Foreign Car or Foreign Adoption?
When it comes to adoption, one of the waking realities I had to get use to is, not everyone who surrounds you will support you, and I use that word in very broad terms with regard to adoption. As we have walked on this journey three times now, some of the people who you think would be your greatest supporters and offer the greatest support mechanism each step of the way, sometimes those are the people who are your greatest critics and adversaries. Part of the issue lies in their lack of knowledge about adoption and specifically international adoption. The other issue at hand is their lack of obedience to embrace what the Bible says about orphan care. Someone asked some friends of ours not to long ago, “Why international adoption?” They didn’t know how to respond, but let me respond as we have thought this through and articulated it many times. We have had several people over the last seven years ask us “Why not America?” Why go half way around the world to bring a child into a culture which is foreign to them? Some of those people were curious while others were critical in our position of international adoption over domestic adoption. Let me tell you first off, we don’t take it personally and neither should you. If you are pursuing international adoption, reality number one is, not everyone is going to agree with you as you save, invest and give hope to a young life. But, let me answer the question, “Why international adoption?” with three quick responses as it pertains to our family. First, America has the resources. Look no further than your government and the wasted spending which could be allocated toward developing better programs to help the orphan community in America. When billions of dollars are earmarked for unnecessary endeavors and wasteful spending such as improper payments to the tune of $600 million dollars each year which will never be collected, paying $17.8 million dollars to China to teach them how to clean up the environment [of course we are in debt to China to the tune of billions of dollars] or giving $10 million dollars to Pakistan for the Arts, perhaps all of these efforts and monies are well intended, but shifting those funds toward orphan care in America could reduce if not eliminate the orphan population here in the States. Believe me, this is only the very tip of the problem when it comes to wasted spending. The second reason “Why international adoption?” is the red tape and legal wrangling involved. When we first began to think about adoption in 2006, we thought about adoption and even foster care. However the more we researched, the more we saw the extensive time and energy it would take to walk through the process with no guarantees. We saw people much younger than us weighing through hundreds of pages of documentation only to be placed on a referral list, never to be chosen and literally sitting year after year waiting for that one call they so longed to receive. For many, the call never came. Which bring me to the third thought, which I am more than willing to admit – our age. At 37 years old and beginning the adoption process, the clock was ticking. Time is valuable and to make an indelible impression in the life of a child, time is never on your side the older you get. We’ve known several families who began the adoption process in America and after years of waiting and getting older, they shifted their efforts to another country like China or Africa. If you are young and have time to wait, by all means, invest your efforts locally. If you don’t desire to be in it for the long haul and you don’t have time to invest, international adoption is perhaps the best route. But this is not the only step of faith we took. We adopted three children, each who was on a special needs list. This was our choice as waiting for a healthy child would take years. By embracing this process, it would ensure us that as fast as we could process the paperwork and pay the thousands of dollars for the adoption, we could travel to receive our children. Rather than wait out the process to receive a healthy child, we chose to adopt three very special children, all who have special needs, but ultimately to give them a hope and a future.
As is the case for each person, unless you stand in our shoes and understand the process, many people speak in ignorance. However, this brings me to the greatest IRONY of those critics we have faced over the years when it comes to international adoption. There are not many, but there are some. This is one of those, “ha, ha” moments for us. We think it’s sad, especially in light of what Scripture says, but it’s a reality. What we found utterly baffling and most ironic is, those who clearly stood in the shadow disapproving of our quest for international adoption, the vast majority of them drive foreign cars. Yes, you read this correctly; they are Honda and Toyota lovers. My question to them would be this – what do you think Jesus would honor more, your purchase of a foreign car or my adoption of a foreign life? In my opinion, some great food for thought.