Wednesday, September 1, 2010

more than a consolation prize

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I'm no Angelina Jolie, but I've always considered myself an adoption advocate. My aunt and uncle adopted their two sons. I know several others who have adopted children. I believe in life, and what better gift than to provide a child loving parents and a home?

But now that Brad and I are faced with the option of starting our family by adopting, it's an understatement to say that I feel . . . reluctant.

I applaud noble people--those whose first choice is to adopt . . . people who strive to save orphans . . . couples who seem to effortlessly look past their infertility to adoption with joy . . .  those who see adoption as a perfect opportunity to live out the gospel. God adopts his children into his family, so why is it difficult for me, as a Christian, to want to do the same?

If I'm totally honest, adoption feels like a consolation prize and a harsh reminder of our failure thus far. In my grief, it's easier to think about what adopted children aren't rather than what they are. Friends suggest adoption to me, and I burst into tears.

Even though I know I am not in control here--the Lord is--it's excruciatingly difficult to let go of dreams . . . dreams of our biological children who inherit Brad's red hair and my naturally straight teeth (or, on the undesirable side, my ears that stick out or Brad's big feet) . . . dreams of watching my belly grow with new life . . . dreams of giving birth . . . dreams of hearing that first cry.

My selfish heart knows that these dreams don't matter one bit in the long run, but it stubbornly clings to them anyway. Adoption also doesn't rule out having a biological child. Even if we do adopt, the Lord could still bless us with a biological child--it's happened to plenty of others. But embracing the idea of adopting has been a bigger struggle than I anticipated.

Recognizing that this is an area of growth for us, Brad and I have joined a group at church that is reading Russell Moore's Adopted for Life, which explores the scriptural basis for the priority of adoption. Brad and I hesitated to join this group, but we recognized the sin in our hearts, and were convicted that talking with other Christians about these issues could help. Even if we never go through the adoption process, we'd still like to be more open to it. And if adoption is the Lord's plan for us, well, we  have some work to do.


Katie said...

I appreciate your honesty in sharing your journey with your readers. Please know that I hope and pray for wonderful things for you and Brad. And I wish that it was easier.

I think you have a really smart attitude and are doing all the right things.

Take care, dear friend!

bsblchik said...

Hey there. Thanks for being so candid. I have a friend (and her husband) who after numerous rounds of IVF and other fertility treatments have decided to adopt. They have a blog that may be worth taking a read. ASP is FABulous (she's commented on my blog as well numerous times) and if you ever want to chat with her, please just reach out, I have no question in my mind that she'd be up for it.


Stacy said...

Much love and prayers to you both. Regardless, of what God has planned for you, it takes guts to admit you have a sinful attitude and confront it head on (esp. in a chbc bible study). And the mixed feelings about adoption have been felt in our family too, when faced with issues with other family members. Again, much love and prayers...

lnipaver said...

Although I do have a biological son, I cannot have any more kids due to a heart condition. While I don't pretend to think I know what you're feeling I do understand, we too are considering adoption to possibly give him a sibling because suragacy is so expensive. We aren't there yet but we are also in that same mindset that you are about adoption and hope that GOD will lead us in the right direction.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh my heart breaks for you! My Bestie (college roommie) has been going through the same thing for what I think is five years now. If you would like to speak with her, I am happy to make that connection for you. I know sometimes it helps to have someone understand exactly what you are going through. Or you can read her blog- Buford Betty- she talks a lot about it on there.

I do actually have a big heart for adoption. But I understand that no everyone is "there." I think you are taking the right steps. And it is so true that you can have both. I know lots of people who have both. I know two people who found out they were prego the same day of the adoption. In one case, the kids are in the same grade and are practically twins- though they look nothing alike.

Sending you big hugs and lots of prayers!