Why is adoption so hard?
I heard this question in the most unlikely of all places yesterday. As I was upgrading my phone, the salesman, James (great guy), asked me where I worked. When I told him about Show Hope and how we help orphans and give grants to families who are adopting, he gave me a knowing nod and simply said, “I’m adopted.”
“So tell me,” James asked, “why is it so hard for kids to get adopted these days?”
When my phone salesman asked me that, it caught me off guard, but all of a sudden the question took on a very personal quality. I was talking to a man who told me:
* Adoption was the best thing that ever happened to him
* He found his biological mom, and he knows that the social worker who didn’t let her have him back did the absolute right thing
* The family who adopted him wanted a little girl, and instead got himself AND his brother, showing what amazing things can happen when someone will step out of their comfort zone
* He was part of an interracial adoption, and what matters is that the family loves you, not whether they are red, yellow, black, or white
* He would never have achieved what he has without adoption being a part of his story
I had to think, “Why IS it that kids who come from the same types of situations like James are so often left without the hope of a forever family?” James is married, has completed college, and has a successful job (evidenced by the fact that he convinced me to buy that phone!). Why aren’t more families able to take kids without hope and give them a future like James has?
Make no mistake, there is an enemy. The enemy uses any tool he can to destroy the lives of God’s precious children. That enemy will use fear, apathy, despair, and lies in whatever ways possible so that children are left without hope, without love, and without a future. We see the effects of it when families feel they have to fight the system in order to give kids a loving home. The evidence is there when someone hears two horror stories about the adoption process and turns back before they can hear two hundred success stories. The proof is also there when parents enter into the adoption process without all the resources they need, and all parties end up hurt, when God intended them to experience a miracle.
Adoption seems so hard in part because there is a culture of fear surrounding adoption, whether it be the fear of having your child returned to the parents, the fear of the process costing too much, or the fear of messing up your life by adopting a child who has issues due to a bad situation (James was one of those children…).
Yet, “You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). God gave us the Spirit of adoption, not the spirit of fear. God never promised the roads He would lead us down would be easy, but He did promise that He would never leave us or forsake us. Show Hope has had the privilege of watching and helping over 2,000 families take those steps down the road of adoption that so many fear, and instead walk in faith, bearing testimony to the amazing provision of God and the blessings that can come when you experience the miracle of adoption.
Well, in our battle against the fear that adoption is too hard, we often have to fight the cultural mentalities that exist from the stories that pervade it. Unfortunately, Warner Bros has decided to release a horror film that preys upon those very fears, called “Orphan.” It only helps their advertising machine that controversy has been stirred up because of the subject matter - a child who has “something wrong” is adopted into a family who experienced the loss of a child, and terrors break loose.
Is it wrong that I hope the movie tanks and nobody goes to see it? Is it wrong that, without seeing the film, I think that it is a harmful and grievous act to release a film that supports all the wild fears of prospective adoptive parents and all those who consider adopted kids as “damaged goods”?
Instead of going to see the movie and supporting them with my money, I am going to instead visit the website: www.OrphansDeserveBetter.org to see what I can do to send a strong counter-message to the world: Orphans (like James here in the states, like my friend Enoch in Ghana, my friend “Mark” in China, and my friend Jose in Honduras) are beautiful, amazing people, created by God for a purpose, and may very well be the biggest blessing you ever encounter, especially if you choose to experience the miracle of adoption and give one of them a loving family.
Adapted from the Show Hope Blog at www.showhope.org.
Nick Lyndon is the Director of Communications and Ministry Initiatives at
Show Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing individuals and
communities to care for orphans and reducing the financial barriers to
adoption. For information on Show Hope, go to www.showhope.org.