To Those Who Want to Adopt... "Someday"
Here's a heart-felt post written by one of our house parents. Sarah is part of the team that cares for the boys of Courage Teal. Her message is one that may be difficult to hear, but it is of the utmost importance that you hear it. This is an open letter to anyone who plans to adopt... "someday"... Especially those of you who are followers of Jesus.
Tonight as I was tucking Ian into bed, he impatiently requested "Me America go."
“I know, buddy. I want you to go to America too. Let’s keep praying for Mommy and Daddy. God is listening.”
"Why so late coming?" he asks desperately.
“I don’t know.” I admit, my own voice falling.
"Sarah, you tell!!!" Ian pleads, "You tell 'Too late coming!'"
So, dear friends who would maybe like to adopt “someday”, I am passing along Ian’s question to you:
"Why are you so late in coming?"
And I am telling you what Ian in his little 8-year-old mind can’t quite express yet, but what he wants me to tell you:
I know adoption is a big decision. I know that it is a life-long commitment. I know it is asking for so much more than a check for $30/month to meet a kid’s basic needs. But aren’t we called to live radically? Aren’t we called to trust God with all the details and the hardships? Aren’t we promised that God will give us the strength we need to do His will?
I want to challenge you to stop waiting. Stop deciding. Stop praying even – the Bible clearly states that we are to care for orphans; this is not something ambiguous for us to figure out if we are ‘called’ to it or not. We are called. We are all called.
We need to err on the side of action, because we tend to default to negligence. So many won’t do anything unless they hear a voice from heaven telling them precisely what to do. Why not default to action unless you hear a voice from heaven telling you to wait? For example: why not assume you should adopt kids unless you hear a voice telling you not to? Wouldn’t that seem more Biblical since God has told us that true religion is to care for the widows and orphans (James 1:27)?
– Francis Chan
While you are praying and hemming and hawing and treasuring your comfort and waiting until the perfect moment when your finances are built up and your family is not going through any sickness/conflict/hardship; Ian is waiting. And I can tell you that he doesn’t care one bit if the circumstances are “just right”; he just wants a family. While you are praying, Ian is getting older. Ian is spending critical years in his development without the nurturing environment that his body, mind, and soul need. He is getting older and his chances of a family choosing him are getting slimmer and slimmer each day, because everyone wants a baby – someone who hasn’t gone through as much trauma as a child of 8 would have experienced growing up in an orphanage (so why did you wait and let him endure 8 years of trauma?). And so then there are young men like Justin, who have aged out of being eligible for adoption at all, having spent his entire life without knowing the love of a family.
I do my best as a foster mom. My boys are getting far better care than they would in an institutional setting. But they are still missing out on SO much. One thing I learned early on here is that children belong in families. And this continues to be pressed upon my heart every. single. day. as I see the consequences of being fatherless played out before my eyes. As much as I want to fulfill all my boys’ needs; it is impossible for me to do so in my foster parent role. They need families.
Here’s the thing: even if you decide today that you want to give Ian the greatest gift of his life – a family – then he is still going to have to wait another 2 years before he embraces this gift. The adoption process is long. It is the perfect opportunity to live out what Chan was describing – take a step of action; get a home study done, until you hear a voice telling you to wait. There are so many points throughout the process at which you can stop it or put it on hold. I can’t think of a nice way to say this, but Church, just DO IT! The conditions will never be right. Adoption will always be hard. But I can promise you that it will be so sweet. It will be so worth it. The work that God will do through your selfless act of obedience will blow you away.
You can’t see the hurt in Ian’s eyes or hear the desperation in his voice, but I do. It is heartbreaking. He has been waiting for 8 years. Please don’t make him wait any longer while you try to get your life sorted out. You are already “so late coming.”
For taking that first step, visit A World Without Orphans and/or Christian Alliance for Orphans. Find an adoption agency and get a home study done. Or start the application process to foster children. I’ll also recognize that there are some who aren’t called to adopt right now, because they are legally too young, too old, etc. To you, I still say that the call to care for orphans is a call for all Christians. Here is a list of 10 ways that all Christians can care for orphans. One suggestion is to support reputable orphanages. Please consider sponsoring a child at SCH.
Every night I pray with the boys for mommies and daddies. And I always pray for families to be stirred from their waiting. I am praying for you.