Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is There Really A Need?

In the past 2 months since our children have come home, one question we have received repeatedly is...
"Is there really a need to adopt domestically? Aren't children dying in Africa? Why wait on a list domestically when there are thousands of infertile couples in America wanting to adopt? Aren't you taking "someone else's" baby? Shouldn't couples with kids not "take" newborns that so many other people want? Children are dying in Africa....at least kids in America can go in the foster care system and not starve....." While I am by no means an expert on the subject, I can say: Yes, there is a need for families in America. There is a need for families everywhere.
An adoption agency can in fuller detail describe why that need exists and the specifics of exactly how that need looks. My suppositions as to why there is a need were not exactly correct as we better understood the real need that exists.
This is my advice to those who are seeking where to adopt from:
Go where the Lord leads you.

Yes, there are millions of orphans worldwide.

Yes, children are being aborted here in America at horrifying rates.

Yes, the need looks different in different countries....but one constant remains:

Every child needs a family. Go where the Lord leads you.

I know I have at times in my own heart had a "hierarchy" of adoption. I have many times categorized that to adopt a healthy, Caucasian newborn was at the low level of the pyramid, while those who adopt a teenage, special needs, HIV+ child from Africa carry a special holiness.

Yes, it takes a certain calling to adopt children with more complicated histories, and the desire to do so must not be minimized, yet one constant remains.
A person is a person. Every life has value. Every child needs a family. Go where the Lord leads you.
Has everyone been called to adopt?
By no means.
Would it be in the best interest of a child for a couple who has no desire or calling to adopt to do so out of guilt or a sense of obligation?
Certainly not!

When we first began our adoption journey, it was to adopt a toddler from Ethiopia. We pre-applied with an agency, were pre-approved, sent in our formal application and were formally approved and then began the long haul of paperwork and fundraising. However, early on in the process, the Lord made it clear that our child was not in Ethiopia, but here in Georgia.

We never anticipated that.

In the months that followed, and up until the day we got the call and heard our children's story, my heart was still in Africa. Listening to that call, I knew, it is the Lord who sets the lonely in families, and he has clearly set Jordan and Eliana in our family.

Chances are the Lord has not called you to adopt all 163 million orphans in the world, plus the 1 million plus babies aborted in America each year. Perhaps He has called you to adopt 1, 2 or several of His precious children.

Should you take into consideration the need, requirements, logistics and details of a country or program before starting the adoption process? By all means! But in the end,

GO WHERE THE LORD LEADS YOU!

He will give the strength, finances, ability and joy for the journey. He will equipt you for the path He has called you on. Every child needs a family, and He will lead to the child He has known since the foundation of the Word would be placed in your arms. He sets the lonely in families, and He will guide you to your childen.

And then you will be able to look back over your journey and your child's story, and know that only He alone could knit together the details of your lives in the way He has.

Then you will raise your arms in praise and thanks that you have gone where He has led you!

"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain, He is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain."

GO WHERE THE LORD LEADS YOU!

19 comments:

  1. Wonderful post!! :) An orphan is an orphan no matter what the circumstances, and in the end you are right...go where the Lord leads. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!! And wow, the pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!! :)

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  2. De-lurking for a moment because I just had to say - your new littles have the MOST beautiful eye colors I have EVER seen. Close-up photos (of Eliana especially) leave me amazed. I cannot get over that striking mix of blue and brown - just gorgeous! I'm sure they are even more breath-taking in person! That, or you can perform miracles with a camera...in which case I'd like to book an appointment soon! LOL. In all honesty, your children are all beautiful. As someone who has stalked your blog for a while, silently following your journey, I am so happy for your family! Blessings!

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  3. perfectly said! we can spend so much time judging others journeys or feeling inadequate about our own. I hear all the time that there isn't a need for babies to be adopted - just older kids. It's ridiculous. God loves ALL orphans and ALL orphans need homes regardless of age, race, nationality, gender, and special needs... so our only job is to GO WHERE THE LORD LEADS US!! :)

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  4. I kept questioning if I had heard God right since we have been on a wait list to adopt domestically for over a year. There are millions of children who are already born who need families, but I have to remind myself that God is the One Who creates a family, not me. We were wanting to do something to combat abortion and that's what God laid on our hearts when we decided to adopt from a prgenancy center, from a mother who chose to not abort. That's just what God has planned for us at this time. You relayed this perfectly in your post!

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  5. LOVE this, Julie! So well said! I have sometimes "felt guilty" that we are in the process to adopt an infant, but then God reminds me this is HIS calling on our life! This is where HE is leading us! So thankful ya'll followed His leading to your precious babies!

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  6. love it...Amen!! Great post....kristi

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  7. great post and just at the perfect time for my heart! Thank you for sharing! Your new little ones are just precious!

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  8. i completely agree. i am often asked, why ethiopia? and I can only say, God put that country on our hearts. And when we adopt again, we will go where our hearts are lead.

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  9. So very very true!!!
    YES THERE IS NEED TO ADOPT DOMESTICALLY, FOSTER CARE, AND FROM MANY COUNTRIES!!!!
    It strikes me as funny when people don't know that there are still children that need families- newborns...right here! It is true. I can testify to that!

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  10. Well said! Thank you for your example of seeking the Lord and waiting on Him! May God continue to bless you and your husband and your 5 beautiful children!

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  11. I love this Julie! You said it perfectly and I could not agree more. I am so glad you followed God's lead to your two little loves!

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  12. Agreed. And, domestic adoption sure does address the abortion issue in a tangible way, doesn't it??? I think so!

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  13. Beautiful!!!

    First time here!

    Your twins are GORGEOUS!!!

    BTW I am sure you already know but those people asking you the questions above ask us who have adopted from Africa - why not children from your home country? or older children? HIV etc??? Why adopt when you already have kids???

    YOU SAID IT! EVERY CHILD NEEDS A FAMILY! and God lead us to ours!

    Love to your AMAZING family!!! :)

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  14. Julie...your whole family is beautiful! I would love to ask you a silly personal question (since u have three bio children from what I can tell)...my husband and I are adopting from Ethiopia and we are praying hard on one or two, one or two children...on my own strength I say...one! When I have good days and I rely on God's strength I say two. Any thoughts / advice since you are now living it out? Please feel free to email me Kayya_95@yahoo.com
    Thanks; Micah
    PS: I can across your blog through Kristi's.

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  15. just found your sweet blog from kristi j's. i love this post! and, i can't believe our stories are so similar:) we too were headed to africa, and HE made it very clear in such a miraculous way that our sweet son was right in our home state of TN, just an hour down the road! it all happened so quickly, and i still marvel at how HE worked it all out and showed us where to go. look forward to following your cute family! karen p

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  16. LOVE it!! saw your blog shared on a FB friends! beautiful family! we have 8 bio kids and 18 adopted...two of those domestically and we feel the same way you do! By the way..I am not sure..but your family may have other similarity's? We have 3 children with Down Syndrome and are waiting for one or two more from china. look forward to following your blog and your families adventures. Our surprise domestic adoptions were of a Down Syndrome newborn and a newborn from Alabama with spina bifida. Both babies had no one else or no where else to go but foster care.

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  17. Excellent post!!

    I find that people who most likely wouldn't consider adopting are the ones that ask these types of questions ,and I'm certain that had you adopted from Africa they would have asked "why would you go to Africa when there are children in this country that need a family?"

    Thanks so much for sharing, we are in the process of our 2nd adoption and have hit road block after road block with our paper work and I've been wondering if perhaps the Lord is leading us on a different path.

    Love this!

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