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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Story, II. And Some Thoughts.

NOTE: This is #2 of a two part post. Find part one here.


In my last post, I shared the story of one little family's big step of faith. God presented Laura and Garry with an opportunity and they said yes.

Despite the risks, the potential heart break and the many challenges ahead, this family stepped up in obedience and pursued the adoption of a tiny, premature infant who was likely facing a lifetime of medical issues.

One of their first challenges was this: while Laura and Garry may have been heart-ready to adopt, they weren't paper ready. When Laura and I flew back from Summit on Friday morning, she went straight from the airport to pick up her children. She fed them lunch in the car and spent the afternoon hanging around an Atlanta police station waiting for an expedited fingerprint appointment and background check.

She and Garry raced all over town for hours on end -- attending training sessions, completing paperwork, compiling a family profile book and so forth. This is the type of thing most first-time adoptive families take many months to complete -- Laura and Garry did it in less than two weeks.

The precious Baby Girl they pursued was never handed over to social services. I believe this was largely due to the quick action on Laura and Garry's part. They took immediate and intentional action that demonstrated interest in this baby and it was enough to keep her in the agency's custody.

In the end, Baby Girl did go to a family -- but not Laura and Garry's. Today she's still in the hospital fighting to gain weight and lung function. But when she is released, this baby will go home to a real, forever family.

Walking through this experience with Laura and Garry has opened my eyes afresh to the realities of domestic adoption, to the plight of the birth mother and the American church's response to this immense area of need.

In this particular case, the birth mother of Baby Girl was a young teenager, still a child herself for all practical purposes. I literally know scores and scores of Christians who would have no problem approaching this young woman and exhorting her to "choose life" for her baby.

And yet, how many of those same Christians are prepared to come alongside this young girl, in the same manner as Laura and Garry, when she makes that choice? If a birth mother is willing to step out in faith, are you willing to do the same?

Assuming a pro-life position means you should also be pro-adoption. And by "pro-adoption" I'm not lightly suggesting that you are ok with adoption. I mean that you are willing to adopt.

Today in the US, there's a list a mile long of families hoping to adopt a healthy, white infant. But special needs and/or minority infants? Not so much. Don't even get me started on older children and sibling groups.

The US has an orphan problem. Today there are approximately 116,000 children in the US foster system waiting to be adopted. What's the pro-life church going to do about it?

If you were standing on the pro-life sidelines cheering when each of those children were born, rather than aborted, what are you willing to do about it now? Because those kids need a home.

For more perspective on the US orphan crisis and the church's response, check out the article below. I'll warn you in advance that these words may be highly offensive to you. For that matter, my own words in this post may have been highly offensive to you.

But if your heart is pricked and you're bothered by what you've read here today, I'd encourage you to ask yourself why.

My Take: On Adoption, Christians Should Put Up or Shut-Up.

7 comments:

This High Calling said...

Shelly,

Fabulous insight. If it's ok, I would love to link it on my blog. Our calling right now is domestic adoption and foster care, even more so to see healing in the birth family that only Christ can give. Thank so much!

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!!!!!!! Thank you! My husband and I were just discussing this last night. It amazes me... so many Christians pro-life but so few Christians for (and I mean willing) adoption. It just does not make since in my opinion! Keep spreading the word! Bless you for being willing to speak up!

Sarah said...

I agree that to be pro-life, a person HAS to be pro-adoption. The kind of pro-adoption you talk about. I honestly don't understand a Christian who is NOT pro-adoption (and maybe that is judgmental, but it is honestly how I feel).

Wild Olive said...

I'm totally offended. Gaw!

Okay, I'm over it. I read that article last week and LOVED it. I love the title: Put Up or Shut Up. Loved reading the ending of Laura's story. Good words, sister.
Love you!
T

Chrissy said...

Read this post and totally agree with it! I work with CPS and see kids everyday that could go to a great home and people are just not willing to commit. I hope it does offend people, sometimes feathers need to be ruffled to get something moving.
That same day I also read this blog entry: http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2011/06/boat-that-needs-rocking.html
Also very thought provoking!

~natalie said...

one of my favorite "grandpas" in our church has said the same thing for years - in his quiet, loving, gentle voice. it is true and it seems to be an exciting time in the church right now as God seems to be waking more and more of His body up to this reality and the reality that we are to care for His children. here's to the "wake up call" may it be loving, gentle and full of His power!

Rebecca said...

Great post, i had to reblog about this on my blog. The article really hit home with me. I love your passion!
Rebecca
lilyandjett.blogspot.com
follow our Ehtiopia Adoption!