You knew it was coming, right? My annual post about adoption and National Adoption Month? I wasn't even sure I was going to write anything this year. Ha! I made it all the way to the 7th.
It was our pastor's sermon yesterday morning that changed my mind. I liked the sermon, but felt that perhaps he didn't go quite far enough. (Don't you find that sometimes you wish sermons were more of a discussion format? Or is that just me? I'm sure my children are thrilled that it's not.) Anyway, he started out by mentioning the incident in China about the little 2 year old girl who was run over by the truck and no one stopped to help her. (I know the video is all over You Tube, but I just can't bring myself to watch it... just knowing it happened is bad enough.) Our pastor challenged us to not be bystanders when people are in distress.
That's all well and good, but I wonder if we are really aware of the distress around us. I'm sure most of us would stop to help a little girl bleeding in the street. That's pretty blatant distress. (And it is the thing that horrifies us about the incident. It was blatant, yet no one stopped.) But, there are children in our midst who have been figuratively thrown under the truck and are lying there bleeding and yet we pass them by all the time.
Just think of the number of children in foster care in our country. These are children who are not in a permanent situation; they have no stability. It is quite possible that the majority of these children will be moved from placement to placement multiple times in their young lives. Let me tell you, I live with the reality of what multiple placements can do to a child. My son survived five moves in four years. Many foster children face many more moves than that. I cannot imagine the toll that is taking on them. They need stability. They deserve stability from the adults around them who are supposed to be caring for them.
Some of these children are available for adoption. Some could be made available if there was an adoptive family interested. Some are not, but are still shuffled from place to place waiting for the adults in their lives to get their act together. These are the children who are emotionally bleeding to death waiting for someone to help.
Or how about heading over to Reece's Rainbow. Take a look at the waiting children. Some of them have Down Syndrome, others do not, but have other special needs. You may notice a note about how some of these children are coming perilously close to being transferred to mental institutions where they will be warehoused and ignored. These are the children who are easy to ignore... they are not seen, but are hidden away out of sight.
Can I tell you about the hundreds of children on China's shared list? This is the list which is published that contains the children who currently have the appropriate paperwork and are waiting to be matched with a family. They are all considered to have a special need, but for some that special need is merely that they are older and male. In the adoption world, boys tend to be second class citizens, with families often opting for girls, even when those girls have more serious medical needs. When these children reach the age of 14, they become ineligible to be adopted. What will they do? They have no family to go to; they will be out on their own once they reach 18 and can no longer live in the orphanage, often the only home they've ever known. These are the children who will be adults soon. They are not pig-tailed toddlers who are easy to rescue.
These are not easy scenarios. A good portion of these children will probably not be 'easy' children, whether due to medical needs or emotional ones. To open your home to one of these children would mean that you change the course of your life forever. It would be disruptive, costly, painful, and certainly outside the norm. You would run the risk of learning how little good you are capable of; of finding out the truth about yourself.
Of course, it would not be without its benefits. You would be saved from a dull and normal existence. You would be brought to the end of yourself, which is just about the only place you can really find God. You would discover if God is really there by taking on a challenge far too great for you. You would have a chance to see God perform miracles, because there is no point for them when you have everything under control.
So there you are. Adoption isn't for everyone. If you're too perfect, God can't use you. If you're too strong, God can't use you, either. God calls the imperfect, the weak, the poor, because it is through these that He shows His greatness. And if He can do that, just think what miracles and glory He has planned for the children society would rather leave under the truck. Take a chance. Disrupt your life. Stop and help.