Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Not About Me.

As I've been thinking about my post over here and the comments it generated as well as the private emails and facebook messages I received I wanted to expand on my thought process a bit more.

I admit. I have an inner struggle with words like "rescue" or "save" in relation to my son and how he came into our family. Not because I don't see the spiritual connection. I do. Believe me. I really really do. What I struggle with is how these words make my son feel and how those two words then somehow cause people to connect those words with the following word "saint". I did not adopt because I'm some sort of saint. (ask my husband, a saint I am not) Nor is my husband. :) Maybe Silas doesn't care now but maybe so. He's a smart kid. As parents our hearts desire is to raise Silas in the grace of God to be a man of integrity, a man who loves Jesus above all else, and a man who loves others more then himself. That's what we want for both of our sons, and our daughters to grow up to be women of integrity full of love as well. I don't want him to feel like he was some sort of rescue mission for this white family. I don't want him to feel like he's a charity case. I don't want him to feel ANYTHING less then my son. An integral part of OUR family. We want him to know he belongs here. With us. God had a plan for his life from day one. He just allowed Silas to be loved by two families.

Silas is who God used to change our hearts, to allow us to fall in love with Ethiopia. He's our link, a constant reminder of the people we now consider our Ethiopian family. Above all of those things he's our son.
I'm not here to pretend like everything in his homeland is perfect. If it was there wouldn't be a need for adoption. Things in my homeland aren't perfect either. There's a need for adoption here too. The desperate needs in Africa are just different. They are life or death type of needs. They are in your face. You can't ignore them. It's that desperate need that draws so many of us to adopt in the first place. If there was no need why would we need adoption? So I understand the words rescue or save in respect to the reality of the need but I don't place that onto my child. What I absolutely know is that God has called our family to adopt, we have enough room in our hearts for another precious child, we love because we have been loved.

Bear with me as I ramble a bit.

Now don't get me wrong, I completely get the spiritual correlations with adoption and salvation. I do. I completely agree. BUT there is a break down when you get to the biological family and eternal torment. I have been working through this post since the last post was made. It took me that long to formulate anything reasonably decent to post. I wrestled through my thoughts with my husband and again with a friend.

I love what the message version says for Proverbs 24:12

Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

I think the biggest thing I've come to is that when people make statements in regards to "rescue" or "ransom" they are referring to the situations and not the child specifically. I've used the term "ransom" and I view it as a sum of money that stands between me and my child nothing negative or derogatory towards my child or anything else in relation to the adoption process. It must be met before we can proceed further. In talking with both my husband and my friend they said the same thing. Its not about the child specifically but the sad unfortunate circumstances of a broken world that are generalized in relation to Africa and other countries. I know in some countries children are not treasured as they are in Ethiopia. They are a burden, a nuisance, etc. This is heart breaking. In some cases the adoption of a child is a literal rescue however, even in those cases that child should NEVER be treated as such.

Are we splitting hairs on this? Probably. Do I go around telling my son about how I rescued him? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Would he get it? Probably. Would he think I was crazy? Yes. As he should. I don't want my youngest son to grow up thinking I am his rescuer or his dad is his rescuer. We're not. Jesus is. Only Jesus. That is what we will teach our son. That is what we teach all of our children. We will continue to teach them to love Jesus above all else and to love others well.

Here's where it all flushes out for me personally. When I look into the faces of these children I don't see myself as a "rescuer", I don't see myself as someone to "save" these babies. I see Jesus in these precious little ones. I see how much HE loves them and has a plan for their lives whether it's in Africa or in the US. I see children that need families and for us we want to be a family for another little one.
Adoption isn't about me. It's not about some great thing I've done or will do again. This is about seeing a need, wanting to love like my King loves me and the desire we have to be a family for a child that doesn't have one.

After traveling to Africa, seeing the VAST need for families our hearts broke. They broke in an even bigger way then they had been broken before. We could no longer ignore this reality. We'd seen it with our own eyes. We'd held dying babies, we'd kissed faces who had probably never been kissed before. We held diaper-less toddlers desperate for the touch of a mommy or daddy.

How can you ignore that? Our answer? You can't.

Something MUST be done. Is adoption the only answer? Not completely. The root issue is why are children abandoned in the first place and how can we help fix that. That's something that will take time to fix. In the meantime the need is so great and we MUST act.

If you are wondering about how you can get involved but don't want to adopt I would
HIGHLY recommend reading
This post by Kristen Howerton over at Rage Against The Minivan


Unknown said...


THANK you for this! Truly beautiful

Susan said...

I didn't get to read the last post that you are referring to..but this was beautifully written. Thanks for sharing Erica.

WendyLou said...

Your last post got me thinking, and I am so glad you followed up and continued your thoughts! I do not have an answer. My thoughts here are just my thoughts at the moment, as I am still trying to sort it all out.

Could it be both? That there is a need for rescue, but after that, it becomes doing life together? The impetus for the relationship is the immediate need; the growth of the relationship is the commitment of doing life together as a family?

Just a thought ...

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing the link to Kristen's post...well worth the wee journey over to read it ;-). Sorry I wasn't able to call yesterday...soon though, very soon. love you.

Brooke said...

Thanks for your words. I was convicted of the same thing when reading some adult adoptee blogs. I blogged about it awhile back.

The adoptee whom I quoted actually found it and emailed me. And was complimentary, thank goodness.

You are so right, we use those words when are not connected to a specific person, a child we look at in the face every morning and have to deal with all there is behind it.

Brooke said...

feel free to not allow my post to be shown, I just wanted to communicate with you.

God's Girl said...

You are right... Only God!!!