Monday, August 26, 2013

Adoption or Family Preservation?

I know that I don't really have many people who read this blog, so, honestly, I'm not sure why I'm writing this.   It's just something I mull over and over in my mind.   I guess it's also in response to a post I read by a fellow adoptive mom that has really been bothering me.   I almost feel like I need to separate myself and make it clear that I'm not in the same school of thought as her.   I deeply respect her and others and know that their hearts are in the right place, I'm just really troubled by a lot of the thinking that goes on in the adoption community....particularly when it comes to family preservation and trafficking.  

I think that some of this comes down to theology....or at least it comes in to play for some.  I'm not a calvinist, so I do believe that I have a free will and I'm capable of making some huge mistakes.  I believe God can always use those for good,but that doesn't mean there aren't consequences or negative effects of those on others.   However, this post I recently read stated the following regarding her views on adoption, "I also believe that the Lord is always in control and if that means a child is orphaned thru the loss of their parents, or circumstances of the parents that does not allow them to take care of their children and they become my child because of these circumstances. Then that was God's plan all along. God does not have a plan B....He is never controlled by our ability to respond to Him."   " I feel the deep grief of loss some of them have felt but to be honest all of them have gotten over this."  "I am grateful to the birth moms of my children but, I feel the Lord wanted us to complete the parenting of these children."   " I am not for family preservation as much as I am for adoption."   I just felt sick reading this.   I cannot disagree with this more.  Honestly, I can't believe people actually think this way.   I am not against adoption.  I am always hoping we'll be able to adopt again soon.  I know there are so many children in need of families.  I have wanted to adopt since I was young.  I had an "adoption fund" going before we got married.  I love adoption.

I've been inspired by and had the privilege of being around people who were giving everything they had to show the love of God to kids who were abandoned since I was young.     I think that's why this has been hard.   There was never a question of ethics or corruption.   These kids were, no doubt about it, in need of a family.   I don't know if it's just been in recent years as the church has been moved to care for orphans more and more, or if it's just some thing that I never heard about.    Either way, the corruption is real.   It's heartbreaking and devastating for so many....especially these children.  I'm so thankful that we know that our children needed a family.   However, to be completely honest, that's not because we did our homework.   We jumped in when we felt God leading and trusted people that were helping along the way.  It's our fault too...we were naive.  We had no idea that people were aware of corruption yet continued to facilitate adoptions or refer children to certain orphanages, directors, etc.   The shocking part to us has been that it still continues and people actually think the way the mom I quoted above thinks.  How can we put our desires, reputations, and agendas above that of innocent children and birth parents?   I don't care what my situation was, I would not think my kids were better off with someone else.  I don't care if we had to sleep in a cardboard box on the sidewalk!  Does that make me selfish?  If I was in that situation would it mean it was God's will for me to hand my kids over to someone else?   Would they be better off with someone who could give them everything they wanted?   Send them to school?   Make sure they had nice clothes?   I don't think so!  I understand the situation in other countries is desperate.   I get it.  I've seen it firsthand.  I've seen way worse than where our kids came from.  I know that birth families are handing their children over for various reasons( sometimes it's because of the money we are giving).   I don't have all the answers.  All I know is that we need to take a step back and make sure we're not doing more harm than good.   Do we really think that kids who are taken from or are given up by their families are just going to "get over it"?   I think we need to seriously contemplate what this would look like for our bio kids.   It's gut wrenching to even think about.  I really can't even go there.   Why is it that we can turn a blind eye to the horrors of what is happening on the other end of things.   We can justify it because they're getting some food or going to school.  Those things are great...but what else are we facilitating?   

I would suggest that everyone read When Helping Hurts.   I read this after I had been struggling with all that I was seeing and I'm so thankful that it's out there.  I seriously needed to read it as I was guilty of almost everything they pointed out.   

I pray that the church continues to move toward orphan care and adoption, but, at the same time works toward family preservation and "orphan prevention" whenever possible.    

Beautiful Mess

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Exploring, Pretending, and Marveling

We've gotten a slow start to the school year due to our move.   We've been slowly unburying ourselves day by day.   I have been frustrated and overwhelmed daily by all the "stuff" around me.   I think this SLOW START has been a gift from God. A friend has been sharing with me some changes she's made inthe way her family does school.  I knew we needed a change, just didn't know what that looked like.   It's been a huge blessing to go from just getting through the school day without a complete meltdown, to having fun together.  

One day this week we took school to Fort Loudon.   We started out with a little hike, some swimming, exploring and good exercise.   Then, we had a little picnic lunch before we headed to the fort.   The kids were so excited as we talked about all that had taken place there.   After our short lesson they ran around playing hide and seek and then acting out the battle (unprompted) that took place there.   

We did some art and a few other things.  We watched as the skies quickly changed.   From where we were, we could see a storm rolling in.  We could actually see where the rain started and stopped.   We stood and watched the weather change while it stayed sunny and dry where we were.   We all marveled at God's creation!  

I'm so, so thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my kids!   

I'm also thankful we've found our silverware.  And Chad's razor.  

They were not in timeout...they were counting for hide and seek.