i’ll take another, thank you.

sometime in the middle of last week i called omar at work after having yet another rather drawn-out and exhausting “discussion” with my two yr old about why yes, he must wear clothes when we go out.  i remember saying, “if you ever have a woman call you wanting to pour out her heart and guilt over why she’s not sure she’s really “called” to this whole motherhood thing…send her my way and i’ll commiserate with her.”

in truth i could step back and get a little perspective.  we’d been gone for awhile and were having to get back into the swing of things.  omar was also gone a lot last week, and oh right, i’m pregnant and struggling with a temper that has reared it’s nasty head like i never knew it could.

so it was like one big joke when i chose to use saturday and some time away to go to an ADOPTION CONFERENCE. seriously, more kids?  perhaps i’ll choose to blame my friend laura who alerted me to the conference in the first place.  but really, adoption is something both omar and i want to do, and i actually think it was quite humbling and good for me to sit with hundreds of other people and realize that on my own i didn’t really want to be there and that when i try and figure things out on my own and without prayer, i can’t even handle the kids God’s given us already.

i ended up seeing some old friends while there and afterwards one of them mentioned that they didn’t hear anything really new or groundbreaking.  i agreed but added that that was good.  the situation of orphaned children has and always will be the same – they need families and as christians we are called, all of us in some way, to help the fatherless.

my heart is slowly being chiseled away at.  i’ve always wanted to adopt but thought perhaps just an infant, or a “healthy” baby, or at least a young child that wouldn’t mess up our current “birth order”.  but lately i realize i don’t have any biblical reasons to back these ideas up (i’m not saying that i don’t think these are ever good things to consider – i’m just speaking of our situation here).  i want to want the children that God desires to place in our family, whoever they are and whatever they look like.

the one statistic that i learned about on saturday and keep thinking about is the number of kids in the government system that are cleared for adoption (not all foster kids, just the ones with terminated parental rights) – 125,000.  that number struck me as oddly small.  oddly “do-able” if all people, particularly christians, would consider taking one or more of them in.

i’m almost finished with russell moore’s adopted for life: the priorty of adoption for christian families and churches, a book i’d recommend to everyone in the church no matter what age or stage in life.  this passage seemed fitting for me considering all the new thoughts i’ve been having on what “type” of child would work best in our family.

It’s true that adoption isn’t “natural.” We have adoptions because we live in a world groaning under the curse of sin and death. Fathers abandon mothers. Mothers get pregnant without marriage. Parents are killed. Diseases ravage villages.  It was not so from the beginning. The hard questions about adoption – and the easy ones too – are only with us because something’s gone wrong with the world.

Adoption is modeled after the natural family. But the biological family is also modeled after something – the kingdom of God in Christ. King Jesus tells us his reign is hidden from the “wise and understanding” but is revealed to “little children” (Matt. 11:25).

The childlike kingdom we’ve come into is filled with transracial adoptees like you and me. It’s made up of “special-needs” orphans like us. Sometimes adoptions turn out with families that look remarkably similar – almost “natural,” you might say. But let’s not fall for the carnality that values boys over girls, that pits ethnicities against one another, or that is repulsed by physical or emotional weakness. Let’s be the people of Christ, and, like him, let’s teach ourselves to welcome children into our homes, even those our culture tells us we’re not supposed to want.  pp 165-166

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11 thoughts on “i’ll take another, thank you.

  1. yeah, the number is 125K but there are thousands more on the brink of being “legally free” in the foster system, so it’s a bit more dire than it seems at first. (oh, and btw, the number has increased by about 12K since I last checked, which was two years ago when my niece Katie-girl was coming into the fam. Kyle, my nephew, was already “with us” but no yet legally free. I mention all this to add to your post that there are many kids that are in that zone where they are still being bounced around but they really have no one, and yet are not “available” to be adopted…the whole thing is an amazing but gritty exercise in faith, no? Because when both K and K came into the family there were months and months to go where a long-lost uncle or a mom who decided to get clean after five years could pop up and take them back.

