Friday, May 6, 2011

We All Have Different Paths!

Since we started this Ethiopian adoption, we have been asked many times "what about the kids here in the US?" or asked why we are adopting from Ethiopia? (For info regarding why Ethiopia, click here).

The truth is, there is a huge need everywhere. And I'm not just talking numbers, because even if there are X Million orphans in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Russia, China, Guatemala, Honduras, etc or however many thousands of foster kids in your state, the problem is the same: if there is one orphan, that is one orphan too many. Amen?

So before you go about discouraging anyone for whatever path they are on, why don't you ENCOURAGE them because we are all doing our best to follow after Christ... even if it means a family has all biological kids and is just being an emotional support for friends/family that are adopting/fostering. That is a huge need too, and having biological children is not "less Christian" than adopting!

So while our story may look different from yours, or in 10 years our family portrait looks very different from our friends that are walking beside us in this same process now, that is OK! Because Jesus's final charge to his disciples was NOT "adopt kids that don't look like you" or "elevate adoption above all other commands I have given you".... Guess what it was?

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

So if we are elevating Christ & the gospel (through orphan care ministries, or whatever else the Lord has put on our hearts) that is the Lord's will. We can't all have the same passion or path, or else there would be huge gaps. What we have been commanded is to share the gospel (and yes, caring for the orphans and widows is part of that) and to live a life that gives God all of the glory. God isn't going to ask us at the end of our life how much trouble we were willing to go through to get our kids- he will say, do I know you? Did you take up your cross and follow me?


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And just as a friendly reminder (sorry I'm going to get off my soapbox in a second, I promise ;) ) that we can adopt, start an orphanage, create a ministry at our church, etc and it will not be worth anything if it is not tied to the gospel. There is nothing we can do that will make God love us more or less, but we are only children of God if we accept the gift of salvation. Our salvation comes to us because Christ died for our sins and now we can have a relationship with him because our sins have been justified through his death and resurrection.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

17 comments:

  1. I like this post! I love what Andrea said recently- Adoption is not about finding the biggest need and standing there. God sees the world's needs differently than we do. EVERY child deserves a home! Our job is to find out where God wants us and go!

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  2. could not agree with you more. love you friend!

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  3. I LOVE this post. Thank you!

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  4. Rebekah, This is exactly how I feel, but I haven't ever been able to express it so eloquently! I have been "secretly" following your blog for about 4 months now. We are also adopting from Ethiopia through AGCI. We are much earlier in the process though. Your blog has helped me have a glimpse of what to expect in the future! I have also been doing the blog thing (www.adoptingswanns.blogspot.com), but haven't devoted much time to it yet - seeing as we are in the thick of it with paperwork!If it's okay with you, I would love to re-post this on my blog. I'll give you credit of course!

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  5. Thanks Laura- feel free to repost w/ the link!

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  6. Amen, girl! Agree on all accounts :) Though I am not good at it at times, I try to keep questioning my motives for adoption. Is it to bring God glory and Gospel centered? Because that's what matters! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. AMEN!!! I heart this post, and totally agree with you, sweet friend!!!

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  8. I agree that the need is internationally and domestically. God calls different families to different situations and I know I limited Him for so long by feeling uncomfortable about adopting a waiting child. Through prayer however, I received Gods confirmation that I shouldn't stay in my comfort zone as this wasn't His will for our family. I am so blessed to travel soon to meet our amazing blessing. Thank you for sharin your thoughts.

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  9. I couldn't agree with you more, Rebekah! Thank you for sharing your heart. It is so important to remember that we are pursuing the Lord and His will first and foremost. It is easy to put our focus on helping a child, but none of it really matters if we aren't focused on the one who called us to adoption in the first place. His plan doesn't always make since to the world or to me, but I trust in Him above all else.

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  10. Funny you get the "why are you not adopting domestically" when we ARE and we get the "why aren't you going to Africa?!!"

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  11. Thank you for this!! I'm going to share it on my blog! I know for sure we are called to international adoption but so many people don't understand. Thank you again!

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  12. I appreciate this post, and I also appreciate its uncritical tone. I love that your family is so close to ours on the list- we just may get to meet each other's little ones!

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  13. I think *most* people that are critical of adoption are going to be critical of ALL the facets---domestic, international, waiting children, healthy children, white, black, chinese, etc.

    We actually get comments about choosing to foster/adopt locally. Someone once told me it was "the easy route" and that "adopting from Africa is a lot more intenstive." This person is obviously ignorant of some of the horrific stories we've heard of orphans 5 minutes down the road!

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  14. Thank you for sharing this! My husband and I are considering adoption and it is so encouraging to remember that we need to focus on GOD'S CALL to our family....not the opinions of others.

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