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

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“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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Friday, July 19, 2013

When Love Is A Foreign Concept: A Book Review Pt. 5

This is my final part of my book review on Kathryn Joyce's book, "The Child Catchers".  The previous 4 reviews are below this post. :)

The last chapters of the book are full of detail about how agencies, using unethical practices, cause so much harm to programs.  Several people are mentioned who have good hearts and see clearly that ignorance can go a long way in causing damage to orphans.  They have learned that changing the tide of adoption IN COUNTRY is a good thing, but a very slow process. Rwanda is mentioned in regards to this.  Encouraging the church to step in and help with orphan care has been in process, but it is slow and adoption is still needed, especially for children who have Special Needs.

There was also a mention about Christians who will try to skirt the laws, fill out false paper work, forge documents to get an adoption through at any cost, without considering the fall out of their actions. 
And I agree here... the fall out can be HUGE.
I remember our translator telling us about a couple in Ukraine who said when they were leaving the country that they would do no post placement reports and there was nothing that could be done about it.  That couple didn't realize that adoptions shut down for months, including our own daughter's adoption because of people like them, who refused to follow the law they had agreed to follow in writing!

The last chapter of the book is about those who have been adopted finding their roots once again.  It talks about children who came here from Korea a long time ago, and also how the mindset is changing regarding mothers raising their own children in a society that frowns strongly on single mothers having babies and caring for them. 

In the very last chapter towards the end.... Ms. Joyce writes,

 "Adoption may be a wonderful outcome for many families and many children, but much more often than we acknowledge, this win-win scenario is not the case.  Well meaning people can enable tragedy with their good intentions or their lack of understanding of what an adopted child needs. ..........the outcomes are often painful. And as those secondary adoptive parents who have picked up the pieces of failed adoptions can attest, for the child, a bad or an unnecessary adoption can be worse than none at all."

While I understand he statement, and certainly agree that an unnecessary adoption is worse than not having one at all..... the outcomes of our daughters who have come to us because of failed adoptions have been quite good.  This may not be the norm, but it is our norm.  That does not mean that we are blind to the loss our children have suffered.  Part of a successful adoption includes addressing that loss and helping a child through the grief process.  And when I say process,  it is  just that.  It isn't a one time thing like "Ok, you've grieved now get over it!"  No.    It is a part of life and history to be embraced and accepted. 

Overall, I think this book was VERY informative and I am glad that I read it.  There is much to discuss and much to think about. 
Christians need to clean up their act! 
One thing that was missing.... Christians are not the only ones who adopt.  But I understand the book was about the churches response to adoption.  It just seemed a little heavy in that area.  I think there are probably organizations out there, non  Christian who do the same things.  HOWEVER, that is no excuse for ANY organization to be unscrupulous.

Why did I call the title of my posts "When Love is a Foreign Concept"?  Because I think for many, they don't get why people adopt.  For some, they adopt for the wrong reasons, maybe to fulfill something in themselves or to earn something with God and they do not understand unconditional love.  For others who are looking to separate healthy families so they can make a dollar on putting another family together, they do not understand love at all.  It is a foreign concept to them.

One thing I do believe, and it may bother Ms. Joyce a bit, is the idea that God has adopted us.
It is true.  As Christians, we are adopted by our heavenly father.  This does not mean we have to adopt.  Some are called to adopt, some are called to live a different kind of life.  Every individual in the body of Christ is not supposed to do the same thing! 
Adopting our children has made the gospel even more clear to me.  But I cannot "SAVE" my children. That is up to God.
I can teach them what I believe to be true.   The rest is between them and the Lord.  God has filled our hearts with love for others.... it has spilled out into our lives through adoption... but not just through adoption. 
We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.  And who is my neighbor? 



Anonymous said...

We are grateful that our children's first adoptive families adopted them. Even though it didn't work out in the first adoptive family, both of our twice-adopted children are thriving and healing in our home. I hate to think of what their lives could have been like--one has special needs and the other was from a minority race in his birth country. Both were surrendered to their orphanages by birth parents who did not want them, and had nothing more to do with them. Was it sad that the first adoptive parents went into adoption unprepared for the tremendous needs these children had? Yes---BUT THEY WENT ANYWAY. So my precious children can live life to the full because of the sacrifices they made.

Dawn said...

I picked up the book yesterday at the library and am already struggling to not become emotionally involved. I want to try see behind the stories, to what she is saying. We'll see how this goes. :)

Christie M said...

It was one of the hardest books I have ever read.

I pray that what I have written does not come across as a judgment of what others have done in their families. There are precious families I know that have adopted from all over the world. And they are wonderful people.
This book was not written about them. It was written about unscrupulous agencies that are making a market of children and hanging the word "Christian" on it.
There is a big difference between helping orphans, truly helping, working to help families stay together and then making an industry of it.
I think what she has to say about Saddle Back in the later parts of the book is good. She has great respect for their efforts in Rwanda. And I think Rwanda can be a good example, even though , it is a slow process to change things around.
Things are definitely changing in Ukraine and the church is becoming involved in adoption. This is a GOOD THING!

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