Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All Fall Down

For a while now, my dreams have been of paperwork and notaries.  Every night.  This was one of many reasons why I was so grateful to turn over the paperwork and start the wait. 

But there are thoughts you have in the darkness that no one prepares you for.

Right now, adoption is literally under attack.  There is much concern about trafficking and adoption abuse.  When you begin the adoption journey, these facts hit you in the face and chase you in the night.

What if my child could have remained with their parents for a few dollars a month?  What if there is a mother crying in the night for the child she just gave up due to poverty? 

It's enough to make you quit.  Or take the entire adoption loan and donate it to a mother, or a family, or a village.

Dr. Jane Aronson responded to the recent adoption concerns in the Huffington Post yesterday:  "Why did we create such a marvelous bureaucracy to improve international adoption practices and not pour some of that money into the welfare of mothers in these countries?" 

The reality is that if we feed the mothers, we feed the children.  If we educate the mothers, we save the children.  If we give parents access to antiretroviral medications for HIV/AIDS, lives are saved and families remain intact.

I have noticed that parents of internationally adopted children naturally fall into a common stream of charities or causes.  You would think it would be "Adopt!  We did it!  It's great!"  It is; but it's not.  The causes are AIDS, poverty, and clean water.  It is a natural progression to care for these things when you care for a child affected by AIDS, poverty, and famine.  Promoting these issues are promoting orphan care. 

There is a major dilemna that we all must face as Christians at some point.  As Americans, we are ALL wealthy in comparison to the rest of this world.  As Americans, we are known to the rest of this world as a "Christian nation". 

Americans give to the hungry at a low percentage of their GNP (gross national product) in comparison to other nations.  What are we, as individual wealthy Christian Americans, telling the poverty-stricken world around us about Jesus Christ?  What are we telling the world about the Gospel? 

We are NOT the widow giving up her two coins
We are the rich, making a big show of our tiny gifts. 

Our adoption is not fixing any large problem.  It is just an act of obedience.  You may not feel called to adopt, but I will tell you that you can still do something to impact the orphan crisis in a huge can sponsor a child.  You can be an active voice for the hungry and the poor, putting action behind your voice.  You can be aware that "if you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than seventy five percent of the people in the world." 

We can raise our children to understand that our wealth is determined by what we give to Jesus, not what we keep for ourselves.  We can give until it hurts; the essense of "sacrificial giving".  It's a lesson that I think I will have to spend the rest of my life learning, as I struggle to un-learn the American Dream and realign myself with the words of Jesus Christ. 

These children.

 Waiting in cribs that are lined up like kennels.  

Waiting in beds lined with chicken wire, crying for their loss of everything, waiting for us to figure out what to do with them, while we argue over pie charts about how to do it.

Paul and I have been called to carry one of these children, maybe more than one, as our own.  I don't know why.  I don't have to.  It's just The Plan.  What happens after that point will be our mission and responsibility for the rest of our lives; to care for and promote that child's country, to bring to the attention of other Christians the poverty and disease that is swallowing children and people whole.  I am grateful for this burden.

Thank you, Lord.
For breaking my heart.


  1. It's true, adoption is hard. Find others who've done it and stay in touch with them. No-one can really understand the whole experience except for them. Keep in touch with the social workers you meet in Ethiopia and America. Join or form support groups when you come home. Even computer support groups are helpful!

    God Bless you for listening to and following this life-changing call!

  2. Wow. Excellent post! And so true. In a perfect world, every child would stay with their birth parents. Unfortunately adoption doesn't cure hunger or disease for the masses. Welcome to the world of adoption and birth family/country worries. It's a long road that can be overwhelming but also life changing. Praying for you. :)

  3. Please visit Tom Davis' blog (author of "Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds") for his response and a more detailed call to action regarding this post:

    Please visit Children's Hope Chest to sponsor an orphan in need today!

  4. My wife and I tried to adopt from Guatemala a while back, and were unable to. It was heart breaking. We are thinking of trying again, but funds are low, and are trying to figure out how best to use the money God has given us. Thank you for this post.

    By the way, I have a blog as well, and I notice that somehow you get 15% of sales from Amazon to go toward your Adoption fund. How did you get this? Maybe it is something I could sign up for?

  5. Jeremy, Bless you and your family for trying to adopt from Guatemala. The need is great. I encourage you to seek God's will and strength, and I applaud your efforts to be a good steward. If you decide to try again, check out ABBA Fund and ShowHope, two programs offering low interest loans. Do not let the money discourage you if you feel the tug of God's calling. He will make it CLEAR to you! We have a low interest loan from our home mortgage company for about half of the total amount, and are walking in blind faith, knowing that God will provide the rest as He sees fit. I will be honest with you and tell you that Amazon Associates has not worked at all for us. What has worked is cutting our budget down by about 2/3 and living on a shoestring while continuing to tithe. We will not be able to save all of the money in time, but we know that "God Funds What He Favors" and He will pull this plan together in His own perfect timing. I can assure you that if God has placed this call on your heart, you can count on His resources. He IS the banker. And do not let anyone tell you that you must have 30K in hand to know that your adoption is a true calling of God - if we can mortgage our homes and our church buildings, we can rest assured in knowing that God uses all types of methods in carrying out His will, and financing a mission to save a child's life cannot be excluded while we finance homes and cars. The most important thing to do right now is pray that you can see God's will clearly. If He is behind you, nothing can stop Him. The very best resource I can offer you is located above under the "Sermon Link". Listen to Sean Cordell's Tragic Beauty sermon. I had questions, and his anwers gave me peace and STRENGTH. I WILL be praying. Please toss up your blog link and I will promote it on this site. I ask my readers to pray for this family as they seek God's will and calling. God Bless You, Jeremy!

  6. Please also check out the current federal and state tax credit for adoptions per child to quickly pay off loans, as God asks us to do. Currently it is over 10K, and in my state (NC) we recieve an additional 6K. His provisions abound. :)

  7. Missy, your post on Sept. 25th about finances (above) is absolutely true. When we adopted our 10 year old son from Russia in 2005, we literally had no money in savings due to joblessness for a year and a half. I am not kidding or exaggerating that God pulled us in this direction and we were able to find all the funds. We were never where we wanted to be financially but God called and provided! Both of us know and see the miracle in the big picture.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Gena! He funds what He favors!

  9. YES! YES! YES! this is my heart, thank you for putting it so beautifully into words! i am torn in half about what has been revealed to me in the past week about adoption ethics/corruption. We are in process of adopting from Ethiopia and our agency was IAG. I had NO idea they were involved in such corruption and it is by His grace I ran across your blog as i was searching for answers about what to do and how to proceed with our adoption. i have lost so much sleep debating what to do and what agency to go with from here. I am encouraged by your faith! if you, or anyone else reading this, have any information to pass on regarding any agencies you have heard of with good ethical standards regarding Ethiopia i would be so grateful!


Thank you for your words and support.