Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Questions answered

I read the following blog post on another Mom's blog and asked her for permission to reprint it here. Our families have walked similar journeys, adopting one child and then returning for 4 more children in Ethiopia. Thank you, Tracy for letting me share this! You are a blessing to me!

Adoption PSA--If you know anyone who is adopted, PLEASE READ

I wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs 8:12

Adopted kids face more challenges than I could even begin to tell you and would never do so on the internet anyway. People are always asking questions about them....their origins?... ...why we went searching for them to graft into our family? did they become orphans? they miss their old country?...and on and on.

There are questions that come up that I've never even thought of to ask. I'm thrilled that people are curious about adoption. I love that you want to know about the suffering in the world, the 163 million souls who long to be cherished and wanted, the reason we sought after them in the first place, how they have adjusted, obstacles that they have overcome.....

Most of the time I welcome these questions because it
opens the door to share about Jesus.
After all it is ALL about Him.

My kids genuinely do have a broken heart for those left behind and they do want them ALL to have families.
Sometimes I just want to ask the curious questioner---
"Do you really want to be educated, or are you just wanting to share your uninformed opinion with me, their mom."
But, even worse, is when the curious questioner approaches the children without my covering and speaks to them directly. I'm not at all questioning anyone's motives, just informing them that, in their ignorance, they are being used as a tool of Satan to plant doubt and mistrust into the mind of a child.

"but whoever causes one of theses little ones who believes in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6

Orphans are serious to God--those who have been redeemed have an incredible call and purpose in their lives and the enemy is continually out to cause them to stumble.
So, since we all have questions---
Here is a small dose of enlightenment---simple facts that can shine light on some of the wonderings about adopted kids, mine are from Africa, but it could apply to anywhere:

1. They do not know when they were born. Our attorney in Ethiopia doesn't even have a birth certificate and therefore, is uncertain of his exact age. Before leaving Ethiopia the child is examined by a doctor, a birthdate is chosen and a birth certificate is issued. When children arrive home, their parents take them to the pediatrician and the dentist to determine their exact year of birth. Dental x-rays and bone scans aid in setting the year of birth.

When a child who has suffered from extreme malnutrition all his life is given consistent nutrition, if that child is anywhere near adolescence in age, then their bodies are jump started into puberty. This is sad because we all know that when a child enters puberty too early, it means that their bodies will soon cease to grow in height, thereby failing to reach their genetically predetermined height. Ethiopians are designed by God to be tall people--..."from a people tall and smooth-skinned..." Isaiah 18:7

This is yet another tragedy of the effects of poverty on human potential.
Please keep this in mind before you say to a child,"You look way too tall to be ____ years old!" or consequently, "Are you sure you're old enough to go to kindergarten?" Those are the nicest comments that I can print. Do not ever question a child's birthday.

2. They do not see things through the same lens as a child born into the affluence and ease of America. They hear and see most things in the negative sense. It is simply a survival skill.

3. They have eyes on the back of their heads and supersonic hearing.

4. They are tough as nails physically, and delicate as a butterfly emotionally.

5. It is essential that they understand that they are equal in relation to every other child in their family. So--- please--- if you want to know which ones are "blood related" please understand that everyone in our family has the same blood type---Alpha-Omega!

6. They do not want to entertain you by speaking in their native language.

7. If you are a teacher, Sunday school teacher, coach, etc., please do not ask them about their lives in Ethiopia. They don't want to talk about it, especially in front of the class or team.

8. If you want to know why they run fast, ask me-- just not in front of the kids.

9. They didn't all play soccer in Africa.

10. They are not "lucky to be here" --this is their destiny.

Thank you, thank you for understanding. In addition, please understand that THESE ARE MY CHILDREN!!! I'm not doing them a favor by being their mother. There seems to be a temptation to compare adopted children to someone you helped once down at the shelter, or somehow being an option for you to serve as part of community service work for school credit. This is not the case. I'm so very thankful for everyone who helps anyone in anyway, and maybe adoptive families have contributed to that idea by raising money for adoptions and championing the huge need. It is a double-edged sword. But, the aforementioned attitude is destructive to adoptive families.

"They will not toil in vain, or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, and their descendants with them. "

Isaiah 65:23

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