I watched this family's story here some months ago and kept thinking about it... What does it mean to actually live a lifestyle of "my life is not my own"? To look around at what I have, this abundance, and remember "we have room"? I am being challenged. I keep rereading a blog post by this family as well, and with their permission, I will share a portion here. The mother addresses the question she often receives by those wondering about their decision to adopt so many and many out their biological children's birth order, questions that I have had as well. Our agency doesn't even allow us to adopt out of our children's birth order, and I wrestle with how I feel about all of this, but her words are making me think -- differently. Read on...
"To each and every person reading this post who knows the concrete conviction of being called to care for the older orphans yet also bears the weight of the accompanying thoughts of fear, I want you to know this...
You are NOT taking anything AWAY from your birth children. Instead, what you are doing is imparting to them something eternal: You are expanding their capacity to love. Think about that for a minute before you read anything else. How do you plan to teach your child to love others unconditionally and in total compassion without giving them the opportunity to do so? I'm telling you now, You CAN'T.
My biological children have a greater capacity of love in their hearts than I could ever impart to them by just giving them a safe Christianity, by maintaining their status quo, by simply modeling "godliness" as parents (as if that's the end-all be-all for a Christian family). My kids...all of them...have lived out self-sacrifice and understand (because they live it!) that laying down one's life does not steal anything from us. That is the lie of the devil, who would have us believe that sacrifice is not worth it; that there is nothing for us in return; that God doesn't really mean what He says when He said to His followers that "anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [Because] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 10:38-39).
Do you really believe that? That whoever LOSES his life for Jesus's sake, for Jesus the Orphan's sake, will actually FIND it? Ask yourself honestly. Because you might answer YES prematurely. I have no doubt that you might believe it for yourself, but do you really believe it for your children, too? That if they "lose" their "place" in the family that Jesus will instead impart to them LIFE? REAL life???
What is birth order anyway but just a sequence of how your child came to you? Let's not make an idol of that sequence. Because that's what it becomes...an IDOL. Something standing in the way of you taking up the Cross to follow Him, to BE JESUS in this world. Let's not place a value on birth order that God did not intend to be there.
Consider the older orphan. Consider the sibling groups. Consider the ones who are not often considered.
And whatever you do on your adoption journey, PLEASE I beg you, do NOT steal from your children the opportunity for their love capacity to be expanded. Do not deny them the true gift of learning early in life that "My life is not my own."
When your feisty and spunky 7-year-old biological daughter, who is now the middle child of 9 after being knocked down to #5 from #2, pleads "Please, Mommy, Please!!! I want another sister my age!!! Can we PLEASE adopt again?!!," your heart will beat out of your chest, not just because you can envision another child saved, but because you know that your daughter will NEVER EVER live a limited, safe Christianity. She won't even know what that means. In fact, she won't even have the capacity do so.
And all because you didn't limit her, either. You didn't limit God.
Give your children the gift of the greater capacity to love. Let it ripple out into the future. Let it change the world."