Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Word To My Church and Community

We have been home a little over a week with Will.  He is doing so well and I always hope that our families adoptions will show what a joy growing your family in this way can be.  I want to talk a little about positive adoption language (AKA - what you should say and what you shouldn't!).  I am saying this because before I adopted I never thought about it.  Why should I care?  Well, if you interact with my family or any other family in the world who has adopted it is important that you pay attention.  I would compare this lesson to an etiquette lesson (AKA - how not to hurt my or my children's feelings, or otherwise cause permanent damage to a child's delicate self-image).  Now keep in mind, I don't get my feelings hurt easily and no one who has said anything to me in the past has nhurt my feelings, so don't feel bad if you have ever said something to me which may be somewhat inappropriate.  So, what do I mean:  Example #1: How many kids do you have of your own?  I have 5 kids.  I may respond with this or I may say I have 2 biological and 3 adopted children.  These children are all very much my own and not someone else's.  So, never ask a adoptive parent how many kids they have of their own - because all of their children are very real and very much a member of the family, no matter how they arrived.  Example #2:  Do you know their real parents?  Well, sure - I am their real parent.  All of my adopted children also have very real birth parents, and no, I don't know who they are.  It is illegal to give your child up for adoption in China, so no Chinese child will have known birth parents.  If the child is adopted from another country the parents may know who their bio parents are, but it really isn't any of your business unless the adoptive parent chooses to share that information with you.  Example #3: How expensive was your kid or I heard that adopting from there was REALLY expensive?  Don't ask me how much it cost to adopt unless you have a legitimate interest in that information.  In this case I will be happy to talk your ear off about every single detail of my adoption process including the cost.  If you are asking because you can't believe I would pay that much to adopt, then you shouldn't really ask me the question.  After all, I didn't ask you why you just bought a new car which cost more than my adoption while I am still driving a 10 year old minivan and loving on my newest most wonderful gift from God.  I am sure your new car is just as snugly in the morning and blesses you each day also, OK - so I will digress.  Example #4:  Why not adopt a child from the US?  Because my child was in China.  Have you met them, they are obviously mine.  I don't care where you adopt from, where you sponsor a child from, whatever, just do something!!!  Stop asking me silly questions, start doing what Jesus did and Go ye therefore into all nations - Wherever you need to go - just do SOMETHING (because right now doing nothing is what most Christians are doing and to tell you the truth it reflects poorly upon us!)  OK, so I could give you some more reasons about why China, but I won't!  Example #5:  You all are really good people for adopting. (OK, so this isn't a question, but a statement I have heard no less than 100 times in anticipation of our most recent adoption since apparently normal people might adopt once or twice, but if you adopt 3 times you must be a saint)  We are not saints, we love our kids and have chosen to grow our family through adoption (If I was pregnant for the 5th time you would ask me why I don't use more birth control - but adopting was obviously not an accident).  God very clearly tells us to care for the old and the young in the Bible:  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27   -- Our family could choose to follow this by sponsoring more children, supporting an orphanage, continuing to work on medical missions trips.  I hope we do all these things.  I can't ignore the fact that God has given us the resources and the desire to add another child to this family.  If God has given these things to you, how can you say no?  I thank God every day for not letting fear take over and stop our family from very clearly following his plan for our family.  We are not special, but our kids sure are!  As I hope the number of adopted children in our community and congregation grow - please take a minute to make sure that you are making an effort to welcome these very wanted children with all the respect that they deserve.   Here is a link to a website with positive adoption language in case my long-winded discussion hasn't bored you to death yet:  http://www.holtinternational.org/adoption/language.shtml

7 comments:

Carrie said...

An odd question to me is "Why did you decide to adopt?" Well I don't recall anyone asking us why we decided to get pregnant with our first two children. With over 130 million orphans in the world and an extra bed in our home it seemed like a good idea to look into it.

Willowmom said...

My answer to that question is Why Not? I can't imagine having not considered adoption - even prior to bio kids - so I agree with you.

Tera said...

What a wonderful post!
-sweetgirls on RQ

Lillie Family said...

What a perfect post.

-out4abit on RQ

Joe said...

I find it appalling that people ask how much an adoption costs. That's so invasive, even if they themselves also intend to adopt. Genuinely interested people will take initiative to research agencies and find out how much it might cost them. Excellent post all around.

Joe said...

I find it appalling that people ask how much an adoption costs. That's so invasive, even if they themselves also intend to adopt. Genuinely interested people will take initiative to research agencies and find out how much it might cost them. Excellent post all around.

Alan said...

Great post! We've enjoyed catching up with your story, as we're headed for Changchun in a few weeks ourselves.

-planetrh on RQ
Planet R-H

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