Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Why did you adopt?" My new answer.

We used to get asked this question all the time? When we began the process of bringing home, our now 4 year old, from Ethiopia, we would hear things out of curiosity like "Why Ethiopia?" "Why don't you want to have more of your own kids?" "You know there are thousands of children in the U.S. that need a home, why do you want to pick a child in another country?"

I thought I used to have all the "right" answers. From reading, education, blogs, and our own personal international travel, I would respond with phrases such as "There are over 147 Million orhpans in the world today. If everyone goes on having their own biological children, the orphan crisis won't stand a chance." "James 1:27 tells us that undefiled religion takes care of the widow and the orphan." And then I even came up with "God, allowed Brian and I to travel to Africa several times in years past and has broken our hearts for the issues of the orphan, poverty, and injustice in that part of the world."

All of my past responses are certainly valid and still true today, but I am learning that I would now add a new layer to answer those questions. This particular layer, without a doubt, is complicated. But I know that it is real. Not because I read it or listened to it, or even visited it. I know it's real because I'm living it. Here is the newest layer to my response of "Why did you adopt? And why are you adopting again?"

Because Jesus is using adoption to show me and my husband our need for Him.


That's it. I told you it was complicated. And it is. We could go on living life with our 2 girls [1 biological, 1 adopted from Ethiopia] and think we've done it. We've helped the cause of the orphan. We've brought justice to poverty and it's crippling effect in Africa via one child. We've gotten uncomfortable and invited growth for a season into our world. But we cannot escape the fact that God is using the adoption of Ayantu and now Juliana to show us our deepest need for Christ. Our family unit will not make sense to a lot of people in this world. But that is not what concerns me. What keeps me awake at night is questioning my ability to care for the deep wounds and needs of 2 beautiful children whose Mom's had to give them up because of variying circumstances. My husband just turned 43. I am 36. We both work outside of the home. We are tired. Better yet. We are exhauseted. But if we had said "no" to the parenting needs of Juiana, we would have begun to rely on our own abilities to grow our children in this world. With 3, we will be outnumbered. And with 3 very different children, with very different stories, we will forever need to rely on the grace and mercy of Christ to help us each and every day. If we don't...we will fail.

His ways are indeed mysterious. But that is our God. And that is why He had us adopt. Twice!


Laurie said...

Beautifully said, Jen! Praising God that each step of your journey you are looking for Christ's direction. You're amazingly awesome in Him. :)

Always Shop Online USA said...

Great blog,I think it is awsome that God has enabled you to help these children they are Beautiful.