Perhaps for the first time since we officially began the adoption process, in a few moments of quiet after a bustling morning, I suddenly became completely overwhelmed for my child.
It was a moment of stillness where tears rolled hot down my cheeks and my spirit welled up within me for all this little one has endured and will have to endure in the future. I felt overcome with sadness for all their loss. Even if they are little when they come to us, even if an infant, their loss is great: the loss of their birth mother and father, maybe of little friends in the orphanage if they are older, of their country and their people, of having family members that share their skin color and ethnicity and rich heritage.
I have long questioned international adoption for these reasons, feeling heartbroken at the thought of removing a child from his or her culture. Is it even right? Is it ethical? Fair? Can I handle the ache it will bring to a child’s heart?
Whenever those questions circle, I always come back to the same foundation.
Is it fair? No, it is not. Yet, it is a chance. A chance for this little life to thrive. With challenges, with hurt, with loss, yes, but with hope, too.
Is adoption the solution to all the unfathomable brokenness in DR Congo (or Ethiopia or Haiti or Vietnam or Taiwan or Romania or Guatemala or China or the United States)? No. But it is the redemptive answer of a merciful God for this one life. When the alternative is an entire childhood lived in an orphanage, or on the streets, or in prostitution, or death before age five, I dare say international, trans-racial adoption, with all the realities, difficulties, and loss that come with it, is a better alternative than death.
Just yesterday a friend shared this post with me, written by an adoptive mom of two Congolese children. She shares of a similar wrestling in her heart during her last moments on Congolese soil, the country of her children. In all the emotion, she writes, “God assured my heart, they are not done with Congo and Congo is not done with them.”
I came to God with these questions and doubts swirling, with the needs of the child I have yet to meet consuming my mind, and He met me in that place. A quiet whisper that steadied my worried spirit. A peace that passed all understanding. All logic. All reason.
As suddenly as I had become panicked, it hit me, what family means to the Lord:
that He did not see fit to leave us as orphans, or to keep a covenant only with His people, the nation of Israel.
No. He chose adoption. He chose to adopt me. Us. Not because our lineage could be traced back to the line of David. Not because of my blood line. Not because I deserved it or was worthy. Because of love. Because of Jesus. And in His Word, I rest.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)
by grace alone,