Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aren't there enough kids here who need a home?

One of our hardest decisions was whether to adopt domestically or internationally. We've heard compelling reasons for both types of adoption. We feel our heart-strings pulled by both. We know families who have adopted domestically. We know families who have adopted internationally. Who's right?

Those who are more supportive of domestic adoption urge that these kids are floating in the foster care system, some (many?)suffering from abuse, and all desperately missing the permanent connection of a forever family.

Those who are more supportive of international adoption simply point to the fact that if the children in orphanages are not adopted, they may simply die. Food, water, clothing, and shelter for the millions of orphans around the world are not "givens." Kids who "age out" of the orphanage will have lives on the streets, girls likely victims of sex trafficking.

This is by no means an attempt at a comprehensive view of the orphan crisis. I'm just starting to get my feet wet in this arena. I'm just sharing the bits that I've learned so far.

So who's right? Domestic or international?

The answer, we're convinced, is both. There is no wrong way to care for orphans other than to do nothing at all. No, not everyone is in a position to bring an orphan into their home. But you can help out a foster family. Financially support a family that is adopting. Send gifts to an orphanage. Pray. Whatever you do, do something.

"Pure and lasting religion before God our Father means that we must care for orphans..."
James 1:27

We just felt the Lord leading us to adopt internationally. We prayed and asked for His wisdom, we researched both domestic and international adoptions. We prayed some more, and we both felt at peace with choosing to adopt internationally.


Jennifer M said...

Very well said!

Heather said...

I enjoyed reading your blog and commend you for your decision to adopt. I have a close friend from Ethiopia and I know the conditions there are deplorable. I will pray for your success in getting a child soon.
When my two children were ages 15 and 20, I also adopted a baby girl. I am Caucasian and she is African American, born in Ohio. She is now 13 years old and is a great joy in my life. There are some very real challenges in raising a child of a different race. I was raised in a diverse family; my brother married a woman from Vietnam who was Buddhist, my sister married a man from Pakistan who was Moslem, my other brother married a Catholic woman, my father was Lutheran, my mother was Brethren, they raised us Presbyterian, and I married a Black man and became Mormon. Diversity is a wonderful thing! In my opinion, the most helpful book to read is "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla." There are others I found immensely helpful. I thought since I was "color-blind" I could raise my daughter to be color-blind too, but the world is not color blind and you can't shelter them. I'd love to share some experiences with you if you'd like.