"Why would you want to do that?"
"What about your other kids?"
"You're already busier than most. Why would you add more on your plate?"
"Why don't you just have another one of your own?"
These are some of the reactions we've received when people find out that we're adopting a child with Down syndrome from the country of Serbia.
I've answered most of these questions in a previous post on adoption that was written almost a year ago. Go on, click on it and read it. I'll wait. :)
Everything except the last paragraph is still true, today.
Our circumstances have changed and we are moving forward to adopt, currently working on our home study. I wrote in my last post on this subject a few months ago that I couldn't choose our child from a picture and my good friend, Christie, suggested we look into adopting from Serbia, as they only do blind referrals. Our first step was to send our bio info to the Ministry of Adoption and see if they would overlook our already large family size and let us start the process. They agreed.
So now we're sharing our good news and getting the above responses. Each and every time, I find myself grasping for a succinct answer that reflects our hearts, but doesn't bore the listener or sound like I'm justifying myself and my choices. (That's really hard to do. So much easier to write things...with the delete and backspace buttons, than to speak them.)
Sometimes, people actually are judging us and our choices and I get a little flabbergasted. My pride rears up and I want to assure them that we know what we're doing. (Even though, we really don't. ) Most of the time, though, people are genuinely curious and I can appreciate that.
I think my problem lies in that, to me, it's very simple:
- There's a child who has no one.
- I am someone.
- He/she can have me.
But, of course, in the simplicity is a whole host of complexity.
If I'm simple in my response, I'm thought to be too cavalier and have, obviously, not thought this through. They have no idea the tears, the endless calculations, the constant-can't-shut-them-off-thoughts that swirl through my brain at all hours, the deep discussions, and the what-ifs that have all conspired against our pursuit of this child that we've never met. They have no idea that our faith in Jesus teaches us to do the hard things, to put aside our selfishness, to help widows and orphans, and to care for the least of these. They can't comprehend that we really do feel blessed to have the privilege of parenting Eon. We welcome the opportunity to parent another kid like him, even if there are additional health concerns or behaviors.
We have counted the cost (as we know it...I've mentioned before that no one can accurately predict the future.) We've found our reasons not to go through with this to be lacking when confronted with the life of a child.
If not us, then who?
God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. I Corinthians 1:27 (GNT)
Nonsensical and weak. I guess we qualify.