November is National Adoption Month and I did not want the month to pass without discussing the topic here. I love the thought of adoption. I love that as a result of Christ’s shed blood on the cross, I have been adopted into God’s kingdom. My adoption provides me with a new family and has opened a whole new world of possibilities.
One of those possibilities is the reality of now writing for God’s glory. As a result of writing, I have been able to connect with other Christian women who are passionately sharing the love of Jesus through writing and living. Thanks, Redbuds! It was excited to hear about fellow Redbud, Jennifer Grant’s adoption story and wanted to share it with you.
Eight years ago, Jennifer Grant and her husband David adopted a daughter. Mia is their fourth child, and first by adoption. Grant’s memoir, Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter details the journey Grant and her family went through as they adopted Mia. It’s a story about faith, family, and the ties that bind. To connect with Grant and other people whose lives have been touched by adoption, visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/loveyoumorebook.
Today, Jennifer has graciously shared an excerpt from her book and has provided one for me to give away to one of you. For consideration, all you have to do is comment and share your thoughts about adoption. A winner will be announced next week.
Adopting Mia opened the world up to me in new ways. I look at my little girl, with her sophisticated (and sometimes extremely silly) sense of humor, her love of the natural world and her talent for making beautiful pastel drawings. I see her sweetness and the light she brings to those around her. She began as a “waiting child” in Guatemala, but if she is of such infinite value, what about other children born to other very poor mothers around the world? Half of the world’s children are born into poverty. There are an estimated 150-170 million orphans globally who live without parental care, are warehoused in orphanages, live on the streets or in child-headed households. Their potential is unseen, like a paper sack of daffodil bulbs, hidden behind a watering can in the garage, shriveling in the dark.
These children starve to death. They die of preventable diseases. They are abused and exploited in unimaginable ways. There is a global orphan crisis; it is a pandemic.
Do I have any responsibility to these children, even though (as was the case with my Mia) I did not bring them into the world? Are they, in some mystical way, my family too? After adopting my daughter, I have come to think they are. Actually, as a mother, a person of faith and someone who has had the privilege – and, concurrently, been given the burden – of visiting some of the world’s poorest places, I am sure of it.
Since my daughter’s homecoming seven years ago, I have begun to wonder whether God has an additional purpose in bringing families together by adoption. Whether parents welcome a child who was born twenty miles from their home or was born half a world away, adoption changes the way adoptive parents look at underprivileged people. Some of us no longer view drug-addicted women who, after giving birth, leave their newborn babies at Safe Havens such as hospitals and police stations as second-class citizens or pariahs. How can we not cherish them? They are our children’s birthmothers. For the first time, now that we are family, we might feel a desire to explore ways to bring healing, education and dignity to these women. Indigenous women weaving colorful fabrics in Latin America and living in poverty are no longer curiosities pictured in National Geographic magazine, but our children’s first mothers. How can we, who now know their strength and stories, fail to help them rise up out of the poverty that forces them into a desperate place, a place where they must relinquish their babies?
Is adoption – whether domestic or international – a means by which God opens our eyes to the needs of the world and calls us to love others more?