Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It IS a good thing

I know I've been a posting slacker.

Truthfully, I have been in kind of an emotional slump about the adoption, and I didn't know what to say without sounding whiny. I guess I'm just going to go ahead and whine, so faithful readership (all five or six of you), bear with me.

I'm getting pretty excited about bringing my new son home. For awhile, I was distracted by other things going on at our house, but I've reached a point where I can kind of breathe and think about the future... we're getting a son! And I'm excited! And yet...

Why do I have this vaguely guilty notion about the whole thing? Well, I'll tell you why... because of the onslaught of anti-international adoption writing I have come across. Even in the so-called online "support" groups, it seems like someone is constantly lamenting the poor integrity of international adoptions, or the corruption, or the greed or the suffering of birth families... the list could go on and on.

Yes, those things exist. Way more than they should. Yes, every happy adoptive family comes at the loss of a birth family. But no, I don't think that makes all international adoption suspect. I think international adoption can be, and in many cases is, a good thing. I can't help but notice that frequently, the ones who decry the adoption process the most are people who already have their adoptive child home. It was fine for them, at the time they adopted, but now... sigh. It just bothers me.

I don't know anyone who wants an unethical adoption. I certainly don't. I learned a lot from our first adoption. I knew which agencies to avoid at all costs, and which ones were generally good agencies. There is no perfect agency. I knew questions to ask, things to look for, and I'm satisfied that the waiting child we are adopting has accurately been portrayed.

I also feel like a lot of people think my husband and I have just plain gone crazy. We have our hands full with five pets and five kids and Tom is just buying a small manufacturing business and why the heck would we do this adoption thing again? At our ages?

I worry a lot about orphans and widows and poverty in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, a country I have grown to love. I know that international adoption isn't going to solve the world's orphan crisis, or eradicate poverty. I believe that God put Ethiopia in my heart to show me that I can help make a difference there. I am equally certain that my calling from God is to nurture children, and that this child was put in our path for a reason. I am excited to welcome him home and to begin to help him heal his heart and love him as my son. I am excited for our family to experience the joy of a little brother. Won't you be excited for us, too?


Emily said...

I am excited for you guys!!!

Jennifer said...

Why, YES, I will be excited for you! And I have been excited for you! You are not a novice now. You know what to look for, what to ask, which agencies to avoid. There are so many of children who genuinely DO need homes and you have a great one to offer! I'd go back again if I had the resources.

Becky and Naing said...

Don't let the nay sayers get to you Paula. Only you know your heart. In a perfect world there wouldn't be AIDS, orphans or families giving their children up for adoption because they can't feed them. We don't live in a perfect world and even though you can't change all the orphan's lives, you can change one orphan's life for the better.

Charity Roach said...

Oh how clearly I understand what you are saying. Just the other day I considered getting off of (or at least not have e-mails sent from) the adoption boards. I HATE, HATE, HATE all of the negative talk. I just love reading the homecoming stories so much! I love seing REFERRAL!!! or COURT DATE!!!

I'm thankful to not be going through an adoption right now (as terrible as that sounds) because everything on the boards would frighten me! It always made me sick to my stomach. It deters people from international adoption and it breaks my heart! And I think you are right... you read the comments, and then look at the signature, and the person who wrote it has a child from every place that was ever closed to International adoption and one from Ethiopia as well. It's disheartening. The same conditions were there when they adopted... probably moreso becuase Ethiopia is now (or maybe it's the US government) doing a better job of ensuring that these children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren who are so desperately loved by their families here in the states - are truly orphans. I think it's due to the increased popularity of adoption from Ethiopia. It didn't get so much attention when it wasn't as popular a country.

Feel secure in knowing your child NEEDS YOU. Not just someone, HE NEEDS YOU. God whispered that in his heart and in yours!!! Also know that I'm one of the, what did you say, "5 or 6" faithful blog readers and I will celebrate and be excited for you EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!!!

In Christ,

Ben and Kate said...

I don't know much about your little guy but I'm betting that there wasn't much you could have done to change his past, but you will definitely change his future. His future is now bright because of you.

Keep us updated with any news!

Jen Stutzman said...

I understand everything you wrote. Jake and I have often talked about adopting again and I am hoping that the waiting would not be as hard the second time around but it sounds like it is. I do know that when we follow God, the world will look at us like we are crazy. Keep being crazy for God my friend!!

Me said...

We are excited for you guys! I just wish we would have been going to ET together. Maybe next time. ;-)


Kristen said...

I am so thrilled for your family! Crazy... maybe, but aren't we all! :) I love your heart and I love that you are following what God has put on your heart! These words from the book of James came to my mind as I read your post...

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~ James 1:27

You my friend are looking after the orphans - the children might not be orphaned because of the death of their birth parents, but perhaps orphaned in the sense that their birth parents are unable to provide for them. God knows the plans He has for you, your family and the children He has blessed you with - those whom you carried under your heart and the 3 you carried in your heart!

I love you my friend!

PS: The word verification that I have to put in to post is this: sestr - I read it as seester - sister - we are sisters you and me! ~ K