My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Monday, February 25, 2013

The ripple affect of adoption

I think adoption is one of those things in life that people go into for a variety of reasons.  Some people want to simply expand their family and perhaps there has been pain in their history--loss of a child, loss of fertility, older couple, or other reasons.  Some people go into it to "rescue" an orphan or child otherwise in a desperate situation.  Some people go into it because they feel "called by God" to minister to the "orphan".   I think all of these reasons carry validity.  Many people get up in arms about the "rescue" word.  But, I'm not here to argue that point.

Personally, I have to say, when we went to adopt Lucas we had a wide variety of reasons and things that led us in that direction.  I did have an inkling toward it even as a young child.  I always wanted an Asian or African American "baby".  I have no idea why.  I just felt like I would have a child of another ethnic backround someday.  Then, we entertained the thought after we lost our first two children in 1990 and 1991 both an hour after they were born.  But, the timing wasn't quite right yet.  Then, Jacob mentioned that we should adopt "a boy" just a few months before he died, 2004. Another reason occured at my own father's funeral in 2005.  Isaac, our son who was 9 at the time, observed how I had my siblings surrounding me at his funeral and that he wouldn't have anyone if something happened to Peter or myself.  Jacob had died 9 months prior.

We waited for about 2 years after Jacob died before entertaining the thought. Then after prayer and asking God, we decided to go with a little "girl" from China so there would be little resemblance to Jacob who was blonde a haired and blue eyed and a boy.  We felt God leading us in that decision.

I have to say, in many ways we were focused on our own family unit.  Yes, we considered how it would affect other family members.  But, our final decision really came in what the dynamics would be for our immediate family...what would become the 4 of us again.  We prayed about it based on what was right for our family unit of 4.

Recently, however, I've come to see more and more how this type of decision affects everyone we interface with.  It affects neighbors, friends, extended family, even teachers at school or at church.  I wasn't able to see how much it affects others because I was in survival mode much of the time.  I also had a bit of a myopic view centering on the world of "our" immediate family.  We are really blessed that most of our family and friends have responded so well to us bringing crazy-boy into their lives.  They didn't choose it.  We did, based on God's leading.  But, it has changed a lot of things for them as well.

A prime example is Ms. F, Lucas's teacher at school.  She is one of the most amazing people I've met-an outstanding professional, but so so personal at the same time.  She didn't "choose" adoption.  But, because we did, her classroom and daily routine is affected by this little man in her midst.  He can be a handful.  And he can be the sweetest thing you ever want to be around.  The flip flopping of his "moods" can cause anyone to go a little crazy.  But, she didn't choose to go 1/2 way around the world to get this little man and bring all this chaos into her life.  We did that through God's orchestration.  Then suddenly he his dropped in her classroom mid year and she becomes a player in the drama that is unfolding.

I see how our families have just seemlessly woven him into the traditions, the joys, the stories, the photographs, etc.  We really are so blessed.

I didn't sign up for this to be a poster child for adoption.  Yet, somehow whether by choice or not, we became a voice.  People are intrigued by our crazy life for some reason.  Why is that?

Lucas has no idea right now how his little life has touched and affected so many.  The ripples continue to spread out.  Even others in the adoption community have commented about him and some have used his story as a stepping stone in their own decisions about adoption or even surgery for their children.

I knew God called "us" to adopt.  But, did you know God called "you"to adopt when you signed on to be our friends or family?  Ok maybe family didn't have much choice in the matter--but you get the point.

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