I ran across an interesting article today and found myself nodding because I’ve heard several of the things she mentions myself. I am in complete agreement with her, so I thought it was time to write my first blog on why my wife and I have decided to adopt.
When we first got married over fourteen years ago, we decided not to have children. “They’re a drain,” we said. “They rob people of their lives,” we mumbled. In our view there was nothing sadder than a parent who had all the potential in the world but was reduced to living vicariously through his or her child. We always noticed how parents were never free to just go and do things.
So we made the conscious decision to not have kids and just enjoy our lives for many reasons. At the time I wanted to open my own business and Jamie wanted to be a professor and we knew we couldn’t do those things while having children. A few years into our marriage my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis which put a ‘cease and desist order’ on any ambition, no matter how minute it may have been, to have children. But we never appreciated the other aspects of parenthood, only the detractors. Whenever I was out in public I would notice children running around everywhere – uncontrolled, screaming, pitching fits, and oblivious to the world around them. How can you punish children in this day and age for being unruly when our society has grown to shun the very idea of discipline? So even if you have kids you can’t punish them to keep them in line. They go to school and pick up all sorts of horrific behaviors, attitudes, and teachings. We thought even trying to raise a child was futile. The world was messed up enough and wasn’t showing any signs of getting any better. How could we legitimize bringing a new life into this this world in its current state? Time would tell.
After some years of being DINKs (double income, no kids) we’ve finally come around to the idea that kids aren’t all that bad. As a matter of fact they are quite the opposite of how we initially perceived them. But this isn’t a product of getting older and feeling lonely or empty as some might expect; it’s a product of growth in Christ.
A while back my wife, Jamie, authored an article titled “Pure and Undefiled Religion.” Do you see that beautiful family on the page? They are friends of ours and occupy a very special place in our hearts. Those two little girls have forever changed my mentality about children. They are the sweetest, most adorable duo and were too much for my hardened Grinch heart to ignore.
When we would interact with the mother, the children, at first, would be a side effect . Over time my impression changed. Now, whenever I see them, my heart is lightened with gladness. They always make me smile and give the best, most sincere hugs in the world. They are an absolute joy to be around.
I don’t know exactly how my heart changed or why other than God’s providence. He knew the hardened spot needed to be cracked up so I could deal with what He had in store for us. Call it another step in the process of sanctification.
As my wife notes in her piece, “we are charged with their care no fewer than 25 times in the Bible.” 25 times? That must mean it is very important. This piece involved months of Jamie’s work life and seeped into mine as well as God revealed His perfect plan to us: adopt. After all, the spirit of salvation is that of adoption! We are adopted into the family of God by faith through the blood of Christ and nothing else. God has prepared us adequately for the adventure He has planned. As believers we are called to give and not just to give money, but give of our selves. I cannot think of a better way to serve God than to care for a few of the more than 2.1 million orphans in this world.
To that end we’ve decided to open our home to the local foster care system through Bethany Christian Services. Their classes have been very enlightening and we have learned a great deal through them. Though I’m sure we’ll learn tons more through the process of raising the children God has already planned to be in our home.