Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is challenging me...

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."

4 comments:

Ann said...

What an awesome, powerful video! thanks so much for sharing. Is their blog private?

Also, I know Holt is very careful about placing out of birth order but they do allow it. We know of several--including us :-)

Happy New Year! It's going to be an amazing one, isn't it?

Alex and Riann said...

Thanks for the Holt clarification, Ann. Here is the blog link: http://blessingsfromethiopia.blogspot.com. What a 2010 it will be!

4dogs said...

Happy New Year to you and your family! 2010 is going to be an exciting year for your family and I can't wait to watch!!!

Tamara B said...

Hmm, I find that very interesting. Great points. But I'd have to say that I'm not in 100% agreement with it. Not trying to argue, just trying to understand it for myself.

I'm all for adopting out of birth order even if Holt told us no.

With that said first, two things I would mention are:
1. She says to not take away from our children the opportunity to expand their capacity to love. I know her point wasn't that the only way you can expand their capacity to love is to adopt out of birth order but it comes across that way. My two children are definitely going to love bigger and the child we're adopting will be the youngest. In fact, my children hoped that we would adopt more than one as was OUR plan.
2. The statement "Let's not place a value on birth order that God did not intend to be there" has me thinking. Did God really not intend it that way. Is that why sons in the bible were given birth right's all the time? I'm not saying it does or doesn't have merit regarding the "idol" issue which I would call a stumbling block, not an idol, but my point is that God might have intended there to be birth right.

Anyway, my intent was not to attack so I hope you don't read it that way. I'm just a regular ol momma trying to love Jesus and my kiddos.