so foreign and repugant to her, I too feel sorry for her and have compassion for her.
I do understand the woman who got into trouble in Haiti and was jailed, had some major law abiding issues.
And we need to respect the laws. But to make the laws so that children are forced to grow up without parents because of the color of their skin or the country they were born in? That is about as racist as it gets.

Orphan is a title. But each child with that title is a person, who deserves to be loved.
Unfortunately, those who see individualism as a dirty word, or view children as a product of the state, are blind to an individual child's need, so so what if another one dies. :( So very sad.

Christie M said...

In addition: Until a person has been to the places you have been or I have been, they really cannot fathom the depth of need.

Haiti is such a nearby country.... and yet it is in total despair.
In country adoption would be great! But you have to have in country adoption for that to work.
Change takes time. No child should suffer without love because a system is waiting to be changed.

MamaV said...

I am sure it is only a very small thing, but Compassion International has a program in Haiti. I sponsor a little boy there who I am sure has been kept with his family in part because of this program. Your comment made me realize that this is even more important than I originally thought! Thanks for sharing your heart!

Karen said...

I recently read the book "Orphan Justice" which did a great job of putting all the pieces together...adoption is one piece, addressing the issues that lead to adoption (such as extreme poverty, child trafficking, etc. is another piece and so on...fabulous book! His comment that I really liked was that we should be providing families for children, NOT children for families...semantics, I know, but so true! How awesome it would be if there was no need for adoption...but that's just not the case...there are kids who need homes and families! And I love the comment above left by Katie. :-)

MamaV said...

Thanks for this review! I am looking forward to more!

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