We're not too sure why people read this, but we do know that many people end up at our blog because they have an interest in adoption or an interest in missions work abroad. (Google tells us these and many other weird things.)
We have had the pleasure of following the journey of one family from Missouri to India and another from Whales to Uganda, our exchanges with them over the years have been encouraging and fun.
We have also been blessed to see many families start and even complete adoptions. It is cool to see the hand of God in these things. It is pretty cuh-razy to think of the connections and friends we've met from around the globe. For all the horrible things it is used for, at least the internet can also be used for good as well. It can bring together people that will encourage and challenge one another.
We're humbled by the questions and genuine love and concern offered by complete strangers.
Two of the most often emailed questions have been -
1. We want to adopt from _______. Our family is not approving of this decision. They say adoption is dangerous/risky/corrupt/not for us.
2. We are thinking about moving to ______ . We told our friends and they think we are crazy/wrong/stupid/irresponsible.
"What do we say to those people?"
This question is loaded.
The problem is, most of us live to please humans.
Truthfully, we all desire affirmation. Sometimes the need for affirmation becomes a monster of a problem. Troy and I have been known to fall into that trap.
If you live to please people you will get tripped up much more frequently. The opinions of others will hurt more. Frustration over feeling misunderstood will happen continually. The focus becomes getting others to see it your way rather than focusing on trusting God in the middle of the big things He wants to do with your call.
Been there. Done that. Hate to admit we'll probably do it again.
When your chief purpose becomes about being liked, being popular, being approved and cheered for by all -- prepare to fall.
If you are certain God is asking you to do X Y or Z, and you are certain because you've prayed and discerned and maybe even sought the counsel of a wise and trusted person in your life, it matters not what Aunt Bea and your old friend from way back think. Really. It doesn't. Your passionate call to do whatever it is will have to stand up to disapproval and unkind words. If it can't, maybe you have to evaluate how called you are.
Sometimes people are even called to do things that will ultimately fail. (Learning from failure - the world's best teacher and butt-kicker.) God is in that too.
Of course we did not have totally happy people jumping up and down at our decision to adopt from Haiti. Yes, mean emails and comments were received. We did not have 100% friend support when we moved to Haiti. Yes, some friends were even lost. Did that hurt? Sure it did. Does it matter?
Well ... It shouldn't.
We cannot expect people to understand OUR vision or call from God. It is not their calling, therefore they cannot be expected to "get" it. Maybe they are scared for you and wanting to protect you. Maybe they are jealous of you. Maybe they truly think you are an idiot.
Let them. (And try to love them anyway.)
Our encouragement to all in the decision-making place on either of these two issues is to pray, and pray some more and if God is still nudging you forward you've got to move forward in obedience and faith that your friends and family will either get on board later (most everyone will eventually) or not ... but gaining their cheers and approval cannot be your primary focus.
Your audience of One will see you through it.
Good thoughts along similar lines from Shaun Groves here.