Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stop the Judgment

I have let all of November go by without posting something about November being National Adoption Month. I try to not be over emotional about things, but several things about Micah's adoption have made my husband and I quite passionate about the topic. So much so that we are considering what kind of voice we can have and how we can be an encouragement to others. Whether it be birth mothers, churches, adoption agencies, etc., we are feeling the desire to minister. We have witnessed a family and church who chose to not judge a young girl, but instead they chose to take her in, fully support her, and follow through with support to help her do the right thing. In our 15 or more years of working with teenagers we can honestly say this kind of support and lack of negative judgment accompanied with teaching accountability is rare.As we think through it all, at some point I will blog more about it I am sure. The conclusion we have come to is the church has missed the boat here. They have missed it on many levels, but for this post I want to talk about the division among adoptive families in the church. For those of you who do not adopt you may not even realize this exists. When God calls us to do something we tend to become passionate about it and develop the attitude that everyone should do it. I think we can all see why that would not be good. In the adoption world there is the thought that if you do not adopt a minority child then you really have not done anything special.(Not that we adopt to do something great, but adoptions of minority children get more attention.) There is also this division between those who adopt domestically and those who go international. It is becoming increasingly popular to adopt from other countries and these adoptions are getting a lot of attention. This division was made very clear to me recently when I was talking with a family who is about to adopt from Ethiopia. She asked me if I thought it was better to go domestic or international. I told her I did not think there was a better. We believe God has chosen children for certain families and He leads you down the path you should take and no adoption is more special than the other. I believe it should really be no more special than your biological births either. All children are a miracle sent by God. She went on to say that she had received some flack for going international and I told her I thought that was sad. Well, then she started with how she did not understand why more people would not consider going international. She thinks they find it too difficult to fly to another country and is so easy to just go to your local agency to pick one up. She went on to say that these children in orphanages in other countries are the real orphans. Most of their parents have died and the children in the US have just been given up by irresponsible parents. Yes, this is a true story and all of this was really said. I mean really! Does it really seem like we have had it easy this time? An international adoption where it is all done the second you step on the plane to leave that country is sounding pretty good right now. I sat there in shock and am so upset with myself that I did not say more. So, as I think about all of this during National Adoption Month, I want to encourage us all to stop judging everyone involved. Birth mothers are sinners just like you and me. They need to be loved, held accountable, and supported. Even the birth mother who is irresponsible and has no desire to change chose life for her child and that should be commended. God calls us to take care of the orphans. Children who are not being cared for are orphans whether they are white, black, Hispanic, Hawaiian, American, or any other nationality. They are orphans whether their parents are dead, are irresponsible, or just plain will or can not take care of them. Let's move past all of this judgement and if God calls you to adopt, please have an open mind and let Him lead you.


Momathon said...

Well put.
With regard to you being upset you didn't say more to the woman who thinks domestic adoptions have a drive through lane--don't be. I'm sure you were just following the "If you can't say anything nice..." rule, right? ;-)

In addition to the judgement issue you've raised, there is the issue of covetousness. Whether it is the struggles that come with adopting or trying to get pregnant, or get a job, or really anything we think we "deserve" in life, we always believe life is easier for everyone else. That is none other than self pity and covetousness. The truth is that life is tough. In fact, it is usually *very* tough at one point or another, for EVERYONE. No one knows what another person is or has been going through, and we are guilty of extending very little grace to each other--even within the church.

Anne said...

Julie, I've learned so much about adoption from seeing this one. I confess I was truly ignorant before. I never thought it was an easy thing, but there were many aspects I'd never considered.

You're right about the judgment and lack of sensitivity. The church needs to hear this and learn. We really should be the world's foremost experts on, practitioners of, and advocates for adoption because we believers have experienced it firsthand.

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