Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What about you?

There are people affiliated with adoption that stand in high places and speak from lofty mountaintops.

There are people who embrace adoption and are tireless advocates for orphaned children who are looked upon and admired.  Even when they shun admiration, they are still admired and thought of as the "voices" for so much about adoption.

Some of them have adopted many children, and that is what makes them "experts".  Some of them have adopted very disabled children, and they are "experts" too.  These people are the ones others email or phone when they are unsure of how to proceed. They are the people whose opinions about agencies, policies, and procedures are held to a standard not unlike the red words in the Bible. 

Many of these same people are those who have connections they do not reveal and affiliations that epitomize "conflict of interest". But this is never shared, because these are Godly people who only care about orphans.

Some of these people attack adopting families; tear them down or convince them to act (or not) based on interests that are only self-serving.  They cloak these pronouncements in scripture and throw the weigh of their status behind it. 

This happens....and I did not think that it did.  I was naive when I began this process. My husband and I were both very naive.  Our eyes are opened, even as I wish I could somehow shut them. What I want to believe, and what the reality truly is, is incongruent and distressing. Yet, here we are, nearing the end of our adoption process...and our family is no closer to entering the "inner sanctum" that is these groups as we were before we ever said "yes" to our beautiful Ian (Joshua).

We must accept that, because we must know that what we are doing is right and correct for our family and that we are trying to do God-honoring work.  Those who claim to speak for many do not speak for us. We won't be invited to the picnics and we won't be sharing secret emails with those people. We know this, but we also know that adoption - for our family - was not a popularity contest.  It wasn't a way for our family to become more known.  We have a few dozen followers to our blog and we are grateful and happy for every single one of them.  We have been blessed beyond measure by strangers - strangers without big, important "Adoption-world" names and strangers who pray for us daily.  We are willing to stand on the fringes of those groups, because the price of admission to be included as one of Those Important People is simply too high for our family.  We know that "bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33) and so we will continue our prayers to look inward instead of outward, to project the voice of tolerance and love instead of being prideful know-it-alls.

I do not claim to have every answer simply because I'm adopting.  What I ask of anyone who happens upon this little blog is this:  Do not listen to the loudest or most important voices.  Do not allow yourself to be corrupted, even if it is by doing good work.  Do not fall for the shorthand of getting advice from someone you trust.  Be critical.  Remain true to what your values are.  Don't assume that your agency, your social worker, your child, or even the country you choose is any worse (or better) because someone with a loud voice and many (hidden) connections tells you.  It is not up to anyone but you.  Your choices are yours.  You must exercise them with full knowledge.  Don't believe the definition of "some word" is something - because some Word Smith tells you it is so. Look it up for yourself and know it.

If you do this, then the voices that try to permeate the sacred world of international adoption will not infiltrate your decisions, and you will rest knowing that God, who knows all things and has ordained all things, is your final answer.


  1. It's incredibly brave of you to speak out like this. I love your blog and I can't wait to see Ian home and healing!

  2. I know that the followers thing is good for you. But, I don't seem to get what I have to do to follow. I just have a long list of blogs in my favorites that I click on every day to check for updates. I read everything you write. And the whole adoption thing?? You have to look at all these experts and multi-adopters and agencies as just a group of people, like co-workers or colleagues. Some you hit it off with, some you really like but you are too busy to invest in them, some are just not pleasant or you don't care for their work ethic. They are just a group of people and after you and your little ones are all together you will move on with your life. Life after the adoption is the best part. The during part is such a small part and now 20 years after I brought my daughter home from Romania the hows and whens just don't matter. Ignore the chatter that doesn't make sense. That's my two cents worth.


Kind comments are welcomed. Poorly researched, ill-informed, horrifically biased comments are exploded. :)