November is National Adoption Month. It seems like because of that there are more blog posts and articles about adoption floating around the Internet. I happened to read two really good ones this week. Both are short and worth the read in their entirety but some of the more compelling thoughts are as follows.
From Shannon Dingle, Should Adoption be the Church's Response to Abortion
"Perhaps you’re surprised by my answer, but hear me out. Adoption is not the opposite of abortion. Birth is. After a child is born, a variety of outcomes are possible, and adoption is only one."
"We’re being reductive if we act as if every abortion would have ended in adoption if the child had been born."
I really appreciated the idea that there is a third option for birth families: parenting their child and that this requires us as a culture to value the life and needs of all, including that of the birth parents.
From Russell Moore, Don't Protect Yourself from Adoption
"We live in an era when commitments have become opportunities for narcissistic self-realization. "
"The angel Gabriel told our Lord’s mother that her bearing of Jesus was a sign of God’s favor on her (Lk. 1:30), and through the Spirit Elizabeth pronounced Mary to be “blessed” (1:41-42). The visionary Simeon, on the other hand, told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart (Lk. 235), as indeed it did (Jn. 19:26). Both the blessing and the pain were true for her, and in a very real sense are true for every mother, and for every father. If you wish to avoid the risk or possibility of being hurt, do not adopt a child. Do not foster a child. Do not engage in ministry with orphans or with widows or with the sojourners or with the poor. Do not have children, in any way. Do not get married. Do not have any friendships. Hide under the bed, and hope for the best. Any human relationship brings with it the possibility of deep hurt. You can protect yourself from that possibility, but only by walling yourself off from love."
"We need a battalion of Christians ready to adopt, to foster, and to minister to orphans and to mothers in crisis. But that means real orphans, real women, real persons, real families—not idealized versions of what we think they should be. The gospel of adopting grace didn’t find us in a boutique nursery but in the war-zone of a stable, in the death-camp of a crucifixion field, in the graveyard of a borrowed tomb. That’s not a gospel that plays well on television, but it’s the only one we have. Caring for orphans means, in a very real sense, joining them in their distress. I cannot tell you that won’t be risky. It could up-end your plans for yourself and your family altogether. It could wreck your life-plan. "
I really appreciated how he encourages people to think through their true feelings in regard to children and parenting. It is very easy for every parent to want to have an easy child, a picket fence worthy family. But that is not the reality of parenting, be it adoptive parenting or the plain old biological family.