One Reason Why People are Uncomfortable with Adoption

This post was originally written for my church’s blog and is intended for a Christian audience but I think it can speak to anyone who has a heart for the oppressed. 

Recently, my husband and I announced that we are planning to adopt a child. This is something that we feel called to do. It’s something that we and many others are doing to bring the Kingdom of God down here to earth. Interestingly, not all people see it that way.

In fact, we’ve received a lot of opposition regarding this decision. Some of the opposition has been quite overt (read: rude) and some has been more subtle. It seems that the idea of adoption just makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

I expected an outpour of encouragement and we have received that. I also knew that we’d receive some sprinklings of negativity. That most certainly came as well. Yet, even though I knew opposition was coming, it was still hard to hear. It’s tough to feel passionate about something while others attack it.

Then, today I had an epiphany… There IS something about adoption that is horrible. There’s a reason that it gives us all a heavy feeling in our hearts. It’s this: Adoption is not the way it was meant to be. God never intended for children to be abandoned. This is a dark, painful part of our broken world.

I wonder if that uncomfortable feeling that people get surrounding adoption is not because they’re actually opposed to adoption itself, but something stirs within their hearts saying, “This isn’t how it was supposed to be.” Adoption is just another reminder of the looming darkness that surrounds us. Adoption is the best solution we have to repair what has already been broken.

We need to embrace the tools that God has given us to redeem the brokenness of this world, even though it’s uncomfortable. Adoption isn’t the only cause that applies here. We are all called to serve “the least of these.” (Matt 25:34-40) That’s going to require us to come face to face with ugliness. Our hearts will be broken just as His is.

God gives us the tools we need to bring redemption to brokenness. It may not mean reversing the damage, but God wants us to bring his message of hope to those who are suffering. We need to enter into those dark places with confidence. God is bigger than darkness. We can be confident that one day God will overcome all of the evil of this world and bring healing to the wounded.

What brokenness makes you uncomfortable? Is it homelessness? Drug abuse? Human trafficking? Is there a certain area of suffering that you feel called to bring God’s message of hope but it scares you to face it? It’s important for us to recognize why we feel uncomfortable and to bring those feelings to God. He can help us to overcome them so that they don’t discourage God’s work. Whether it be the work we are called to or the work of others.

Praise God that we have nothing to fear! He has overcome the sin of the world and darkness cannot defeat Him. He is powerful and does not tolerate evil. Neither should we. We are given his Spirit that we might be his ministers of reconciliation. Let’s not let our fear or our sadness or our discomfort get in the way of what we were meant to do.

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6 thoughts on “One Reason Why People are Uncomfortable with Adoption

  1. The most disturbing broken then to me in our human condition is child abuse. Not only is it a horrible thought that someone will abandon a child, but almost worse that they will keep that child and physically or emotionally abuse him or her. Children are helpless and parents and adults in trusted positions are supposed to protect and nurture them, not harm them.

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  2. I know that you love feedback on your blog, so I’ll leave some. 🙂
    This particular blog post made my heart sink a little bit. I can see where you are coming from due to the fact that you are adopting from China and the majority, if not all, of those children are abandoned.
    But I don’t think adoption should be classified as brokenness or darkness that needs to be saved. It is a beautiful gift that I for one am thankful for, and I know many people who feel the same.
    I feel like it is part of Gods plan. I feel like God wanted me where I needed to be. It is a HUGE blessing! Many heart broken people wouldn’t have the opportunity to be parents if it weren’t for adoption. I think you need to consider both sides.
    I know you mean well in what you write. And I am not intending on bringing you down or putting you in your place. I am super excited for you guys! But I hope that you can also see the amazing silver lining and the joy that it brings to a lot of families.

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    • Lindsey, I can completely understand where you are coming from and I think we are in agreement. Adoption is beautiful and an absolute gift but to use your words, it is a silver lining on a dark cloud. It’s the good part of a bad situation. It’s not how God originally intended the world to work. I absolutely see the joy that it brings families and I can’t wait to be one of those families. However, it can’t be denied that before the joy came heartache. Either the heartache of infertility for the adoptive parents or the heartache of the birth mother who had to make a heart-wrenching decision, or the heartache of an adopted child who had been abandoned. Those are all potential scenarios that come before the beautiful gift of adoption. God is amazing and He redeems and works all things out for His good purpose… But originally when He created us in the garden of Eden, heartache wasn’t in the blue prints.

      It’s weird because I absolutely believe that my daughter is just being born by someone else. I know that God has her intended for me. Yet, I don’t think that He is putting her birth mother through the heart ache that she will endure through this process. I don’t think that He causes things like that to happen, instead He takes what is painful and give it purpose, hope, and joy.

      I hope that clarifies what I intended. It may just be a difference in theology I don’t know. What I do know is that we both see adoption as a beautiful and joyous event! 🙂

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      • Also to clarify, it’s not adoption that is dark, quite then contrary, it’s the stuff that comes before… An unplanned pregnancy, an abandonment, death of birth parents, etc. that is dark. Adoption is the light that overcomes the darkness!! Hooray!

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      • But I don’t feel like an abandoned child. Not at all. I guess I was just surprised to see you put adoption in the same category as drug abuse, human trafficking, and homelessness.
        After reading my first reply I wish I could change it. My life, my family, is not a silver lining. My life and family is sunshine. ☀️

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      • I’m so glad that you don’t feel like an abandoned child, you shouldn’t because you were very much wanted. Please note, I am not placing ADOPTION in the same category as drug abuse, human trafficking and homelessness but I am placing unwanted pregnancy and child abandonment there. Both of those things cause heartache. Adoption redeems much of that heartache, especially for the adopted child but we can’t ignore that before the joy was the pain that was experienced by the birth parent(s) and sometimes the child too. I just don’t agree that God causes suffering even if it will be healed later.

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