I am so ridiculously far behind on life. My days are full and blessed. The past nine weeks have stretched and challenged me unlike anything else ever has in my life–in a very good way. I have learned so much about myself over the past couple of months. Need refining? Adopt a child! Seriously.
So I finally found a few minutes to get caught up on some of the news and happenings in the adoption community.
Imagine my surprise when I read that the Duggar family is considering adopting a child.
It really didn’t take very long for me to read the good, the bad, and the heinously ugly about the Duggars’ dreams of expanding their family once again.
Oh, those opinions! Gotta love the Internet. It does a lot of good, but unfortunately, it also causes so much hurt and pain. It’s given nameless, faceless people a glorious opportunity to sit behind a computer screen and let the whole world know exactly what they think. Always anonymous, of course. For anyone who thinks that spewing hatred in the name of “sharing an opinion” is okay, trust me, it’s not! It hurts like heck!
I sat at my computer scrolling down, down, down…reading the thoughts and opinions of others after the Duggars shared their very special news.
I choked back tears.
The familiarity of it all.
For many who have stepped out in faith to adopt a child, this is certainly not new. The adoption community, very sadly, is overflowing with families which are extremely hurt by opinions, lack of support, abandonment by loved ones who disagree with their decision to grow their families through adoption, and those who feel like they know what’s best for their friends/family…and it’s most certainly not bringing home a child who looks different to the rest of the crew, speaks a different language, is totally uneducated, and may or may not have all those “issues” they heard these kids could perhaps deal with. It’s cruel and it’s hurtful! But I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?
Those unsolicited opinions hurt families who are following God with reckless abandon to the child born in their hearts…no matter where the journey takes them, or who they find when they reach their destination.
So what if the Duggars have nineteen children? Is there an invisible line drawn in the sand that states that if you have one child you are blessed, if you have two children you are doubly blessed, but sadly if you pass the three or four child mark, you have positively lost your mind?
What gives one man the right to judge the call of God on another person’s life? Who has the right to tell anyone how many children they should or should not have (or adopt)? For those of us who walk with the LORD (and I realize that all those who comment may not), do we not stand before an audience of ONE? Does God not call us all uniquely and individually according to HIS plans and purposes for our lives?
But the saddest part of all?
I would put my money on the fact that ninety-nine percent of the naysayers and the ones slamming a good, honest, hard-working, larger-than-normal American family that is open to expanding their family through the blessing of adoption have never, ever set foot in a foreign orphanage.
Have they ever seen children lying in their own waste for most of the day? Have they ever heard the cries of a little one who goes unnoticed by caregivers? Have they ever seen what unfathomable malnutrition and dehydration does to a child? Have they ever seen a teenager who cannot read nor write because they have never been given the opportunity to go to school and learn? Have they ever heard the pleas of an older child who has seen countless babies be adopted from their orphanage…but still they wait for their turn to be chosen? I wonder, have they ever seen the fear on a teenager’s face when they know that the day is drawing near when they will be set free from the relatively safe walls of their orphanage only to be released to predators on the other side who will steal their innocence in every way imaginable.
I seriously doubt it. Because seeing, touching, taking in and witnessing for ourselves changes everything!
What a sad society we live in. It’s a place where success is measured by great wealth, unfading beauty and the ability to achieve status. Unless, of course, you just happen to be extremely successful in your business ventures, live a debt-free life, are honest and hard working….and have nineteen children AND want to adopt. That nineteen children thing suddenly overrides each and all other successes.
It’s so pathetic.
It matters not a single morsel how many kids a family has. What matters is that their hearts are wide open to rescuing another orphan who will surely either die or go on to live a life of absolute hopelessness should they not be adopted. Family changes everything in a child’s life. Family gives them hope and a future. Family is redemption for children who live in conditions our human hearts cannot begin to comprehend.
Don’t believe me? GO! I dare you.
Go and see for yourselves, naysayers.
Go and spend just five minutes in a Third World country orphanage and then come back and try to slam anyone (including a family who already has nineteen children) whose hearts are open to bringing them home.
Go and get an educated, informed opinion.
And maybe, just maybe, you will see that every child deserves the love of a family, the security of a home, the medical attention they desperately need, the hugs they crave and the nourishment of good food.
It’s not the size of the family that counts.
It’s the size of their hearts wide open that truly matters.
The Message version of Psalm 127:3 says that children are God’s best gifts. I think the Duggar family got it right.
To every family that is or has experienced heartache from opinions, lack of support, and rejection from friends and family who are opposed to your adoption, I have three little words of advice for you. Words straight from the heart of Jesus Himself.
“YOU follow me.” ~~ John 21:22
For that is all that truly matters.