Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Adoption Day {a celebration of the Gospel}

It's National Adoption Day, and I am celebrating by refusing to be brought down by some of the negativity surrounding the adoption movement. It seems to be a tough time to be an adoptive parent, but I suppose it's always been this way; it's just that experience--as usual--has become my best and most personal teacher. 

First of all we've got this whole DGM Shutdown, which is forcing a lot of kids to unnecessarily wait longer in Congo before coming home to their families. Along with this shutdown we have received a few somewhat discouraging pieces of information relating to the adoption process in Congo--that it's "changing" or "might" soon come to a complete halt. (Thanks again, to Reuters for your deplorable investigative reporting insinuating that adoptions go wrong more often than not and to the FEW adoption agencies who are not following up with checking in after are adoptions are completed in the US to be sure the children are safe, loved and cared for. You have done more to hurt orphans than we ever imagined possible.)

On top of the situation in Congo and the media's "help" in keeping kids safe, we have a lot of ignorant people making excessively ignorant comments. I talked to a woman last week who has adopted and cared for more kids than I have in my entire extended family. She and her husband recently brought home four siblings from Ethiopia, and the oldest ran away from their home in an act of fear that can only be explained by a life lived in deprivation of a loving family. This story made its way to the news, and people felt compelled to make ignorant and ridiculous comments about the situation. Need examples? Here you go (And thank you Dawn Young for your kind comments and shared truths):
  • Maggie Watanabe Who writes your stories? The child is not African American. He is an African child who was purchased by Americans and brought from his home to meet their needs.
    • Dawn Young He is African-American, once his passport is stamped he has full rights of citizenship here. And he wasn't purchased. The fees for the adoption pay for the assurance that this child is an orphan and they insure that he isn't being purchased. As for "their needs" if these people felt a need to be a parent, and went through the long, tedious and uncertain process of adoption, than it really isn't anyone's business but their's. Shame on you for being so callous and rude. This story could have had a very different outcome.
  • Joanne Reed One can only hope someone thinks to inquire why a child so young would run away without shoes on their feet in this weather.
Oh, Maggie. I can only hope that you truly don't know what you are talking about.

And then there was this comment on my post about the twins' deaths due to dysentery in their orphanage. Comments this hurtful, hateful and rude do not require a reply or a second thought (and I am thankful that I have developed thicker skin in the last few years), but I'm reposting it in case you missed it (because you wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it):

Little does Alisha know that the twins' birth mom died in childbirth and their birthdad's other wives probably tried to raise the child until they realized they couldn't handle it, their birthdad dropped them off and relinquished his parental rights to the orphanage so his kids could be loved and taken care of. Little does she know that our adoption agency is now sending nearly $30,000 worth of equipment and supplies to provide clean water for kids without families to protect and provide for them, that our agency is also providing help to a single mother in Congo who thought she was going to have to leave her kids at the orphanage because she could not provide for them, that our agency is providing short-term support and long-term planning so she can care for her three kids, and that our agency (along with the prayers of thousands and God's own grace) SAVED young Joshua's life by getting him to the USA to provide emergency medical care for his less than two-pound little body. (Read about it all here.)

But little does she care, I assume.

I totally understand that some aspects of adoption are hard to understand, that some agencies are corrupt, that some countries are corrupt. But we didn't jump into adoption in ignorance. Do we understand every aspect of it? No. But we do understand that millions of children need families, and we can change that for at least one of them.

On top of that, we have seen the results of our agency's work, we know several of our agency's workers personally, and we believe that our agency is GOOD, is doing GREAT things, and will continue to change lives for the better.

We have an amazing two-year-old (who was adopted himself) at home who is excited to meet his baby sister, who kissed her picture on my phone last night, and who is sending some of his old clothes to Congo for the children there because they don't have mommies and daddies or anything else.

We will continue to celebrate the joys, successes and Gospel of adoption. I will personally celebrate the fact that adoption has changed my understanding of the gospel. It is an aspect of Christ's love for me that I never would have understood if my eyes weren't opened to the plight of orphans and my former state as someone like them--without hope.

So obviously when we sang this song in church last Sunday I immediately thought of Sweet C with her arms raised up to us when we get her and bring her home:

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
Lord I'm forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours
I am forever Yours

And that is why the negativity, the discouraging days, and the ignorant comments don't matter.

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