I don't know what to title this writing. It is my opinion. It won't be filled with researched statistics; though if I ever write a book I will find them. It is about the precious lives that live in my home, those I call my children - knowing full well that they have birth parents, people that conceived and bore them that for myriads of reasons could not safely and responsibly take care of them. We/I (my family-I am not alone) haven't adopted these children, we/I didn't go searching for them. Rather they were given to us, brought to us by government, because of their need to be rescued from dangerous situations. Given because of their need for safety, protection, love. And we do. We do receive them, love them, treasure them, struggle with them, count them as ours.
I hesistate to type these things. I haven't because of fear - fear of my own words and opinions, fear of the so many opinions out there, so many voices, so many judgements to be made. But I feel I have something to say, something to add (yikes, I just said that). In my reading (blogs, websites, book, magazines, news articles, emails I receive, and studies to name some) I read an opinion shared by many that, sometimes (I in no way want to imply that these state always), by adopting and taking needy children in we are denying them their family, culture, and identity - that we have done them a disservice, that we haven't thought through the whole picture, that we haven't helped whole families. Though I am sure that can be the case, and valueing the opinions given by others - I want to share another facet. I can do it with the us of our home.
The precious lives that we have been entrusted with had need, life and death sort of need. Each child was born into a broken, splintered family. I am not talking about broken as in mom and dad don't get along and have trouble communicating effectively with one another so one or the other may yell. I am not talking dysfunctional as in there is an older brother on drugs who sleeps in the same room as the toddler. I am not talking broken as in living below poverty level, sometimes missing a meal. I am not talking splintered as in dad needs to work in another city to provide for his family and while he is there he is unfaithful. I am talking horrific abuse; a babies' head being pounded against an adobe brick wall, an older sibling caring for a sibling behind the bar in the cantina while mother sells herself in the next room, a young child being held while mother is shot at, a young one hung up on a tree and hit repeatedly in the head with a post, a precious life locked up for five years so that an abusive man wouldn't know, a young one used, children taken away because a parent murdered, and on and on. Worst case scenarios.
They needed safety, they needed refuge, they needed rescueing, and God in His infinite mercy and goodness gathered them up. Yes, I believe God rescued them - not me, not Mark, not my family, not the home, not those before us, not the government or the police. I believe that God had/has a plan for them. And I want them to know the stories, the truth, when hearts are ready; when they know they are special, created with a purpose, and loved no matter; when they can process, and forgive, and heal, and walk through those places with security.
Right, we aren't helping the "whole" family. We don't have the moms and dads that are alive living next door, or in the home with us. We aren't helping with rehabilitation or pastoring fathers that have sexually abused children. We aren't offering job training to the families. True. Yes, the children have been taken and aunts, uncles, and grandmothers have been left. I won't spell out for you why they don't have the children, but it was responsible rescueing, though many question. So, on many fronts to many people, we have not done enough, we haven't been responsible, we have been white know it alls. Oh, if only I did know it all I would know how to break the thought/behavior patterns that I see have come with the years of abuse some have lived, break them now and not later.
I know I am long winded so I will stop. But God rescues His children from dark places. Sometimes they are placed in our home, or in the home of others that have been brave enough to open the door - not the parents, but the shattered precious lives that deserve a chance. We didn't and don't do it because we think we know better or have all the answers. We didn't and don't do it because our furniture is prettier and our food is richer. We didn't and don't do it because of a sense of pride of being from a certain wealthier place with more opportunity and education. We didn't and don't do it because we want to take children out of a culture or a village or a family. Daily we know we are not enough and don't know enough. We and others do it because of love, not our love, but His perfect love, that praise you Jesus, rescues.