Wednesday, November 02, 2011

not your typical orphan sunday plug....



It's National Adoption Month.  Orphan Sunday is just right around the corner.  My husband will be preaching.  Adoption stories will be shared.  I feel certain a video will be shown.  Yet rather than being completely excited about the month or the Sunday, I just have to admit that I'm a little bit nervous.  Readers of this blog are fully aware that I am big on being honest and real.  However, I am not big on confrontation.  What does that have to do with Orphan Sunday or National Adoption Month?  Let's just be real.  Adoption can be, and is, a controversial and confrontational topic in our churches.  Not from the pulpit, of course.  And maybe confrontation isn't exactly the right word for what I feel lies beneath the surface, because it's rarely ever actually spoken aloud.  Maybe tension is a better word.  Another thing that I'm not big on.

Where does the tension come from?  I think, in part, it comes from a misunderstanding.  I'm concerned that people who haven't adopted or aren't involved in orphan care in a meaningful way perceive those of us who have adopted or are involved in orphan care to be saying something like this, "Look what we've done.  Why haven't you done it, too?"  When, in reality, we are really just trying to communicate something like this, "Look what God has done for us by adopting us and then leading us through our very own adoption journey so that we can better understand His love for us, see His miraculous ways of providing for us, and experience the joy that He felt when He gave us a name and a family and a home!  We don't want you to miss out on this!"  

There's a big difference.  I think the tension comes when people mistake passion for judgement.  Of course people are going to get tired of "the whole adoption thing being shoved down their throats" (yes people, that's a quote) if what they mistakenly hear from us is judgement and self righteousness.  And maybe that is the intent of some.  But of all the adopting families that I know, none of them have hearts like that.  All of the families that I know communicate their passion for orphan care and adoption because: 1.  They love orphans. and 2.   They want others to experience the blessing of adoption (other families and other orphans).  Period.  No self righteousness.  No judgement.  Just genuine desire to communicate what God has done in and with their lives so that others may become open to allowing Him to do the same with their lives. And, of course, so that more children can have families.  

If there's one place, one community, one group where people should be able to share their passion for orphan care, it's within the church.  May we not let unspoken tension and misunderstood motives get in the way of our God's mission to bring redemption to the life of every single one of his children.  




6 comments:

Gil_Michelini said...

I like your comment "I think the tension comes when people mistake passion for judgement.". I must run with a different crowd because many of the adoptive parents I know feel judgement coming AT them rather than feeling it is coming FROM them.

For my group, I would take your sentence and replace "passion" for "curiosity". My experience is that adoptive families get frustrated by the questions because they feel judgement. And yes, there might be some; however, since VERY few family adopt which means almost most all people have lots of questions because they do not have personal experience. I like to look at each question as a time to, as you wrote, witness of what God has done for me and through me.

Jeanine said...

I just hopped over here from Janet Whipple's Facebook and I am SO glad I did! This is something I have struggled with as an adoptive mama to five...not wanting to "shove it down their throats" but MAN do I ever wish more people could experience what I have experienced! Thank you for putting it perfectly into words...I plan to share it!

April Hollingsworth said...

I am speaking at our church Sunday. I will be talking about how adoption is not the only way to care for orphans... how, if you don't feel called to adopt, you can help out ministries like Amazima and Compassion that help people overcome poverty and in turn, help families stay together. Hopefully me speaking about how the church can help prevent more children being abandoned will show our church another side to orphan care.

Danielle said...

Great stuff. I hopped over from Heidi Weimer's fb page. I pray that this passion is felt by the members of our little house church this Sunday as well...not the judgment. Thank you so much for sharing.

Rachel @ Moments With My Miracles said...

I love this...hope you don't mind I quoted you and linked to you on my blog (it's a scheduled post so it might not be up today)!

skaduce said...

Just wanted you to know I loved this post.