Since when did adoption and caring for the weakest and most vulnerable in our society become a "women's issue"? Because that's what it seems like. With a few exceptions, the crickets are chirping if you are listening for male voices advocating for the least in our society. Why? Women write blogs, they advocate for children, they do battle with governments, and they pray. What about any of these activities sounds specifically feminine?
This is Brandi. She is six. No one has ever asked to look at her file.
I know that when it comes to an inborn desire to care and nurture children, it's hard to beat the maternal drive. It is natural that women would be the first to emotionally need to rescue and care for hurting children. Most adoptions are driven by the wife with the husband following along behind. This is not what I'm talking about; there is more going on here than just the desire to love a child. What I want to know is where is the outrage? Where is the desire to protect and defend these little ones? Where are the men who are willing to enter into the battle at all?
This is Chad. He is 9. Yes, that's a short crib he is standing next to. No one has ever asked to see his file, either.
In discussing this with J. (dear man, who puts up with my late-night rantings and whom I definitely am NOT lumping into this broad general question), he posited that perhaps they just don't know. I suppose this could be part of it, though I'm not sure I'm willing to give men a pass quite so easily. Certainly anyone who has made the mistake of asking me about adoption can't claim ignorance. Or how about all the husbands of all those wives who are reading blogs and hearing information. Susanna, who writes The Blessing of Verity, reports that her site has had over 150,000 people read it. It was from her that most of us learned of the atrocities which were occurring in the orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria. Probably not all of those 150,000 were married women, but I'm pretty sure that a good proportion of them were. If these women were at all like me, they bent their husbands' ears about it after they read it. Those men can't claim ignorance.
This is Harvey. He is three. He is slowly dying of malnutrition. Is this how he should spend the rest of his life? My little girls are three. It's not right.
Or is it that Christian men have stopped looking any different from their secular counterparts? The world has told men that what makes them fulfilled and important is making money. Having a career. Being someone. And if driving a cool car and getting to play some golf come with it all the better. Children are nice, in small doses. And they keep the wife happy. Sometimes. But they are a financial drain and a hindrance in doing what you really want. They often cause more heartache than anything and why would you want a lot of them? Best to have a couple really close together and count the days until they leave for college.
That's perhaps a bit over the top. But not by much. And how are Christian men that much different? I've had at least one man tell me that it's better that I have all these children than he. (To which I always mentally heartily agree.) I even had one husband inform me when I was expecting the twins that he was really glad it wasn't his wife. I've heard of a Bible teacher standing up in front of his class and communicate sadness that his wife was pregnant. And I truly wonder if any of these men have read the Bible. Really read it. Because if they had there is one theme that is pretty darn difficult to ignore. That is the idea that children are blessings. They are a big way God blesses those He loves. They are great and wonderful gifts and yet too many people want to know where the exchange counter is so they can get something they like better.
This is Kramer. He is 8. That would be less than a year younger than our D. The difference should appall you.
I know another reason that men may balk at the idea of adoption is that there is the very real responsibility of providing for the new child along with the current members of the household. I don't want to make light of this because it is good that fathers take the role of fatherhood seriously. But I can't help but ask what some people's idea of good provision is. Is good provision making sure the family has a fancy vacation each year or is good provision making sure that there is shelter and food and love? Have we made such an idol of having a "good life" that we can't imagine helping someone who has no life? And my other problem with this is that it leaves out God. Yes the father should be responsible for his household, but when this is pulled out as an excuse it sometimes seems to me that the father has forgotten that he is not working along. Or shouldn't be. God is our ultimate provider. Everything we have comes from Him, we are merely to be good stewards of his riches. I know it makes me stop to ask how does God want me to spend His money.
This is Penny. She is 12. If I showed you the picture of her whole body, you would be shocked at how skinny her legs are. She is perhaps the size of K.
It's been a long time since churches sang the hymn Onward, Christian Soldiers, and that it is not terribly fashionable to even speak in these terms. But have we so tamed our Christian men with our political correctness that we have lost something important... even vital? Because we are in a war, you know. I'm not talking about the ones which swirl around the world nearly continuously, but a war that we are waging right where we live, right now. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12, ESV) How can you look at the pictures of these children, casualties of this war with evil, and not want to put on armor and go fight against it? Where are the soldiers who will go and fight for these children?
(All of these children have files and are able to adopted. They are in the orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria. If you are interested in adopting one of them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)