    Kate, if you guys do the foster-adopt route, I’ll be cheering you on every inch of the way. I have said many a time that it’s not for the faint of heart. I’ve never been so conflicted in my life over not wanting a fellow human being (ie, the druggie birth mom, etc) to do well and turn their life around. I actually had some guilt about that until I realized that my not wanting her to do well in no way affected her choices and when I realized that those kids were picked by God to be in this fam…

    On a related issue: have you guys thought about Hait at all? I have and as you know I am single and still struggling with p/t work and school. But I figure the trash heap or living with a single mom in America: not such a hard choice…

  2. loving your honesty here.
    we have officially started our “adoption fund”, which is so exciting to me, but also terrifying. I see my fear and control issues in a new light. why is it we feel we can control how our biological kids turn out, but not our adopted ones??
    I will pick up the book. thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Good thoughts. Really highlights the need to simply “do”. We’ve dreamed of adopting for a long time, and it honestly still seems so far off in our the future. I’m often that mother wondering if she was really “called” to parenting. Can I call Omar for support? 🙂 I’ll second you in the need to pray, control the temper, and stop trying to figure things out on my own.

  4. just recently read that book and have been mulling over thoughts very similar to yours. frankly, adoption frightens me! but God really got to me with that book and i’ve been praying about it. i don’t really want to do it, until i see the face of an orphaned child somewhere, then the desire inflames.

    and just got to say: no doubt about it, being a mom is tough work. 😛

  5. these are the stats one of my girlfriends was telling me she heard at a conference in the past couple months – there are something like 300,000 children for adoption in the states. there are 350,000 protestant churches (he didn’t even include catholic). so even if only one family from every church would adopt, the orphan issue in america could be taken care of. if each individual church would agree to help one family, it could be done! crazy!

  6. hesterhome,

    i have heard that stat, too. it really “breaks it down” when you think in terms of per/household adoptions, such as you note. and it reminds me that early christians saved kids off of the garbage piles who had been left to die, for one reason or the other. i doubt they thought of the millions of excuses against adoption that routinely run through my mind.

    hey, did anyone happen to see coverage of the haiti adoptees who were poised to fly to their new homes in the states when the earthquake hit? I was particularly blessed and impressed to hear of an entire church in colorado springs whose families have, over the years, adopted dozens of haitian kids. these folks are so organized and mobilized and impassioned that they have access to their own jet to get the job done! this came up in an interview, as in “how are you going to get the kids out of haiti now that there is mass chaos in the country post-earthquake.” the parents said, “our church has access to a jet that we use for this purpose.” it was that they “have a jet” that got me, it is that way, way, way before a catastrophic earthquake was on our radar, these families had been planning and praying and working toward adopting kids in need. when the trouble came, they were able to forge ahead.

    i know that adopting haitian kids is not for all of us, but oh, to have the same passion, the same heart as those folks–in whatever it is that God calls us to do.

  7. Kate, thanks for the post. I really appreciate your honesty… definitely refreshing when a lot of blogs are about how cute someone’s kids are and how wonderful they are doing. You know they aren’t being 100% truthful but it still is difficult to read. We would like to adopt as well and I have definitely struggled with many of the ideas you have. Thanks again!

  8. amy,
    “definitely refreshing when a lot of blogs are about how cute someone’s kids are and how wonderful they are doing. You know they aren’t being 100% truthful but it still is difficult to read.”

    I agree. it reminds me of the christmas letters you get in the mail all through december. it’s not as if you want people to be negative, but sometimes the splenda sweetness gets to be a bit much…and then they close with an admonishment not to think of things of the world but to focus on the baby jesus or something. again, not bad advice, obviously, but just a bit…sigh…tedious and smug? at least, for us imperfect people. 🙂

  9. it’s so encouraging to hear all of you (all in different stages/places in life) talking about considering adoption. love it!

    kel – a woman was at the conference from colorado who was on one of the flights to go pick up the haitian kids who were already waiting to be united with their adoptive families. she had some wonderful and challenging things to say.

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