Perhaps the question I get more than any other is, why adopt? The other thing that we hear a lot when strangers hear we are adopting is, "that's such a noble thing to do".
Let me respond to the "noble" part first. There's absolutely nothing noble about it. I count this adoption as one of the biggest blessings of my life, right alongside marrying Gareth and being given Noah and Nathan. I am absolutely in awe of the fact that God would allow us to adopt and that He has sent multiple people alongside us who have helped to make this adoption financially possible. Yes, Rosie needed a family, but, we are the real winners here. The privilege of making her a part of our family is something I pray I never take for granted.
Now, on to why. There are several answers.
First, and perhaps easiest. I have always wanted to adopt. Even as a very little girl, I wanted to adopt. Maybe it was Pollyanna or Anne of Green Gables, maybe it was having relationships with some kids who had grown up in a boarding school with dorm parents who didn't really fully invest in them and seeing the long-term results of not having loving parents who were fully invested in them. I'm not sure where the seed was initially planted, but it's been there a long time.
Second, Gareth and I wanted to grow our family. I really dislike the term "biological children", but for lack of a better one, we were blessed with two beautiful biological children. Even though we were told it might not happen, God saw fit to grant them to us, and we love them dearly. But, we also believe that there is more than one way to build a family. Adoption is an equally "real" way to have a family, and we agreed from an early time in our relationship that we wanted adoption to play a role in building our family.
Third, there is a need. The statistics are staggering. It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.) To give you an idea of the enormity of these numbers, the current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… Every day 5,760 more children become orphans. 2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone. I could continue with statistics for pages and pages, but the ones above ought to be enough to give you an idea of the enormity of the problem.
Fourth, and most importantly, caring for orphans isn't optional for those who name the name of Christ. I'll be re-visiting this idea later in another post, but for now James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." And, we believe that one of the very best ways to care for an orphan is to see them placed in a family.
So, that's the answer in a nutshell ( not a very small nutshell, I hear you say!!!!!). Tomorrow's question: Why Ethiopia? I have to say, this is one of my favorites, as I love to remember the process that got us there.