Friday, May 28, 2010

No matter where they are

Normally I don't do this... but this one struck a cord with me. Something inside of me felt like I had to respond. Please understand I do not mean this reader any disrespect-we are all entitled to our own thoughts, feelings and opinions.

But, since this is my blog- I figure I have a right to share my own opinion. ;0)

I received the following comment after my post on "Will It Ever Be Enough" and since it wasn't the first time (nor I am sure the last) that I heard these exact sentiments- I felt a post a brewin.

"The thing is...its very hard for people to take Christians seriously when we pass over the over 100,000 legal orphans in our own country to go save an orphan overseas. God would have us take care of our own - and we are not. The foster care system is full to bursting with children that have been turned into 100% legal orphans with no chance of a legal fight over rights. Where is the line of Christians to adopt them? It's LOW cost even.


Our own children aren't good enough some how. They aren't as worthy as a child in another country. Yet, its supposed to be about giving a child a home and a family of their own - which our foster children (that are legal orphans) DO NOT HAVE.

Obviously I've been asking myself these hard questions - and they don't shed a good light on those of us that adopt from overseas."

First of all, I wrote this post awhile back on adopting internationally verse adopting from the foster system here. As a mother of five adopted children- TWO from the foster system and three internationally I feel that I have a right of passage to respond to this question. ;0)

I want to reiterate that to us- adopting from the foster system and adopting internationally are equally as amazing- simply because we were blessed by both experiences- our children came home. While of course there are strengths and weaknesses to both adoption processes- the end results are absolutely priceless.

However, what struck a cord with me was the part about 'our own' children in our own backyard.

I don't know how the bible speaks to you- but my God says to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31) and I am pretty positive He was not just talking about the person physically next door.

I am pretty sure He was talking about every person- every tribe- every tongue- every nation.

I am pretty sure He desires the orphan in Dallas, Texas to not remain an orphan as much as He desires the orphan in Africa, Afghanistan, Belize, China, India, Liberia, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Guatemala, Moldova, Honduras, Costa Rica or the Marshall Islands to have a family of their own.

I am pretty sure they ALL matter to Him equally.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

So while yes I agree that people should be answering the call to foster or adopt from the US foster system (PLEASE, PLEASE DO!!!) I also believe that if God has called you to Russia, China, Guatemala, Serbia, Vietnam, Africa, that you SHOULD OBEY.

The beauty of God's plan is that He is sending His people EVERYWHERE to answer His call. If ALL of us were to adopt from China- then what about the orphans in Guatemala or Columbia or Haiti?

And I love how God places certain places and certain children on certain peoples hearts. (Not to mention some programs are just a better fit for certain individuals- due to family size, age, income, etc.)

I have met families who are passionate about adopting children with Downs Syndrome.

I have met families who are passionate about adopting children who are HIV+.

I have met families who are called to teen boys from the US foster system.

I have met families who are called to children with club feet from China.

And the things is IT IS ALL EQUALLY AMAZING and EQUALLY WONDERFUL because that family answers the call and goes where God has called them.

I personally find it incredible that the God of the universe hand chose each and every one of our children.

I love that He orchestrated the most beautiful consummation- and I have never doubted for a single second that each child He has allowed us the privilege of parenting was meant to be ours- because it was His plan.

I have never doubted for a single second that God, in his infinite wisdom, knew which children needed us and which children we needed to become who we are.

Two times He sent us to Guatemala and provided for our every needs. Two times He led us to adopt through the US foster system and provided for every need. And one time He sent us to Ethiopia and provided for every need. Each time we stepped out in faith and trusted Him to bring the child He chose into our family- and it was perfect.

So if God is calling you to adopt from China- GO!!!

If God is calling you to adopt from the US foster system GO!!!

No matter where the child is located-Adoption is a beautiful, hard, emotional rollercoaster- that in the end is worth it all.

Now, go get your child- no matter where they may be. ;0)
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natali said...

well said, Amy! love it! :D

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

AMEN to that! Having done foster care adoption (for 6 of our children), a domestic adoption, and an adoption from Ethiopia- our family is all about ADOPTION! Adoption is not comfortable, it is not easy, it is not for those that want something fast and is for those that are willing to seek God's face for strength. Irregardless of where your child happens to be born!!!!!!

Whitney said...

