Monday, January 17, 2011

Why are we adopting internationally (when there are children right in our back yard who need homes)?


First of all… THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! I have never been more nervous to hit “publish” on anything I’ve ever posted to our blog – and your encouragement and kind words mean so much!


Onto this post: When we told our family we were hoping to adopt from Uganda, we got several questions… I thought I’d share some of those here, in case any of you were wondering also. (If it is news to you that we are pursuing adoption, you missed this post…)

Why International?  The first question we’ve been asked is why we chose to adopt internationally rather than locally. The easiest answer to that question is that I have friends who have researched adoption in the states, and they’ve either had multiple experiences getting their hopes up, only to have things fall through (either at the front or back end), or been told that as a family with 2 or more children, they would be an unlikely choice for birth mothers choosing a family for their baby. After some research and seeing others’ experiences, we decided the foster system is not a good fit for our family at this time, either. I believe adoption/fostering to adopt in the states is a wonderful opportunity and very necessary thing (and I am soooo thankful to have friends who have adopted and are currently adopting in the states.) However, in the states in most cases we would be waiting for a child. I have a hard time committing to that wait, knowing there are WAITING CHILDREN all over the world.

I could also give you statistics as a reason we’re pursuing international rather than local adoption. Some statistics that have been compelling to us are: (from Steven & Mary Beth Chapman’s Shaohannah’s Hope website):

* Over 130 million children (worldwide) have lost one or both parents.1
* Every 18 seconds another child becomes an orphan, without a mother or father.2

Where are they?

* 43.4 million orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa, 87.6 million orphans live in Asia, and 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.6
* In some countries, children are abandoned at alarming rates, due to poverty, restrictive population control policies, disabilities or perceived disabilities, and cultural traditions that value boys more than girls.9

What happens to the children?

* Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex trade.15
* Unaccompanied boys are at high risk of forced or 'voluntary' participation in violence and armed conflict.16
* Orphanages, children's villages, or other group residential facilities generally fail to meet young people's emotional and psychological needs.17

All of the above are very compelling reasons. But they’re not the main ones. The main reason we’re pursuing international adoption rather than local is my heart.

I’ve wanted to be involved in what Jesus is doing among the peoples of the world for almost as long as I’ve known Jesus. For many years when I was still single I was able to be more actively involved in seeing the good news about Jesus taken around the world, and I was always praying and planning to be overseas someday. If you’d told me at 29 that I’d be living in NEBRASKA at 39, I would have been mad. I wanted to be in CHINA, not Nebraska (truthfully, I’d probably never had 2 thoughts in a row about Nebraska until I met Matt.) But I gave my heart to Jesus, not to missions or any “call”, and I believe I followed Him to Nebraska. But the desire to be involved in bringing Him glory outside of America (preferably the third world, the “least of these”) has never left me. It seems to me that the greatest needs in the worldwide orphan crisis are in Africa. And while I can’t go to Africa and help the people there directly, I can take one child and bring him/her into a loving family. And I firmly believe the Bible prophesy that in the end of time, there will be people from every tribe and tongue and nation bowing down and worshipping the Lord Jesus (Revelation 5:8-10, 7:9). I love the idea of having the “tribes and tongues and nations” represented right in our family. And I think the Lord is using this as a way I can fulfill my heart’s desire to live internationally, right here in Lincoln, NE. Praise Him for His sweetness to me!

And praise Him for YOU. You really are His kindness to me, I have the sweetest friends and family a girl could ask for!