“To adopt a child is a great work of love. When it is done, much is given, but much is also received. It is a true exchange of gifts.”
He was absolutely right, much is received. We are often told that our children are lucky, but we always respond that we are the ones who are blessed through the gift of adoption.
Why is it then that so many people are hesitant to adopt? It often seems to be something that’s nice for other people to do. I have to admit that I often have a hard time reading about couples who are trying all sorts of medical avenues (within the confines of the church) to conceive, while there are so many children in the US and around the world who are in desperate need of a family. My heart is burdened for these children.
I know adoption is difficult. I know there are many earthly obstacles and children don’t simply fall into our laps because we will them to do so. Finances, paperwork, and preconceived notions, pack a big punch. What if these earthly obstacles are excuses that we have put up to protect ourselves? We put so much energy into trying to conceive that it can become our job, our identity. What if we put that energy into providing a loving home for a child that God has already put on this earth?
No, I don’t think the earth is over-populated and no I don’t think women should stop seeking medical intervention to help overcome infertility. I’m only saying that God commands us to look after the orphans and the widows. Maybe for some of us that involves welcoming a child into our home as an adoptive parent.
This is where the letting go comes into play. Adoption is letting go. Letting go of our fears, anxieties, and our desire for control. Letting go of the “what if’s”. We need to let go of the thoughts that we have somehow failed, our bodies have failed, or we have done something wrong to miss this blessing of biological children. Every bit of suffering is meant to draw us closer to Christ. We need not be so focused on the perceived missed blessing of not conceiving a child, that we neglect the blessing that God is trying to give us.
We have to let go of how we have envisioned our family and embrace the family that God has called us to have. That means different things to different people. Maybe for some it means that they will never have children. For others it means letting go of the dream of having a large family, or maybe it means parenting children of a different race.
When we are open to God’s plan it doesn’t confine us or box us in, quite the contrary, it frees us to truly be the persons God created us to be. Maybe in striving so hard for a biological child we are missing the blessing God has in store for us, the blessing of simply being parents.
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope” Jeremiah 29:11
Jen blogs about faith, home education, and adoption at Forever, For Always, No Matter What