Great post! I would consider adoption and orphan care as missions. If you think of missions, you realize that not every one is called to be on staff at a local church, but are called to all corners of the world. It gives me hope for the millions of orphans in the world! Because our calling is unique, there is not one group of orphans that God doesn't call people to care for. That said, we realized after the first few years of our orphan care ministry, that our focus was mainly international and we sought out ways to provide more opportunites for orphan care domestically, either foster care or pre-foster care programs. If our motive is the glory of God in these childrens' life, we are on the same team and praise God He uses us in so many different ways!

Kimberlie said...

Thank you. We have 3 children from China in our home right now and we are in the process of adopting a 6 yr old boy also from China. I have had a couple of people over the years get downright hateful with me that we did not adopt from the US foster care system. It hurt and it made me question my motives. But, the truth is, with each of our adoptions we were looking at options other than China. We looked at domestic adoption, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, and Haiti. Every time, God led us back to China. I can't say why other than that is where our children are living.

One thing is for sure, you need to do what God leads you to do. God may open a door here in the US, or somewhere else. The most important point is to walk through that door regardless of what others may think.

paul-and-lori said...


Shauna said...


Sophie said...

Right on Amy! I've heard this comment before and what just frustrates me is people that seem to have all the answers as to how it should be done but they would never consider being the ANSWER and stepping up to the plate themselves.
An orphan is an orphan regardless of where they are from.

Taylor said...

Amen- it's about listening and then obeying the Word of the Living God. He knows where He wants to send adoptive parents to "find" their children- they just have to trust in Him and listen and obey.

Taylor said...

Amen- it's about listening and then obeying the Word of the Living God. He knows where He wants to send adoptive parents to "find" their children- they just have to trust in Him and listen and obey.

Taylor said...

Amen- it's about listening and then obeying the Word of the Living God. He knows where He wants to send adoptive parents to "find" their children- they just have to trust in Him and listen and obey.

JG said...

Amen! Some people have to grow into understanding that, just because someone else's calling isn't the same as theirs, it is still a legitimate calling from God. The importance is obeying!

Unknown said...

Well said! Thanks for you words Amy!

Deena said...

I LOVE this post! May I borrow some of it for my blog? You write so beautifully. I have gotten questioned as to why we are adopting from Africa when there are so many children in "our" country. Although I know in my heart that we were called to Ethiopia, I don't always have a quick reply to those that are asking me those tough questions. You state the answers so beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

you are ALWAYS right on! Well said, my friend!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart on this. :) My husband and I are currently adopting from our state foster care system for the 6th time, totaling 10 legally adopted children PLUS 2 older "informally adopted daughters." We are ready and waiting for our next child from foster care, it just turns out that we are getting THREE little boys this time, 6yo twins and their 5yo brother. We have dear sweet friends who have 4 biological children and 4 teenagers adopted from our hearts it's the same calling and mission. The location from which our children have come makes very little difference. It's all about our answering God's calling in our lives! :) God bless your family for following His leading, too!

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing your heart that echoes mine! I feel like I used to be one of "those people" who judged people's decision to adopt internationally. Now that God called us to adopt a son from Ethiopia, I completely "get it" and agree that you just go where He calls, wheverever that might be... It's ALL good because He is good.

Sha Zam- said...

If you hear a child, crying in desperate need on your front lawn, are you not called to take action? If that same child is on your neighbors lawn are you not called to act? What if that child is across the street? ON the block next to you... do you still not have the same responsibility? Yes. Yes.

LBWV said...

I hope you don't mind, but I found this so heartfelt and right on, that I put a link to it on my blog: you can see it here at Thank you for your amazing insight. I love reading your right on. If you want me to remove it, just let me know!!!!!!

Becky said...

I have to comment too, which I don't do often, although I always read! Your kids are adorable. I have seven children, all adopted. Four are from the U.S., three are from Ghana. The four from the U.S. came through foster to adopt situations, the three from Ghana came after I did medical mission work in that country. We were looking to adopt again when I went, I went over knowing that my child was not in the U.S. It wasn't because of a lack of wonderful children waiting to be placed in the U.S., it's because the system is TOTALLY broken. I had child after child yanked out of my home, only to be returned to horrid conditions and abusive parents. I'm done with foster care. It burned me, and my children, out. We wanted to adopt, we were waiting to adopt, you show me the child and we'll adopt them. We're not done yet.

