Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another Way to Build a Family

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." The words to this children's rhyme are familiar but not very true. Words do hurt. Perhaps the words that hurt the most are the words spoken in times of great change—the times we are most in need of loving support from our family and friends. We don't intend to say hurtful things; we just aren't prepared for certain events because we haven't been taught how to respond when it happens. We need to be prepared to demonstrate true Christian love when a friend is at a major crossroads in her life.

After I informed people of my intention to adopt a child, the first words spoken to me ranged from very supportive and encouraging to damaging and sometimes cruel. Some people asked "Aren't you afraid the real parents will take the baby back?" Others said smugly, "If God wanted you to have children, He would have given you children. Since He didn't it means you would be a bad parent." Many asked. "Haven't you heard about all the adoptions that don't work out?"

When people mention my son's real parents, they are usually talking about his birth parents. I consider both sets of parents real—birth and adoptive. When people ask about what could happen in the future, I remind them that no parent is guaranteed tomorrow. All our children are on loan from God. To say that only good parents produce offspring is so absurd. If that were true there would be no abortion or child abuse. God sees fit to place children in families in many different ways. Adoption is one of those ways, and it is blessed by God. (2 Samuel 7; John 1:12; Romans 8:16-17)

The first words one should say to an adoptive couple after hearing of their intention to asopt should be something supportive. "Congratulations! I'm so happy for you" would be a good start. Remember, adoption is just another way to build a family. It's no more or less joyous than giving birth to a long-awaited child.

1 comment:

Kelly (The Barefoot Mama) said...

Hey Kim!

Man, I could commend you on your blog all day long. :o) I absolutely LOVE it! Your insights always leave me encouraged, and you truly have a godly voice. I especially like this post. One of my very best friends and her husband are unable to have children and they are prayerfully going to be starting the journey of adoption shortly. I am overjoyed for them, but she's encountered some of the same negative reactions that you have described. Growing up, Leah had many friends from church who were adopted, and her cousin actually married her brother's best friend who was adopted. :o) Still, not even all of her family members are supportive of her decision. It seems that they'd rather her risk her health to conceive biologically or just "accept" that she's "not supposed to be a mother". Jesus wasn't Joseph's biological child, per se, and He is the greatest Child ever born. Whether a mother bears a child from her womb or not, every child is born from his mother's heart just as we're all the children of God - adopted by our earthly parents from his heavenly Kingdom.

God bless you and your family, Kim! Hope that you're having a wonderful week...hooray for it already being Wednesday! ;o)