Saturday, March 17, 2012

Adoption Hierarchy Craziness

(To read part one of how we entered the domestic adoption world, click here.)

As Lord Grantham says on Downton Abbey, "We all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished."  This is a part of our adoption story that I'd rather just forget about.  I've debated sharing it but it's a part of how God brought us to this point.  Plus, I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with anything less than authenticity.  (Facades are a really huge waste of time and I want people to know the real me, not a dressed up version of who I really am.)
(image courtesy of, a blog I have never read)

So, the honest truth? I have been completely resistent to the idea of adopting domestically for many years.  Josh did try to bring it up a couple of times, but when he did, I firmly (and probably rudely) said, "NO."  I told him that I couldn't handle the risk of a birthmom possibly changing her mind; that seemed unthinkable to me.

Then, out of the blue last summer, we suddenly found ourselves in a position where we couldn't escape thinking hard about adopting from the U.S.. We were approached about a pregnant woman in our area that was considering adoption.  If a family wasn't found for this baby, the child would likely be placed in foster care.  Everything changed for us.  There was a real woman with a real baby that was in real need of a family.  Was I willing to surrender my idea of what I thought adoption would look like for us?  Was I willing to risk the possibility of the mom changing her mind?  Those were agonizing questions to ask.  Suddenly, adoption became much less "what do I want to do" and much more "what is God calling our specific family to do"?  
Not long after we learned of that local situation, the family decided to parent their child.  But my heart began to change.  The risk of a birthmom changing her mind had (in a very small way) already happened to us and I lived through it.  But I was still really resistent to giving up the dream of adopting from Africa.  Why?

I couldn't have articulated this at the time, but I was walking around with this false notion of a hierarchy in adoption.  It went something like this: children living in orphanages are the ones who need a family.  Adopting internationally is more important than adopting domestically. Everyone wants babies here in the U.S. and the waiting list is huge so that's not really a need; toddler or older or special needs international adoption is really more needed than any other adoption situation. 

God does NOT view people that way.  The truth is that every single person is made in God's image and so every single person has value and dignity before Him.  Every single child that comes into this world deserves to have a family.  Before God, every soul is equally in need of love and salvation and hope, whether they live in Africa or in America.  There is no hierarchy in God's economy when it comes to orphans, or to anyone for that matter.  When Jesus walked the earth, His love reached out to all kinds of people with all kinds of stories.  As someone loved by God, I'm called by Him to love others, and not just the orphans in third world countries but everyone everywhere.  

Repenting about my thinking was a huge turning point for me.  Still, there had been no lightening bolt vision from heaven, showing us where to adopt. And I was really hoping for one...

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4 Responses to “Adoption Hierarchy Craziness”

  1. Katie, I hear people reference "waiting lists" for babies here domestically, but yet when we walked through it, it seemed there were many babies in need of families out there and times where the agency social worker was just trying to get at least 3 or 4 profiles to show the birthmother so she would have a choice...and quite a few last minute situations that popped up too, like ours. Of the 4 couples we know (ourselves included) who adopted domestically this past year, none of us waited very long at all. I've been quite confused by the whole notion of the "waiting list" thing, and maybe Tracie has some clarity on it. But I love what you wrote. None of us can help all needy children, but we can each help one (or two...). All these babies and kids around the world need a loving, stable family and they need to hear about Jesus--no matter where they come from. We each have different giftings, backgrounds, levels of faith and current life circumstances as parents that will perhaps serve certain children moreso than others. God knows who He wants to join into your family, and I can't wait to see who it is! :)

  2. Good stuff, Katie. Thanks for sharing your thought process...and heart process. And amen for not settling for anything less than authenticity! :)

  3. I couldn't AMEN this more.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Katie--your thoughts and own experience is always so helpful...