Friday, September 27, 2013

Adoption Again

Feeling iffy about posting this, but I guess I'll go for it!

I had wondered what my views on adoption would be like after becoming a mother. What do I think of it now, having stepped back a bit, and yet, having gained insight into the parent-child relationship?

I've realized now that part of the answer lies in this post, where I talk about people rejoicing over each other's engagement and baby news. The thing is that everyone knows that marriage and parenting are challenging, yet they STILL are genuinely thrilled for other people to enter the journey. Some have hands-on knowledge and others are still waiting for their turn to come, but not lacking in insight.

So many people can vouch for the joys of marriage and raising a child (or two). If they don't share about the rough patches, it's not that they're being dishonest or insincere. It's just that the trials are worth it, a part of God's design.

There is something of a loss of innocence that comes about once you've come over to this side. Having a "soul-mate." Being responsible for a little person's life. I'm not sure if I can put it into words, but there's no going back to your former state. You become vulnerable in new ways. Your heart is divided in a certain sense. There is pain in loving deeply.

And that's how I feel about adoption. I've seen some of its darker sides. I've felt the sting of disappointment in dealing with the policy/bureaucracy side as well as the relational side. I've seen adopted children and their families struggle to start their new life together. I have siblings who are adopted. I cannot paint a pristine picture. And yet, I weep for those left behind.

So why would I weep for those left behind, if adoption brings such turmoil? It's because I still think children (of all ages) need a permanent home. It's because I still believe that adoption in a relational and legal sense is the best option for orphans and the one that fits into God's design. When we say our marriage vows, we know we will have conflicts with our spouse in the future. We can prepare all we want, but no one can tell us exactly how it's going to be. No one has seen this exact combination of personalities put together, and no one can read the hearts of all involved except for the Lord.

I am an adoption advocate. Whenever I meet an orphan, I desire with all my heart for that child to find a family. However, I cannot recommend adoption to just anyone. I cannot recommend it enough, but at the same time I cannot recommend it without certain caveats. I'm not sure if I expressed this the way I intended, but in the next week or two I'll be sharing some more specific examples.


  1. Elizabeth, this is one of the BEST posts! You put it very, very well! You never know! You enter into these life commitments full of hope...but you NEVER KNOW. Mothers joyfully expect a baby, yet they cannot know how things will turn out.

    I think that as you say you "cannot recommend" adoption enough, but "cannot recommend it without certain caveats" we should all probably have the same cautious enthusiasm about having children and getting married as well. Some people make dreadful spouses. Some people make horrible parents. Some people could parent a perfect child, but when their child has a learning disability, or a difficult personality, they are no longer good parents. I just think that people have begun to be more open about the difficulties in adoption....and in a way I don't like - by blaming the child. It seems to me that very often it is the parent's own imperfections that add to the problem.... But, I could go on and on. I love the way you put it!!!

    1. Oh, I'm glad you understand! I was afraid I came across as too negative. Yes, this brings up many questions. And that's partly why I didn't want to bring up specifics, because the point isn't to identify where the problems come from. Often it is a clash of personalities and in the case of adoption we all bring our prior experiences and expectations to the table.

  2. Love this Liz - as I am sure you knew I would! I especially love this sentence : "There is pain in loving deeply" which is one of the themes of our book as I think you have discovered! And yet so worthwhile. Thanks for sharing your heart - again!


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