Why do I want to adopt?
Many people ask this question.
And it's a really good one.
So I decided I'd share with you the journey that I've already been. I haven't always wanted to adopt. It started for me about 4 years ago and there have been many different experiences that have put this desire in my heart. Although there are many instances and conversations I recall throughout this time there are five specific experiences that stick out in my mind.
Mary. A sweet little girl from Ethiopia and a daughter to a woman with HIV. One of the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen. How long will her mother live? When you are known to have HIV in Ethiopia you are outcast from your family, friends and society. Who will care for Mary when her mother passes? She’s two years old and unsure of her future.
Lights off and cuddled in our beds, we talked for hours. I was on a youth group trip rooming with a 12-year-old girl who was recently adopted from the Ukraine. She told me stories from the orphanage of sharing a twin bed with four or five others, catching mice for entertainment, her constant feeling of hunger, no education or opportunities to learn, getting physically punished when misbehaving and many more horrific stories. Tears streamed down my face for many hours that night though I tried to be strong since I was her “leader.”
I walked through the garbage, sewage and mud doing everything possible not to pinch my nose to hold back the smell. My team and I were visiting the Mathare Slum in Kenya. We approached a tin structure that looked similar to the other thousand I had passed; this one seemed a bit smaller though. Inside I met two beautiful people, Eunice and Mary. Eunice was 8 years old and Mary was her Grandmother. Mary was the only relative left in the family to care for Eunice due to abandonment and AIDS. We spent about an hour in their home talking with Mary. She mainly talked about how her health is failing. There have been many nights already where Mary has had to go to the hospital and leave Eunice by herself in the dangerous slum. She was scared. What will happen to Eunice when she’s gone? Eunice sat next to her Grandmother on the bed. The fear and hopelessness in Eunice’s eyes that day will be in my heart forever.
The light bulb went on. I was sitting on our chaise lounger preparing for a talk I had to video for youth group - we were going to be on vacation. It was on Ephesians 1 and our adoption in Christ. As I studied the passage in light of earthly adoption, I started to clearly understand our adoption in Christ. We were once living in desperation, hunger, darkness, hopelessness, and without a future. God chose to love us despite our state and gave us the opportunity to be in the most intimate relationship possible with him. Through our adoption in Christ we experience hope, unconditional love, brothers and sisters, a father, salvation, a future and so much more. He did this so that we would be saved and so that we could bring honor and praise to Him. We are excited to bring new life and hope to a child and we are just as excited about how blessed we will be by having him in our lives.
My nerves were building in my stomach as the time was approaching where I was going to tell Dave all that God had been showing me. Questions were racing through my head – What will he say? Will his heart ever feel the way mine does? What if he wants something different for us? I remember the moment perfectly. We were sitting on the couch at a distance from each other and I began to tell him that God had put a passion in my heart for orphans and adoption. His response was simply, “Yeah, I always knew we would adopt.”