Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why we didn't choose to adopt an American child

Not very often, but every now and then someone will ask me why we are going to China to adopt instead of adopting an American child. After all, America has many many precious children in the foster care system. I have friends who foster American children. It blesses me so much.

So why on earth would we wait for three years or more on a child from China? After all, when the wait became apparent, we asked ourselves if we should change our plans and adopt somewhere else. But we knew we had not chose China by chance.

When I was 15 watching a TV show about orphanages in other countries God moved on my heart. I felt extreme compassion for the orphans and I told God that one day I would go across the globe for one of those children. The show I was watching was on Russian orphanages. I always thought I would adopt a Russian child. And it seemed so appropriate to me at that time because Russian children didn't appear any different than I thought they would "fit in" nicely (these are the thoughts of a 15 year old).

So when my husband and I started the process of adoption He felt the Lord calling us to China. I trust my husband hears from God. I agreed. And our decision was made.

I love China. I love the people. I love the country. I love the culture. I love the food. I love China. But there is a certain stigma associated with orphans in China. It is very difficult for them to meld into the normal society after aging out of the welfare system. I have read stories that say sometimes even their name tells others they are orphans. And then I heard from a friend who adopted that they asked a Chinese official while in China about girl orphans. The man said that in China females are not thought of as valuable as males. A female orphan would be thought of even less. A female orphan with a physical or mental special need would be the least of the least in China. Then I thought about how my two daughters in China are labeled right now. They are female special needs orphans in China. And I thank God that He led me to them. And that He has a plan for these two girls just like every single person in the world He created. And that He is using us!

Every child is as important as the other. Not because of where they happened to be born in a certain nation. Every child is worthy of being saved from a life of despair. How could we possibly place more emphasis on a child born in America over another country. Their immediate situation can be greater though. A child living in a child prostitution brothel is in a greater need of immediate rescue than my two daughters being taken care of in a Chinese orphanage by nannies that care about them. But God has led me to China. Where has He led you?

The ability to hear from God through a giant voice or a gentle nudging is what shapes a believer's life. Even non-believers go about their life according to their desires or leanings. We are not who we are because we are an American. We are individuals and we have the right to be so.

The reason why we didn't choose to adopt an American child is because we chose to adopt a child from China. It's very simple. Every child needs help no matter where they are. And while I hear the argument that we should take care of the children in our country first, I wonder why one might limit themselves to see American children as ours and other children as not ours. We are all in the same family. God created us all. No matter what we look like, where we happened to be born, what flag we salute.

I am so grateful for America. I'm grateful for people who adopt American children, like my friends the McClellans and the Kiblers to name a couple. I am thankful for people who foster American children, like the Gordon family I know. I am also thankful for my friends the Margroffs, Trammels, and Vincents who are adopting from China. And my friends the Davids who are about to adopt their second and third child from Africa and are involved with One Child Campaign. And our cousins the Zimels just completed their first adoption from Ethiopia! And then there is my friend the Keys who adopted from Guatemala and now have a ministry to help orphans. And the Wills family who adopted from India. And the Blancos who adopted from Russia! And my sweet friend Kelly who adopted a little girl right here in the same city in Oklahoma.

And now I am forever connected to China. Our whole family is! I already have dreams of our family returning to China on mission trips, to the same city my Chinese daughters were born in, to tell the people about Jesus. To serve the Chinese people. I see how God ties everything together so lovely and perfectly and amazingly! As only He can do. Bringing ALL His children together.

Isn't it beautiful when children can be adopted into safe, loving, free homes from here in America and from all over the world? When we can forget about race, culture, location, language, and come together to create a beautiful happy family!

I think so.


Gayla said...

"We are all in the same family. God created us all. No matter what we look like, where we happened to be born, what flag we salute."

YES! YES! YES!!! I feel the same way about adopting our daughter from Ethiopia. Thank you for writing this. I share your heart!!! And I'm so excited for your family.

Chris & Heather Ross said...

awesome word renee. Praise God for you guys obedience to what God has called you to do!

The Dear Family said...

I so agree, and people ask us why as well. We are adopting a SN girl from China and hope to have her by next summer. We are an AWAA family as well.