The word means different things to different people.
It is loaded.
It means pain for some.
It means redemption for others.
It means healing.
It means wounding.
It means sorrow.
It means joy.
It means loss.
It means gain.
It is complex, anyone that tells you otherwise is fibbing.
In late February we took a little guy into our home to provide foster care for him while his legal guardians and adoptive parents bravely stood up for their soon-to-be-son. They were the first to quite publicly step out against a corrupt and incredibly deceptive organization that had become somewhat popular in Haiti.
Because we had their son in our care, their battle against injustice and unethical practices in adoption became our battle too. We have done foster care before, but never in such a tumultuous situation. We wrote this and this and others, far more eloquent than us, wrote a lot on the topic this year too.
We were in a very personal struggle that led to public outpourings of our grief over things we were seeing and experiencing.
We received emails peppered with Bible darts and incorrect assumptions about our motives. Some people became angry. They said, "Christians need to be for adoption. You are hurting adoption. You are anti-adoption. Who are you to question God's sovereignty?"
It was painful because it wasn't true. We are for adoption. We know our hearts and we know that very unique experiences and some unusual insight into corruption and manipulation of the poor, as well as close personal experiences with all sides of the triad, are what form and shape our views.
We had to choose to stand with the oppressed and the powerless first. We had to choose to allow those incorrect conclusions some folks were drawing.
In the middle of all that turmoil, I wrote this:
"As followers of Jesus, if we are to pronounce just judgment, we’re going to have to be willing to examine some uncomfortable things and be less fearful of things we don’t understand. As followers of Jesus if we are to be guardians of the poor and afflicted, we’re going to have to ask harder questions and do more research. As followers of Jesus we should all want to complete adoptions where at the end we can say that the rights of the poor were maintained. Justice doesn’t come easily, but we should be willing to work for it."
In recent months I have been inspired by multiple families and couples that have been choosing the more difficult path. They are entering into the adoption arena having done exhaustive research. They are turning back when they see red flags. They are choosing painful things in order to stand up for others. I am cheering for these families and their bravery and desire to stand up to injustice is a refreshing encouragement to us all.
This quote below wraps up most of the "awareness" issues quickly into one compact statement-
“My view of National Adoption Awareness Month: 'Awareness of adoption' cannot be limited to making people aware that children need familiess. It has to cover a much larger scale, including awareness of issues such as grief, trauma, and loss, as well as racial identity, cultural realities, search and reunion issues.”
- Maureen McCauley Evans
Adoption is not about finding a child for a family who really desperately wants one. Adoption is about finding a family for a child who really desperately needs one.
There are so many children in foster care in the USA, so many truly orphaned and in institutionalized care around the globe. They need healing, they need love, they need freedom, they need families.
We are for ethical adoption. Join us in praying that this National Adoption Month will lead to adoptive families and beautiful things for children gravely in need of family, love, and restoration.