Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No Cure for Orphan Fever (or "Offense Taken")

 Just when you think you've convinced your last fan that you are not a "saint"  a "good person" or "amazing" because you grow your family through international adoption,  it's time to turn the tables and start convincing the world that you are not a "trafficker", a person with "orphan fever" or a "child collector". . .

I think I prefer deflecting undue praise!

A recent article by David French ( outlines a new wave of criticism coming from the "naysayers"
and heading straight for YOU,  evangelical Christian and adoptive parent!

What, you might ask, bears defending in the world of adopting children?

Apparently, everything.

In her new book, "The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption", Kathryn Joyce parades, for your reading enjoyment, the worst-case-scenarios in international adoption and makes them seem the rule, rather than the exception. Trafficking. Young mothers having babies stolen from them. Greedy, imperialist Christians buying babies from "brokers" in the name of proselytizing.  An unwillingness to look deeply into their own adoptions for fear of finding . . .dun dun dun . . . THE TRUTH.   Men like Russell Moore and Dan Cruver being held accountable for infecting thousands with "orphan fever".

You can read an article on this very subject by Kathryn Joyce HERE

In all fairness to Ms. Joyce and others who have jumped on the Christ-Followers-Who-Adopt-Children-Are-Worse-Than-A-Case-of-The-Shingles mentality, I have only read large excerpts from her book as my hardcover copy is on it's way.  But the article referenced above does a plenty-good job of giving you a taste of the book. 

And I had to think long and hard about spending money on such negative press but also felt it important investigate fully why giving my sons a name, a heritage and a place to call "home" was such an offensive act.

"Mother Jones" did an excellent job of cluing me in to the foibles that result from my burning case of "orphan fever" on her blog at:

If that blog post isn't enough to convince you that our very motives are under attack, just do a google search using words like "evangelicals, orphan fever, trafficking in christian adoptions"
and then sit back and enjoy the firestorm.

But, Church, listen up!

Some of the criticism is DESERVED and LEGITIMATE. We need to own it.
There are many documented cases of children being taken from poor women by coercion and sold to American parents. Believers and Non.    This was not something the adoptive parents were told and often these facts came to light after the adoptee executes her own search as a teen or adult.
Anyone remember Guatemala?

Adoption "professionals" abroad have given voice-scrambled expose interviews admitting to some pretty unethical, horrific practices to meet the demand for . . . . wait for it . . . healthy BABIES.
Young, tiny, helpless (most often female) infants.

The law of supply and demand, baybee . .  . plain and simple.

So how can you be sure that your child is a "true orphan"?  I addressed this very issue quite thoroughly (in my humble opinion - ha ha) in an older blog post that can be seen  HERE

 But just in case your "clicky finger" is on the fritz, let me recap:

The best chance of being SURE the child you are adopting is a true orphan comes when you:
1. Adopt from a Hague Convention Country
2. Adopt an older child
3. Adopt a child with special needs (and I don't mean "attached earlobes", folks . . REAL special needs)
4. Repeat steps 1-3

I realize this can and will ruffle some feathers, even among my Evangelical sisters.  Many of you literally do "rescue" children from places where neglect and starvation dominate the lives of these kids and a short life span is due, almost entirely, to the sins of the government and caregivers.  I think those adoptions fall squarely under point #3 above.  Even in a Non-Hague country.

But let's face it, friends.  Even if we are as careful as possible and only adopt from Hague countries and only special needs children and no newborn babies, we will still face criticism.


Because The Word has told us so.

John 16:33

English Standard Version (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


John 15     18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you."

So I join with throngs of other Christ-followers and do that to which I am called: 
caring for orphans, claiming the fatherless, opening our home and sharing what we have with those who have no home, calling my boys "sons" and knowing, in my deepest parts  that it is not the path to salvation for me or them.  It's an honor and a privilege for me.  It's a new family tree for them.
It's the only thing to do when you know . . . the only thing. 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mish Mash

In my almost three years as a blogger,  I have fallen silent on my blog only a few times.

Generally, that happens for two reasons. Either I am dealing with an unusually intense family change (an adoption, most often) or I am in a dismal mood and trying not to cyber discourage anyone.

 This most recent silence is due to a little bit of both.

If you've been hanging with us here for any length of time, you'll know that we've been working to sell our home and relocate full-time to The Philippines in service of visually-impaired orphans.

We just received an offer on our home!

That is a huge praise but with that offer comes additional stresses . . . inspections, negotiations, punch lists, concessions, polybutylene pipes and septic tank talk . . .  hard stuff.

 And, of course, while we seek to serve, the Enemy attacks at every turn. . . annoyances, squabbles,
frustration, insomnia and LIES, LIES, LIES . . .

"You are making the  biggest mistake of your lives. Damaging your children. Leaving 'the good life' for a life of poverty and illness"

But I heard all those lines before in one variation or another.  We are adoptive parents, you know.
So we say "bring it on" . . . not sure if we're being brazen out of faith or foolishness. I guess we'll know soon enough.

So that speaks to the "moody" part of the silence but here is the "busy" part. The part I love.

Homeschooling Lem again.

 Back at my kitchen table again where he belongs.

It makes me busy but it also makes me so very happy.

And, of course, the boys who have been here keeping me teaching are still doing just that . . .
Only daughter handles all of her own schooling at this stage of the game. At night, I grade and in the day, she corrects, reads, learns and reads some more.

Oldest son is working extra hours at his YMCA job and just opened his first mutual fund! We are
proud of the man he is becoming.  Almost ready to "do life" as a grown up.
Weirds me out.   I still remember diapers and training wheels.

But such is life.

In this midst of all the changes and planning, I feel myself pulling back from relationships that are not coming with me.  That's not a good practice.   One would expect to be milking those bonds for all they are worth as they will soon be separated by 8,000 miles.  But instead, I hole up and am slow to answer emails or phone calls.  So, forgive me.

Maybe it's the "Navy Brat" coming out to look after the tender parts.

Because sometimes I think about NOT being here and NOT having these people and I feel a little
panicky.  I have taken for granted so much and so many.  Yes, probably you.

So vetting out what is "normal" and what is "enemy" and what is "hormones" and what is "exhaustion" to put all these things into perspective is proving to be less-than-simple.

And I'm not going to try anymore.

I AM going to keep my heart focused on two things.  TRUSTING and OBEYING.

Jesus said "no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God".

So let me look forward.  Always hopeful. Ever pressing on. Silencing the doubts with
what I know to be true.

For you, my friends, encouragers, prayer partners, supporters and fellow laborers. I am
eternally grateful.   Please stay.   And pray.

And I will do the same for you.

For HIS Great Fame,