Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Letter to the Church

Dear The Body of Christ,

You speak of this Jesus and salvation but I don’t understand.

You say God loves me… but no one love me here

You say God sacrificed for me… but no one sacrifices to bring me home

You say God wants me in his family… but no one welcomes me into their family

How am I to understand these things when there is no one to model them?

You say God has a plan for my life… but I’m told my future is hopeless

You say God wants to bring me peace and joy… but I know only turmoil and grief

You say God will never leave me… but no one ever stays

I hear your words but I don’t believe them. How could I? I see no evidence of their truth in my life.

Yours Truly,

147 Million Orphans

Monday, January 17, 2011

Being Honest About Adoption

Disclaimer: I am not an adoptive mother, however I have had the honor of working with several adoptive families and seen first hand how beautiful and difficult adoption can be. This post is an attempt to be honest and show both sides of adoption, both the good and the bad. I will say in all my experience, the good always out ways the bad by leaps and bounds.

Angelina Jolie rests a beautiful African baby on her thin hips. In her hand she grasps the fingers of an adorable Asian little boy. The paparazzi snap a photo. And suddenly adoption is glamorous, sexy, popular, and the ‘cool’ thing to do because Angelina Jolie is glamorous, sexy, popular, and cool. Adoption rates sky rocket, especially from exotic countries, and adoption starts to make headlines. Soon other celebrities are snatching up their international babies and people joke about it being the next fad.

The only problem is adoption isn’t glamorous. It isn’t sexy. And it really isn’t ‘cool’. When Madonna flies into Malawi and flies out with a precious little boy all you see is the celebrity with her African baby. You don’t get to see the mounds of paper work, the stress of bonding, the comments you get about your unique family, the difficulty of adjusting you child into a new country.

Yes I want people to adopt. I want orphans to find homes. I want parents to realize what a miracle adoption is. But I don’t want adoption to be the new cool thing to do because I don’t want people doing it for the wrong reason. The Daily Beast estimates that 5% of adoptions are disrupted. For children older than 7 this number is raised to 15%. These are the parents who have been so desperate that they have released the child into the foster care system or given the child back to a previous guardian. And then there are thousands of people who struggle through the day to day life of raising an emotionally scarred child. I’ve known several adoptive parents to say, “we had no idea it was going to be this hard.”

And yet they persevere each and every day because they want to make a difference in one child’s life. Some wonder if their child is beyond saving. Some ask what they are doing wrong. Some throw all the parenting books out the window and just vow to love their child, because that is all they have left. To me these are the real heroes of adoption, not Angelina Jolie or Madonna. These are the people that are going to teach a hurting child what love is.

Change a child’s life. Change your life. But do your research first and truly ask yourself, am I ready for this?