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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Do They DO That?

It is an incomprehensible  mystery. One I have never been able to gather enough facts to solve. One that comes up in every single adoption support group or adoption-related yahoo group of which I have been a part.

Why do well-meaning friends and family members feel the need to play "Captain Obvious" and point out all the pitfalls of adoption?

If you are an adoptive parent and you have NEVER been asked one of the following questions, you are either completely estranged from your extended family or very blessed (or both):
1. What if your new child has attachment disorder?
2. Who will take care of your special needs child when you die?
3. Is this adoption really fair to the "other children"?
4. What if there's a hereditary disease in the adopted child's family and it comes out after he/she is home?
5. What if you don't feel the same type/amount of love for the adopted child that you do for your others?
6. What if you get pregnant while in the adoption process? You'll back out, right?
7. Why would you adopt out of birth order? The experts say . . .
8. How are you going to pay for this adoption?
9. What if the child grows up and wants his/her "real parents"?


For the record, let me state that those of us who adopt children with Down Syndrome KNOW that we will likely never have an empty nest. We know that the siblings of said child will probably have to give care to their disabled sibling someday. WE GET IT.   It was all considered prior to "signing on the dotted line".   I was actually told by a concerned loved one that "special needs children are cute when they're little but they do grow  up".  (Sheesh . . . I never thought of that!  They actually GROW? Well, no deal, then!)

If one more person asks me about adopting out of birth order, I may just burst into tears. I realize experts have said that adopting out of birth order can cause problems. We have talked to all of our children about the ramifications of bringing a big brother, second in sibling command, into the family. Everyone who actually lives in this house is just fine with the idea. They are all that counts.

Dear friends, what our concerned loved ones are saying when they challenge us on our adoptions is something painful to imagine. They are stating in no uncertain terms that the nameless, faceless, fatherless child across the ocean is not as valuable or important as our own precious offspring. THAT child wasn't born into our family so we aren't really obligated to go out of our way to help. . .NOT OUR PROBLEM.  I believe that as soon as we know about the orphan crisis, it becomes our "problem" as Believers.  As I have mentioned before, not every Believer is called to adopt but we are all called to help. There's no option there.

  Our friends and family members are absolutely saying these things out of concern. They don't want to see us sign up for "the hard road" in life. The sacrifice required to adopt is great and they know this. Adoption is expensive, it is time consuming, is can be heart rending and there are no guarantees about the mental and physical health of the child coming into our families.  We often have to leave our biological children and fly across three oceans and two continents to bring our new child home. It is very inconvenient, indeed. EXTREMELY inconvenient!  That is the definition of the word "sacrifice". Giving of ourselves even when it hurts.  Making decisions that others may think are crazy, radical or nonsensical but doing it anyway because we know that where God calls, He equips.

If you have a naysayer in your life who is dampening the joy of your calling, I would challenge you today to show that person compassion. Know that they are probably saying these things out of love for you and your current family and then gently and lovingly remind them that life is not a spectator sport and God has called you to get off the bench and play first string!  Share the scripture below with them and then get to work!
Down, set . . . hut!!!!

 "Whoever receives you receives me, and(BJ) whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41(BK) The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42And(BL) whoever gives one of(BM) these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."  Matthew 10:40-42


  1. One of our homestudy ladies has actually told me that if I were her sister, she would emphatically tell me not to adopt our girls! Why? Adopting out of birth order and the potential for our younger children to get picked on by the older sibling. I know she has seen and heard so much more than I, but I can't back out because of fear and "what ifs". We are committed and are going forward and praying for the best. We will also have the help we may need in line for worst case scenarios. We are not called to do what's easy and convenient. So ahead we go...

  2. Good Words Friend! SOOOO can relate on many different levels...it can't be about us...it has to be about what God has called us to do and the child he calls us to love and bring into our families. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post, Nikki. We have heard all these same questions from loved ones, too. We may never get the approval from others. I am more interested in having a close relationship with Jesus and following his voice than listening to well-meaning people. Your family is an inspiration to us! Jo Anna

  4. Another thought-provoking post. Thanks! We will never be empty nesters, but that's a wonderful thing. I will never be the old lady sitting by her window, watching traffic go by because I have nothing else to do. We'll always have our Jonalyn and she brings us so much joy. We had someone in our family tell us we shouldn't adopt b/c the money would be better spent on a new truck. This same person now LOVES our daughter. Funny how that works!