Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More harm than good? Adoption and the church.

More and more recently I have seen various churches pop up around the web with the message of "embrace adoption" - "we are called to adoption" - "the spirit of adoption", etc. etc.  Yes, let's all adopt!  The Bible talks about it.  We should do it.  It is a way to provide an alternative to abortion.  Sounds good right?

But are we missing something?  

I see adoption as an option, yes, but not the option.  

Let's delve into the real issues of why a woman would even choose adoption.  No one wants or desires to have a baby and then be separated from them.   A large part of the equation often comes down to economics and beliefs about what makes a 'good' parent - can I afford this baby? can I give them what they 'need'? can I meet the standards set by society of what I should be?

Should we not as the body of believers be addressing these issues first and foremost before we jump to separating families?  We are not the judge or "decider" (thanks, GWB) of what makes a good parent.  Babies need love, not toys, name-brand clothes and a top-notch preschool.  Let's work together to encourage these women to parent.  Let's give them the tools. Let's equip them.  Let's show them who they are in Christ.  Let's encourage them to be that woman.  Support, support, support.  I can't say it enough.  And no I don't mean government subsidies and hand outs. I mean real come-alongside-you support; and dare I say - love them?

From Galatians 3:
28 In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

From Philippians 2:

1Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God's Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others. 2Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person. 3Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. 4Care about them as much as you care about yourselves.

Love  - Care - Others above yourself - easier said than done.  But attainable nonetheless. 

Adoption is painful.  It hurts someone.  More than one someone usually.  You wouldn't want to hurt yourself.  So why would we want this pain to come to another?  

I have adopted.  I know it sounds ridiculous and outlandish for me to say these things.  But this is my heart.  My heart hurts for my kids.  It hurts for their natural moms.  It hurts for their other families.  I know why they were placed in my family.  And these reasons should not exist!  It is sad.  It is painful. It is also lovely and happy.  It formed my family.  I have joy in my children.  But the reasons I have them are also ugly.  I have no easy answer. I wish... I wish... and then I love.  I do what I can - I love the socks off my kids because that's what their other moms would want.


Debbie B said...

Here here! Well said.
And who would have thought just loving someone could really make a difference (said sarcastically).

Our agency has started helping the orphanage in Ethiopia so the children can stay in their birth country. They have a home for single mothers where they offer help and assistance, even mentors.

I've seen posts recently talking about there being so many foster kids per state and about 50 times that amount of churches. It's all in encouraging churches to step forward and embrace adoption. And in a way I think that every church should, but that doesn't mean that even one family in that church is meant to adopt it just means they are meant to help and through their help maybe every child waiting for a forever family in their state can find a home.

Von said...

At last!!!!Please, please convince everyone else of the sense and reality of what you are saying here.Adoption hurts, it scars for life, there are alternatives to keep families together where ever possible.
Adoption is not a solution to abortion.

HollyMarie said...

Something else that is really dangerous w/ the church pushing adoption, (and I posted about this on an Ethiopian forum where someone was so excited about their church's push) is that sure, they get all kinds of folks interested in adoption; let's help those poor orphans, and what happens is that many do jump on board... but what do they want? the healthy infant. And internationally, that is not where the need is. So you have all this extra demand for healthy babies (in part because of the CHURCH's push) and what happens when there is more demand than supply? Corrupt things. Things that the church would shudder to know they innocently played a hand in. That parents wooed by the church to adopt these "orphaned" babies would shudder (hopefully) to know that they had a hand in. There are a lot of misconceptions out there that are NOT helping keep families together and in some cases are the VERY reasons families are being torn apart. God does not love this kind of adoption.

We need to get on board with the organizations that are sponsoring FAMILIES, so they can stay together. In Ethiopia, a great one is Yezelalem Minch. :)

Rebekah said...

This was a great post. This is what my Rebekah talks about all the time. I am the birth mom to her sweet boy Tyrus. She talks about how the worst part of adoption is seeing familys torn apart.
Anyway, I was very blessed just looking at the pictures in your header. Your family is so precious. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to write. It means so much to me.


*Peach* said...

As an adult adoptee and a Christian it is refreshing to read this post. It seems like the churches "help" for pregnant moms is nothing but to "help themselves" to her baby. I saw a poster tonight for an event called "Orphan for a Night" encouraging people to raise funds for orphan care. Unfortunately, it is a truth in advertising issue (all of adoption) because the money raised will NOT go toward true orphan care but to adoption marketing.

Susie said...

AMEN!!! Great post ~ full of truth. If Jesus was walking on earth today, he would be speaking for family preservation, not for tearing families apart.


letterstomsfeverfew said...

Thank you for this - as a first mother, I have longed to hear these words from the lips of an adoptive parent. As Susie said, if Jesus was with us today, He would be speaking for family preservation, just as he always has.

Christina said...

Thank you for this...spot on.

~A reunited adoptee

Karin Katherine said...

My take on adoption is that it is a way to bless and lift EVERYONE involved. For us we have felt called to minister to our daughter's birth parents and to fund a ministry for birth parents so that IF they choose to place their children for adoption THEIR lives can be improved as well as the child's...in this way we can break a cycle.

Our church already has a program for pregnant girls who want to parent...we hope to help bridge the gap with those who choose adoption for their children but who also would benefit from a "fresh start" and "better life"

Susie said...


I think what you are trying to do is a great thing. There are just a few things you need to think about though. Mostly in the way you are looking at/wording what you are aiming to do.

You say that if they choose to give their children up for adoption, you will try to "improve" their lives and they will benefit from a "fresh start" and "better life". After losing a child to adoption, life cannot be "improved", you do not get a "better life" or a "fresh start".

You do not move on with your life to do any of those things. You can learn to live without your child, you can rise above and still have many blessings in your life, but adoption is not one of the blessings, nor is it because you are not raising your child ~ it is in spite of the fact you are living without your child.