If the people who are making these comments about "adopting from here" have done it, or are active foster care reform advocates, then comment away. But, please do so respectfully, because I don't tell you how to live your life. If you're some random person who just happens upon me and my seven black children in the local Wal-Mart, then please keep your opinions to yourself.

Thanks for posting this Amy!

Reading Widely said...

So many Americans have the idea that we should focus on ourselves first - and then the rest of the world if we have something left to offer. I don't see that in scripture anywhere, though. I think that's more a cultural idea that we've brought into our Christian beliefs. The point is that there are children who need homes. They ALL need homes. A child doesn't need a home more just because they happen to have been born here in the US! I hope that we can slowly change that perception. To our Savior, each child is precious and one is loved. We should look at them the same way.

SUNSHINE said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! The world is my neighbor,

Dardi said...

Sometimes I think I should save myself some time & just copy your posts into my blog.

I just had someone ask me about this very thing the other day, & my response was pretty much the same. We did adopt from foster care...we said we would never adopt internationally. Then God showed us our son, & I am thankful every day for both journeys.

Chantelle said...

CAN YOU SEE ME STANDING UP, CLAPPING????? You nailed it, sister.

6 words:

"For God So Loved The WORLD"

Shonni said...

This is wonderful Amy and right on!!!!!
By the way, we would love to adoption domestically again, however, our state has a ridiculous rule called 8 is enough, so we have no chose but to adopt internationally. However, the LORD has used even this to bring the children HE has for us to US. It is so cool to see each child in our family and KNOW that they were from the LORD, and all things have worked at for HIS glory.

Shonni said...

This is wonderful Amy and right on!!!!!
By the way, we would love to adoption domestically again, however, our state has a ridiculous rule called 8 is enough, so we have no chose but to adopt internationally. However, the LORD has used even this to bring the children HE has for us to US. It is so cool to see each child in our family and KNOW that they were from the LORD, and all things have worked at for HIS glory.

Shonni said...

This is wonderful Amy and right on!!!!!
By the way, we would love to adoption domestically again, however, our state has a ridiculous rule called 8 is enough, so we have no chose but to adopt internationally. However, the LORD has used even this to bring the children HE has for us to US. It is so cool to see each child in our family and KNOW that they were from the LORD, and all things have worked at for HIS glory.

Live to love and laugh said...

Beautiful post. I believe you have hit the heart of God. It doesn't matter where you go, just listen to God and go!

The Momma said...

Very nicely said! There are many ways all of us can be involved! We need people from all walks of life to respond to the needs in all areas of orphan care, one area does not supercede another area. One way is not better than another way... Find your way to make a difference and get to it:)

CHEPAC said...

whootwoo!! great post girl! darci :)

Kristi J said...

yayyyy, awesome post....worded so perfectly....kristi

The gFamily said...

I am laughing because I just posted about this same thing! You, however, said it so beautifully! You have a wonderful way with words and say things in a powerful way! The Lord just speaks right through you! I love it! Thanks for sharing your heart!!

Jocelyn said...

i have to admit amy, that i have fallen into this trap of questioning that this poster had. and i have to thank you for helping to open my heart and thinking through your posts. i do feel very passionate about adoption through fostercare- obviously!... but fostercare- adoption is not what everyone is called to. and i looooove what whitney said about looking at adoption through a ministry point of view- if we all did the same thing how on earth would God's kingdom grow? as long as we are faithfully answering the call!... and giving every every child the opportunity to be claimed, loved and to hear how much Jesus loves them. thank you for boldly conquering this subject-i just love your heart!

Stori said...

Amy, thank you so much for this post. We have adopted two boys from the Democratic Rep of Congo. We were suprised by reactions of people, some our closest friends. They seemed to have the same idea that we should take care of children here in need first. I usually would not respond for fear I would go into a rampage about American's have no idea what real NEED is! But after reading your post I feel I can respond in a beautiful way : ) I thank God everyday for opening each of hearts to his call. It is the most beautiful thing to hear everyone's passion for adoption.

Theresa said...

Thanks Amy! I get asked this question and I find it hard to answer. We were called to Ethiopia and I can't answer why. Honestly, I'm not sure why I have to answer but I seem to try. I appreciate your post!

