Sitting with my beautiful wife last night (any excuse to boast) she was sharing about how she feels when people speak about those who adopt as a separate group of people. The words “special” “different” and “called” came up and while these are glowing reflections on what we and many people do, and don’t get me wrong, praise is always accepted and appreciated, there is a subtle danger in people accepting and giving these specific praises too easily.
Imagine a couple, feeling called by God to open up their hearts to the lost, to the ones forgotten, opening up their home and their family to accept those who have nobody to offer them a hope and a love that will be forever. This couple, when described like this, can be made to look a little more special than they really are. Truth be told, this couple doesn’t glow in the dark, doesn’t walk on water, they don’t control the winds by the mere wave of their hands and no they don’t poo gold bars or sweat diamonds. They are you and I!
The danger of exalting these people above the rest of the pew warmers is that an excuse is created. This excuse attempts to explain why people are able to open up their hearts the way they do by implying they have something different, something others do not or have not yet attained. Sounds like a bit of a cop-out!
To be fair, I don’t think everyone should adopt, much like I don’t think everyone should procreate in general, but when we find ourselves in a situation where approximately 7% of Christians need to adopt to eradicate the state orphanhood, I feel justified to encourage a few more people to stick up their hands, after all, 93 out of a 100 can continue to sit around praising the other 7 and believing it’s not their calling. So to this end, I thought I’d share 3 reasons why adoptive parents are no more special than the rest and basically challenge more families to consider adopting, even if they haven’t attained super family status yet.
1. You’re Special
As I’ve said, bring on the praises, I love being told I’m great! But the truth is, I’m no more special than the next guy, neither is my marriage nor my family. We are just like the next or at most what they could be. All we did was raise our hand, begin a journey and trust that as we journeyed, we’d begin to make fewer mistakes. We don’t glow, we don’t float, we do get angry, we do get annoyed, we extend forgiveness often and ask for it even more. God didn’t call those who he declared special to look after his children, he commanded that it simply be done!
2.) Specifically graced
“Those who adopt have been given an extra anointing, they have been graced with the ability to take on more than they believe possible and extend a love that is uncommon to most” Oh Please! This morning when I woke up at 5am, I felt no special grace, when both my kids are having a meltdown because they haven’t received what they feel was due to them, I feel no special force rising up within me to handle the moment in a super human way. The truth is we fail, we fail daily and we fail big time. But we also choose to love big time. The key word here is “choose”. Last time I checked the power of choice was given to us all, so I’m pretty sure it’s not unique to us. God has graced us with a special love and calling to families but I don’t believe people can excuse their call to look after His lost children by saying they haven’t been given the grace needed to go through with it. In my experience, the type of grace referred to here, begins to flow as we begin to move. As we push forward, God intervenes and equips us, but without us choosing to move, we’ll remain in a place of denial that adoption is for those people with a special anointing.
3.) You’re called by God
So true! But so are you! God never shouted from the heavenlies, directing me to adopt, He never set my Christmas tree on fire, declaring through the flames that I was to set these children free, and honestly, even if He did, so what! The numbers themselves tell a story that we are not enough, we cannot believe the lie that we alone will change the reality that most of these children find themselves in. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. This seems to be a problem that has been passed from generation to generation. Unless you and those like you start ignoring the fact that you and your marriages aren’t perfect, that perhaps your families aren’t perfect either, that you feel ill-equipped, under-resourced or over-stretched, until we start ignoring the excuses/lies we tell ourselves, these little ones will remain without a family and we will continue to live out a watered down version of the Gospel, where we are happy to receive a spirit of adoption but are unwilling to extend the gift we freely received to others. Honestly, I’m not judging, or at least not intending to judge, but I am wanting us to stop making excuses! While you are sitting idly by explaining your inaction away, lying to yourself and minimising what God can do through you, another little baby is born without a hope, another child is being left alone in darkness. Get up, get moving and see how God will move mountains as you begin to see that we are all called to this battle.
The truth of the matter is this, if you have a healthy home and healthy marriage, there really are no good excuses why you shouldn’t at least consider adopting a child maybe simply begin by going through the screening process. I say “no good excuses” because there is a never-ending list of very real excuses, all of which will fall flat when compared against the excuses God must have had when faced with the choice to adopt us or let us go, and yet He did it anyway! Thank you for the compliments, but I’d like to encourage you to not use them as a cop-out, justifying why you couldn’t do what you praise others for doing.
Let me know your thoughts.