Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adoption "Ideal"

Sometimes I get really frustrated at people asking the "Is this ideal?" question in adoption.  I've had people run fearfully away from adopting because having an transracial family isn't "ideal."  As the world sees it, our identity is merely formed by the bits and pieces of our environment.  Where we live, who are our neighbors, what type of house do we live in, the color of our skin.  All of these things come together to fashion who we are.  What the world fails to see is that Christ took all of those fallen identity bricks and replaced them with a redemptive cornerstone.  He knew an identity built on bricks made by our own decisions and life patterns would crumble or at the very least become replace with new, more promising bricks as our discontented hearts yearned for our neighbor's homes.  Jesus knew our transformation had to require a complete leveling of the old structure.

This is why adoption makes no sense to the world.  Bring a baby into a white family who lives in China among all yellow faces?!  Ridiculous.  And they will puff up and retort "Certainly this will cause that child's identity to be confused and misplaced!"  So they recommend leaving that child, leaving my daughter, in an orphanage among her own people and culture.  To leave my daughter in a place that can't feed her or put a book in her hands to read.  Why has remaining in a home culture become a blinder to seeing what is really happening? If I gave birth to a child with one arm, would the logic tell me that I should ship this child off to some camp of one armed people so they can raise him and where he can feel good about himself?! The Livesays who live in Haiti just aptly wrote on this from the perspective of what they are seeing happen there in regards to orphan care.  We had a friend just this week get notice that his adoption agency was dropping them because they lived in China and were adopting an Ethiopian baby and the agency thought that the social pressures the child would feel were just too great.  Sociologists and psychologists make these hypothesis' about what is best for a child based on what they assume is best for a human-to remain among it's own people.  What they are forgetting to see is the whole child.  Is remaining in a home culture best when that home culture is not able to provide what they need?  Is it ideal that a white mom is raising a black child, maybe not.  But I would also argue that living in a fallen world also isn't ideal.  We live in a world where ideals are many times just a mirage.  We live in a world where children die of dehydration, parents sell their children to the black market, and diseases are spread simply because people aren't wearing shoes.  Ideally, none of these things would be  happening.

God knew all of this.  He sent Joseph a dream to reveal to him that his adoption of Jesus as his own Son was a perfect plan.  God gently whispered to Makaria that although her birth parents weren't able to raise her, His plan was to bring her to an all white family living in China.  And that... was a perfect plan. If we place our identity in the things and people around us instead of on being a new creation buried in Christ, then we will continue to see adoption as a set of "not ideals", but it is so much more than that.  It's the story of Christ being adopted by Joseph, being raised by parents who taught him the Jewish scriptures, sent to the cross by his Heavenly Father and killed by the children He was sent here to save in the first place.  This is a messy, tragic, beautifully perfect plan set in motion by a God who has His very own definition of what is 'ideal'.
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