AR Ledoux said...

Amy that is why I have been reading your blog for over a year now. Your words are my voice in my head when I feel the struggles of life and question "Will we ever be able to adopt?" We have had a desire to adopt for years and have been foster parents in two states. Currently we have been licensed to foster for over a year with no placements.I know being a foster parent it is our familys job to be able to give the children a safe loving home until they can go home...but sometimes it turns into a pernament placement. We dont have the finacial means to just go to adopt and this is our only option to have our family grow. Anyhow..thank you for your blog. I love to see your large family getting larger..brings a smile to my face everytime I stop by.
God Bless.

Laurel said...

Another beautiful post! Well said!

Our state has a "6 is enough" rule. Any family with 6 or more children under the age of 18 aren't allowed to foster or adopt from Wa. State. So ... we had to go the international route because we still had 5 bio. kids that were under the age of 18 (plus 5 bio. that were 18 - 22).

We knew that we were called to adopt an older sibling group, and our state would only allow us to adopt 1 child. So sad.

We then knew that we were called to Africa. No question about it. Absolutely no interest in China, Guatemala, Ukraine, etc... We just "knew" that the Lord called us to Africa. So, we investigated which countries would allow our large family to adopt.

Yes ... God's children are all over the world, and He desires loving families for each and every one of them.


Laurel :)

Pam said...

Coming in late to the party here, but gotta say that dh & I have been trying for over a year and a half to adopt from the US foster care system. Only to watch our 4 yr old struggle. It's a broken system that doesn't allow families to adopt across state or even in some states county lines. Kids wait and wait, when there are 8 prospective families for each child waiting to be adopted....the system is set up to fail. They offer incentives to keep the kids in their state of birth. They couldn't care less if there is a family for them somewhere else...just get them adopted in the home state. There are people "lined up"...the system is just screwed up!

Sharon @ Texas to Ethiopia said...

Thank you so much for this post. I saw a link to it somewhere else. To those who ask me why on earth I am adopting from Africa I just tell them "I already TRIED to adopt here...for 2 never happened." Too many variables and to be just so, and it never happened. And we weren't even PICKY!!!

We kept hitting brick walls and it was just God guiding us in the way we needed to that we wouldn't have chosen otherwise. Now we have a beautiful little girl that we'll be bringing home this summer.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

yes, yes, yes, yes! this is an awesome post!

Christi said...

Amen my sister in Christ!

As Christians, we are CALLED to care for the fatherless... no one else will do it and the church NEEDS to, HAS to! We are all called to care, some to adopt, some to go, some to give. It's just like you said, an act of faith and obedience!

If 7% of Christians adopted, there would be no more orphans, anywhere!

Thanks for this great post.. for helping the rest of us put into words the answers to questions we've been facing!

You're amazing and I LOVE your heart!

Amy said...

Love this post! This question drives me batty...we have 1 daughter through foster care, and 5 children adopted internationally. God calls you to where He calls you! Many times we get this question from folks who have no intention of adopting from anywhere.....

Anabell said...

You certainly have a gift for expressing what is in our hearts. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and helping me find words to share the reasons for our journey to our family and friends. We are on the road to our second adoption, first was our son from Guatemala, this time we are going to "GO!" (as you say)to Ethiopia!! God bless you and your beautiful family!! p.s. Let me know if it would be okay if I could share this on my blog and give you credit of course!- Anabell

Becky Lee Burk said...

I met your Ethiopian daughter in January! I fell in love with her and have pictures of her at her transition home. When I got back I called the agency to see if she was available but they said she was going to a family in TX. We live in Fort Worth! I then heard about your blog from a friend in the process of adopting from ET and low and behold you guys are her parents! I'd love to send you the photos of her I took at her TH.

Debb said...

Incredibly GREAT post! So heartfelt AND BIBLICAL! God calls each one of us to our own individualized calling, and it is up to us to follow and obey such callings! After MUCH research into all adoption options, my husband and I could not deny the drawing to Ethiopia. This does not mean we are naive to all the other orphan needs in the simply means that for us, God has placed our child/ren in Ethiopia.

I like how one commenter stated it......the world is our neighbor! Kudos to you for standing up for the truth in adoption!

And bless your hearts for following God's lead to each one of your children! May your blessings in obedience be bountiful!