the right question

I think about adoption all day, I'm an adoption social worker. There are different types of adoption, I work with children in the foster care system that are needing to be adopted, and the families that adopt them.

There is also international adoptions and infant adoptions. All are wonderful, a beautiful thing. But my heart for 'special needs' adoption is growing. I know that there are thousands of children around the world waiting for a 'forever family' and thousands in the foster care system as well. A friend asked if there is a need for families to adopt, the answer is both yes and no. There are families that wait for quite a long time because they only want a certain 'type' of child - healthy, no 'problems', this age, this color, this gender, etc. I think what I see is a need for families to adopt the 'difficult to place' children like ... 

The ones that have lived in 8 different homes by the time they are 9 years old. The ones who act out and hurt others because they don't know how to cope with their past. The ones who were sexually abused for years before being taken out of that home. The ones with severe attachment disorders, with mental health disorders, with high medical needs, with mental disabilities, with multiple therapy appointments every week. The teenagers who seem to resist any kind of love, the sibling groups of 5 that can't be separated, the ones that sexually act out, and the ones that start fires in their rooms.

Those kids. Did you know God loves them too? Just as much as you. Just as much as the children born to you. Just as much. No less. He made these children to have a home, and one they won't have to leave because they have an outburst.

So what is the right question to ask if you are considering adoption (and you should)? It is this : God, what child do YOU have for me and my family? Who do YOU need me to love? That is the question to replace this: God will you give ME this kind of child, that would make ME so happy.

Not every family can adopt a special needs child, but every family can pray about how God wants them to live out his command : to take care of the orphans. That is a command, not a request or an option. Ask God how he wants your family to follow His desire to take care of the orphans. He will tell you, don't worry.

I think to my two little brothers Isaac and Ian, and the unknowns lying in their future and it scares me. I'm scared to think of what pains and hard times may come to them and my family, but I am grateful we get to go through it with them. I wouldn't want them to go through their futures without us, no matter what is in them. No matter what.

And it breaks my heart to know there are kids like them, thousands of Isaacs and Ians, who have no family to go through their futures with. No one who they know will be there 'forever' - literally no one.

Let's start asking the right questions and praying.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have worked with children with autism for the past five years or so in Fargo. The kids had amazing parents who could give them everything they needed. Recently, my husband and I moved to Phoenix, AZ and I started working in an autism program at a new school. At this school 90% of the children are passed from foster home to foster home because the foster parents don't know how to deal with them or help them or have the patience for them. I felt so DUMB to have never even thought of children with autism or special needs that have been given up for adoption and might never have a real home because they are special needs. It is weighing heavily on me and God has put it on my heart to adopt a child or children with special needs someday. I love your statement about God's command to take care of the orphans, so I just wanted to say thank you for writing this :)

    Tara Welgraven


I love hearing what you have to say, please share!