And we did.
Do you know that there are some families still waiting on their children from Guatemala? Not just a handful. Hundreds. This grieves my soul. And like so many other places around the world, these children have never experienced the safety and security of family. Government, greed, and policy have forever changed the landscape of international adoption. That doesn't mean we should give up; it means that we will have to work and fight harder.
My husband and I proceed with a certain amount of caution when discussing the personal details of adoption with others, especially online, because we feel it is our job to protect our daughter and the story of her life. She is our child. Period. We will not portray her as some type of missions or ministry project- because she is a human being, not a project- so there is a fine line between advocating for adoption and orphans, and knowing what and how to share.
I suppose what I so desperately want people to understand is that the statistics we've grown accustomed to seeing and reading about are actual human beings. Those numbers- over 150 million... 150 MILLION - represent human beings. People who feel and yearn and dream, who are hungry in every way imaginable. Children who have faced the most horrific, gruesome conditions, who ache for someone to love and for someone to love them. So it is with those things in mind that I will share our daughter's beautiful face here. She was once a statistic, but when you put a name and a face on a statistic, I don't think you can look away quite so easily.
I hope you can't.
Looking at her, no one would question whether she matters. Of course she has value. So often lately, my mind wanders when I have her in my arms, holding on tightly, my cheek resting against her silky hair: Where would she be if she weren't here with us? Would she still matter? The answer is a loud, resolute YES! But her life would be very different.
If you're not an adoptive parent, can you imagine looking at one of your children and wondering how she or he would be surviving from day to day? If they'd survive at all? These thoughts grieve my soul.
Every child should know the love and security of family. Nobody is a perfect parent. You don't have to be perfect in order to provide a loving home.
Adopting a baby, toddler or older child will impact your family in tremendous ways. There will be challenges- there always are. But there will be such love.
Adoption has become so costly. I know. It's a huge burden, seemingly impossible. There are risks. There are doubts. There are even moments of sheer panic. Please don't let the fears keep you from pursuing adoption. It's perfectly normal to be excited about adopting one day and then the next, to be worried and wonder if you're doing the right thing. Everything in life comes with risk, and sometimes our emotions get the best of us. For me, personally, I struggle with selfishness when I let myself get swept away by the latest home improvement trends or the things I think I need in order to feel fulfilled. When I shift my focus onto more meaningful things, I get inspired by reading about missionary families or talking with other people who are adopting. When I surround myself with materialistic pursuits and goals, then I feel very materialistic and I struggle with the thought of disrupting our current, comfortable life, of spending all that money, etc... I think this is all very normal. It becomes a matter of what matters most.
People should always matter most.
I'm sharing some articles from Show Hope, an organization created by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife. You can keep up to date on orphan care and other adoption issues by visiting www.showhope.org.
There is also lots of information about affording adoption on the site.
Simply click on the links below to read more:
If you don't feel called to adopt a child, there are other ways you can minister to children in need.
Don't hesitate to ask me anything about adoption at 3sonsplus1(at)gmail(dot)com. I would love to be an encouragement to you or offer help in any way I can.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.