Sometimes I miss writing my newspaper column. It gave me a good reason to put each week’s thoughts on paper and it generated some often-therapeutic conversations with others over current events.
Now, I’m not daft — I understand that’s also the purpose of having a blog! But as you can see, without a deadline looming over me, I’m much less apt to conjure up the time and discipline to write regularly about what’s on my mind. Unless/until something really impacts me, and I have to get my thoughts out before I can move on.
This piece has done that for me:
It’s gone viral, so chances are you’ve heard the story of Davion, a 15-year-old boy who stood up before a church and asked someone to adopt him. If you haven’t, click the link.
Two words: Heart. Breaking!
But what really bothered me were the comments on this and other pieces I read about it. Don’t get me wrong, there were many sweet comments, most praising him for his bravery and offering prayers that he would find a family.
But there were also so, SO many that basically said, “I wish I could adopt, but I can’t because ________.” You could fill in that blank with just about anything — there isn’t enough money, I’m too old, we’re barely making it, my house isn’t big enough, I have too many kids, my husband would never agree, etc. etc.
I’m sure that for some of them, those things are true.
But I’m just going to say it point-blank: there is no way those excuses ring true for everyone who used them.
Adoption is hard. It’s even harder to adopt an older child from a tough background. I don’t believe it’s for everyone. (Not everyone should be biological parents, either.)
But too many — FAR too many, in my opinion — people just dismiss adoption, seeing it as this thing that “other people do.”
Davion spent his entire life in foster care. I believe he could’ve had a home, could’ve been spared a lot of grief and pain if more people were willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, they are one of the people called to adopt.
I hear there’s a list of families now offering to adopt Davion. Praise God for that! But you must understand that this is just ONE child, in one little corner of Florida. Even there in that one little corner, you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds of other children needing families to love them. Just in that one little area of one state.
Multiply that by 50 states, hundreds of cities and we have hundreds of thousands of Davions who really just want somebody to love them.
(And that’s not even venturing out into the rest of the world, where orphans count in the millions.)
Who is going to step up for those kids and say, “Me. I’ll help. I’ll adopt.”
Honestly, I don’t know why it took me 40+ years to get to the point that the orphan crisis disturbed me enough to actually do something about it. Maybe it was a desire to create biological children, the questioning that though I felt drawn to adoption blogs and stories, maybe it wasn’t really meant for me and my family. I worried that my husband wouldn’t be on-board, and felt pretty certain that our extended families would strongly object. I didn’t see how the money would ever be possible. I didn’t think we’d get approved.
But we did. And if we did, I know a lot of other people can be approved, too. Now we are adopting a gorgeous 11-year-old girl from Uganda. And I know that orphan care, in some form or another, will be part of my and Donnie’s life for the remainder of our days on this earth. Beyond this adoption, I don’t know how that’s going to play out. Maybe more adoptions, maybe supporting other people adopting, maybe child sponsorship to keep more families in developing nations together. Maybe foster care here at home, or as our kids begin to leave the nest, providing a bed and family support for college kids who’ve aged out of the system and are seeking a better life through education.
I don’t know what it’s going to look like. But God gave me a mother’s heart for a reason, and I can’t keep living anymore like these orphans don’t exist. I just can’t.
Davion touched many hearts with his bravery and honesty. Thank God for him, for his willingness to be a voice for “the least of these” that so desperately need somebody to love. If, like me, you’re someone who’s often felt drawn to adoption, or any kind of orphan care, will you think and pray about how you can make a difference? There are so many ways that you can make life better for another lonely child. Don’t let the horror stories scare you. Sure, there are bad outcomes from adoption, but they make the news because they’re bad. You don’t hear about all the cases where everything goes well. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve befriended dozens of people in the adoption community is that most of the time, it really does go well.
It’s worth reiterating: I don’t believe adoption is for everyone. But with my whole heart I believe it IS intended for a lot more people than ever consider it.