All Fall Down
For a while now, my dreams have been of paperwork and notaries. Every night. This was one of many reasons why I was so grateful to turn over the paperwork and start the wait.
I’ve been having a new dream: A tiny bright light in the distance, beaming with an intensity that pulses like a heartbeat. It’s beautiful.
But there are thoughts you have in the darkness that no one prepares you for.
Right now, adoption is literally under attack. There is much concern about trafficking and adoption abuse. When you begin the adoption journey, these facts hit you in the face and chase you in the night.
What if my child could have remained with their parents for a few dollars a month? What if there is a mother crying in the night for the child she just gave up due to poverty?
It’s enough to make you quit. Or take the entire adoption loan and donate it to a mother, or a family, or a village.
Dr. Jane Aronson responded to the recent adoption concerns in the Huffington Post yesterday: “Why did we create such a marvelous bureaucracy to improve international adoption practices and not pour some of that money into the welfare of mothers in these countries?”
The reality is that if we feed the mothers, we feed the children. If we educate the mothers, we save the children. If we give parents access to antiretroviral medications for HIV/AIDS, lives are saved and families remain intact.
I have noticed that parents of internationally adopted children naturally fall into a common stream of charities or causes. You would think it would be “Adopt! We did it! It’s great!” It is; but it’s not. The causes are AIDS, poverty, and clean water. It is a natural progression to care for these things when you care for a child affected by AIDS, poverty, and famine. Promoting these issues are promoting orphan care.
There is a major dilemna that we all must face as Christians at some point. As Americans, we are ALL wealthy in comparison to the rest of this world. As Americans, we are known to the rest of this world as a “Christian nation.”
Americans give to the hungry at a low percentage of their GNP (gross national product) in comparison to other nations. What are we, as individual wealthy Christian Americans, telling the poverty-stricken world around us about Jesus Christ? What are we telling the world about the Gospels?
We are NOT the widow giving up her two coins.
We are the rich, making a big show of our tiny gifts.
Our adoption is not fixing any large problem. It is just an act of obedience. You may not feel called to adopt, but I will tell you that you can still do something to impact the orphan crisis in a huge way…you can sponsor a child. You can be an active voice for the hungry and the poor, putting action behind your voice. You can be aware that “if you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than seventy five percent of the people in the world.”
We can raise our children to understand that our wealth is determined by what we give to Jesus, not what we keep for ourselves. We can give until it hurts; the essense of “sacrificial giving.” It’s a lesson that I think I will have to spend the rest of my life learning, as I struggle to un-learn the American Dream and realign myself with the words of Jesus Christ.
When I get caught up in the ethics of adoption, I remember the waiting children in the videos. Waiting in cribs that are lined up like kennels. Waiting in beds lined with chicken wire, crying for their loss of everything, waiting for us to figure out what to do with them, while we argue over pie charts about how to do it.
Paul and I have been called to carry one of these children, maybe more than one, as our own. I don’t know why. I don’t have to. It’s just The Plan. What happens after that point will be our mission and responsibility for the rest of our lives; to care for and promote that child’s country, to bring to the attention of other Christians the poverty and disease that is swallowing children and people whole. I am grateful for this burden.
Missy and Paul Roepnack live in Cary, NC, with their two daughters Lilly and Daisy. After two children, six years of marriage, and a lifetime of lukewarm to room-temperature faith, they met Jesus. They quickly realized that there were two more little people missing from their family, and found them in Ethiopia. Join in on the ”fun” as they seek the sanity and strength that will be needed to outrun four children under four years old at The Oasis.