“I couldn’t do that!” I’ve heard multiple variations of this after adopting Niya and again as they hear about our intentions to adopt again. “No. You probably couldn’t…without God’s grace and mercy. And neither could/can we.”
We are inadequate in and of ourselves too and our experience with our first adoption has only magnified our shortcomings as sinful humans. We are more aware of our (pre-Niya) tendency to give credit to ourselves for being “good parents”.
We have received so many comments which are possibly meant as compliments, but sometimes we don’t know how to respond in the moment. My favorite recent example was, “It is such a noble thing you are doing.” Well, maybe, but I don’t feel noble. I “get” what this friend meant, but it isn’t our motivation or goal to be noble. Our motivation is to respond to this call, this tug on our conscience. We believe it is God’s call for our family. His tug on our conscience.
We are far from perfect, and never will be in this life. But aren’t we better for a child than the life they would have living in a state run orphanage with caretakers who come and go, caring for many, but probably not deeply, personally, or devoted to the end? Isn’t that how God uses us, His people? For His glory, despite our inadequacies? We think so.
Another thing. I am tired of living in fear. Not that I am a fearful person, but I have let fear of man, or fear of what others think, dictate too much of my life. I am free in Christ! Why then am I worried about how others see me so much? If my husband and I are in agreement, and within God’s law, why do we let ourselves waste brain cells caring about how others will view the number of children we have? Why should we care if they think we are “freaks” (as one of my children so eloquently put it)? Why should I dwell on the stares we receive when out with Niya, just because she is dark skinned? (Actually I don’t, but I notice them noticing.)
I think it is because we want to craft a good image so other people will give us their “stamp of approval”.
If we stay within relatively prescribed cultural bounds, we get approval and acceptance. Society says:
Two kids? Normal.
Three? Four? Big family, but okay.
Five? Six? The people are getting nervous. Lots of comments and stares in public.
Seven, eight, nine, ten? All out freak-azoids.
But some people are great about not worrying about what others think. I’m thinking about friends who have ten kids because they are united in conviction about that being God’s gift to their family. They aren’t being irresponsible as some would accuse. They feed and love these kids. They teach them valuable lessons. They aren’t fancy people, but humble and beautiful examples. I wish we lived close enough so they could rub off on our family. They have peace, joy and love in their home.
God adopted us through His Son and calls us to care for the orphan. Adoption is not a “good” thing necessarily– but a necessary response to the terrible effects of sin. Precisely why we need a Savior.