Monday, March 16, 2009

This Is Why I Love Adoption

My friend Jenny Groothius, mother of 13, wrote this piece recently in her yahoogroups posting. (Jennysupdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. I am posting it here with her permission. Jenny and her husband have 6 biological children and 7 adopted Liberian children. Their 13 children range in age from 1 to 13-years-old. One of their adopted children just had surgery to replace her esophagus with part of her small intestine due to irreversible damage from accidentally drinking lye in Liberia.

Adoption is dear to our hearts. We have a foster daughter whom we hope to adopt. I have never heard adoption expressed in these terms, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
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"...Just like we don't really care about statistics. This is why I love adoption. Because we really can't care about millions upon millions of suffering humanity. Maybe in a really vague and general sense, but usually we are too tired out by our own lives to take on the trials and tribulations of, say, entire continents. But we care intensely about the people living under our roof, our babies, our families. If I heard that accidental lye ingestion was a big problem in developing nations causing devastating consequences to the health of countless children.... I would probably think, "That's really sad." But when one of those children is my daughter and she is suffering because of it.....well, the intensity of my concern is such that only the love of Christ constrained me from harming someone who I felt was adding to her suffering by not relieving the pain!

Adoption will make people who were once uninformed and perhaps apathetic suddenly care deeply about things like special education, special health needs, mental illness, trauma-related behavior, and the list goes on. Again, the difference is picking up a paper and reading about abuse, orphanages, war, poverty, disease and thinking, "That's really too bad" or deciding to roll up your sleeves and enter the mess with Jesus, finally coming to terms with the fact that life never has been and never will be about our comfort and convenience. Jesus said "least of these" and whether it's a visit to a nursing home, a prison, an orphanage, or a residential treatment center there are plenty of "leasts" to go around.

I love it that God knows us by name and not by number. I love it that we are adopted and we have an Advocate. A Father and a Friend."

1 comment:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

What a beautiful analogy. I'm also an adoptive mother. Both of my children had extensive hospitalizations for unexpected illnesses, so I understand those emotions somewhat, but we didn't purposely adopt children with health problems. Thank God that somebody does. We've marveled at our our two adopted children brought us to know about many things that would have been outside our sphere of experiences without them in our household. Praise God! Our lives have been much richer because of these children.