Monday, January 18, 2010

Who Adopts?

I belong to a board that has become quite a community in my life; we have all adopted from Ethiopia and most of us used the same agency. A recent discussion has been taking place that deals honestly with the realities of adopting an older child. I had to admit that I naively entered into this world of being known as someone who adopted an older child. Adopting from Ethiopia also gives me the distinction of many orphans are not truly orphans in the sense that we usually think; our kids have a living parent still alive. This brings about a complicated dimension to adopting an older child who knows his/her mom is still alive and suffering in poverty in Ethiopia.

Many questions have been posed in the discussion. But one question has come to my mind over and over the last few days; who adopts? Maybe another question that accompanies that is who doesn't adopt?

Most adoptive parents I talk with say something like this, "I have always thought about adoption", or "ever since I was a little girl I knew I would adopt". Rarely do I hear, "Wow! God totally threw me a curve ball and asked me to adopt."

So, does God plant this desire in the hearts of those who calls to adopt years before it is even a reality? Does that seed just grow and grow over the year until it reaches a point where one can't deny the call on their life anymore? Can a person ignore that call adequately?

I have to ask these questions because I probably fall into the common category. Seeing pictures of orphans would tug at my soul and break my heart at even a young age. Don't those pictures tug at every heart? What made me feel that if I ignored the orphans any longer that I would be essentially ignoring God's command to care for the orphans? Why is it a unique thing to adopt? Why is it admired and upheld? If it was more common, it would actually be expected.

Does God only ask 1% of Christians to adopt? I seriously doubt that. Who adopts...and who doesn't? Joe and I could not say for sure that this was the "right" thing to do - we were scared! We decided to stand on God's word and it is a simple as that. But, I also have to say that God had obviously planted the desire to adopt long, long ago. Did He plant that same desire in my wonderful husband and some point in his childhood? Are there some who never feel that nudge to adopt?

I don't know the answer because I did feel the nudge and I did do something about it. And now, I wonder if I will ever stop feeling the nudge to adopt again. No judgement here; I simple wonder.

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