So I guess my doubts and confusion are starting to creep up again today about our adoption….This is NOT a confusion about what we know GOD wants from our lives, but it is confusion and doubts about how people are reacting to our adoption. There are some people having opinions about our adoption without truly asking us about our desire to adopt internationally…I’ve even had family members saying that they believe we should not adopt internationally because of all the kids here. But the comments that are eating at me are the ones coming to me through facebook and email where people don’t have to look me in the eye to say their opinion.

I really do not mind when people have different ideals than myself. I can truly accept differences. But it’s when there are opinions about OUR lives and what someone believes we SHOULD BE doing with our lives, that’s when I think things cross into judgment and lack support.

I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND the debate on whether or not people should adopt domestically or internationally, but that doesn’t mean someone is going to change our minds or change our plans based upon opinion. We truly are looking toward our Heavenly Father for His call upon our lives! This means we take time to fall on our knees and pray about what He wants for our lives, while also waiting on the Holy Spirit to be the light upon our path. It seems we are having a difficult time explaining this so people truly understand we believe we are following a CALL!

The truth about this world is that there are needs EVERYWHERE! Should this mean we stay within our own country, state, or community to make an impact on a child’s life? I’m not sure there is any place in the Bible, the Book that we follow to guide our steps in the Lord, that states where we need to impact an orphan or a widow’s life, whether here in the US, in Korea, in Africa, or in Siberia! Therefore, I believe where a couple chooses to aid a child/children should be based upon what God calls them to do and what will work best for their family.

I am all about child advocacy! As a social worker, working with families who were at risk of losing their children due to parenting issues, drug issues, and housekeeping issues, it was my duty to work with parents to keep the children in the home or work with the parents to gain back the custody of their children. I’m ALL ABOUT working in the best interest of the child and the family. But I’m not thrilled when individuals believe they have a right to tell me where we should be adopting from…children have rights all throughout this fallen world; here in the States we are dealing with a lot of abuse/neglect and foster families, yet we have an institution dedicated to investigating and advocating for the rights of the child, but our country is special in that way. Many countries do not have any governmental institutions to protect a child.

When we were in South Africa we saw this first hand. For example a group that I worked with in SA did a home visit for an ADULT who had AIDS and who was beaten regularly because her family would not believe she was sick…but this amazing woman suffered from seizures and sat in her home with plastic over her couch to poorly prevent her bodily fluids from soaking into the couch, and only had a nightgown on.

When we left we were stunned! The social worker in me wanted to call someone to report the abuse, but who were we supposed to call?? There was no one to protect this one extremely weak woman, do you think there was anyone to call about all the children we saw daily? No!

This is why Africa grew in our hearts. We saw children daily who only had one another…no family environment to even begin to help them understand their circumstances…We saw sick children dying from AIDS, met children who heard the cries of women who were being raped at night because there were no locks on doors. We met people living under a tarp with a only a small piece of carpet on the ground. Why would we NOT choose to adopt from Africa when children are dying because they go days without food, where children roam the streets without diapers on, and where children are forced to roam garbage piles for their family’s next meal…? I ask why NOT Africa?

(Yes, this is in an Ethiopian orphanage. And yes, that’s a towel inside a plastic bag…)

I am not only in support of international adoption. We love some amazing people who have chosen adoption for their child, and on the other hand love some amazing people who have adopted and have been adopted domestically. We even know people who have been called to foster-to-adopt. Why do we have to rate one above the other? Why is it frowned upon to adopt from far away or from your own community? Why is one “rated” as better? In my heart of hearts I believe God calls people based upon what He desires for/from us. That’s the system we are measuring our adoption upon.