People who don’t know us and insult us are trolls and don’t deserve our attention.
But, people who do know us, and ask about our adoption with no interest in ever agreeing with us call themselves concerned. These are not the people who are concerned at first and want to hear how we are planning to do this, with a chance of saying “ok, then I’m pulling for you.” These are people who are concerned after we talk. They are still concerned after they read my blog. They are very concerned after they hear us “beg for money.”
The only way to explain it is that some people think it’s sinful to throw away a comfortable life for you and your kids by pursuing and bringing such a happiness time-bomb into your life.
These people don’t know about our kind of happiness. As gently as I can, I want to explain.
My kids aren’t happy because we are care-free.
My husband isn’t in love with me because I look a certain way.
I am not in love with my husband because he has a good job.
We are not secure because our bank accounts are full.
We are not promised able bodies because we were born with them.
We are not lucky because our biological children were all born healthy.
My kids are happy because we love them, discipline them, and meet their needs.
My husband is in love with me because he knows my heart.
I am in love with my husband because he is fully available to our family.
We are secure because God has promised to meet our needs.
We are promised a life bigger than any we could plan, sometimes through adversity.
We are lucky because all of our children have been hand-picked by God for us.
I know that the origin of their concern is love. But when the concern has no end, and we are willing to walk away if God sets a roadblock before us, it begs the question what should a family that rescues a child with Down syndrome from an Eastern European orphanage look like?
Should they be childless?
Should they be wealthy?
Should they have a sibling with Down syndrome?
Should they be experienced special needs caregivers?
Should they be older?
Should their children be older?
Because Reeces Rainbow alone has 500 children waiting for someone who qualifies. Are there 500 families in the United States right now who meet all of those criteria?
But how could Psalm 68:6 be true, then? God sets the lonely in families.
Well, why isn’t God doing this anymore? Why is He abandoning these children?
Oh yeah. He’s not. Families who are called don’t have the energy to fight all of their concerned relations. It’s just too radical.
And there are just so many orphans, why not pick one who has a shot at a normal life? Those “Downs babies” will never give anything back.
And I know why these people are concerned. They see us and know we are not saints. They see us and truly believe that the reason we are happy, and they are not, is because we have everything good going for us now. Because they want our kind of happiness, which they see as founded on luck and circumstances. And we are gambling with it. Using our happiness and our children as the ante in a delusional poker game. How is this fair to our “real” children? Why can’t we just take care of what’s at home? How will we ever retire?
Your mission field is in your home already.
So, here’s what I cannot explain. Our kind of happiness does not come from events. Our kind of happiness does not come from luck, or health, or from fertility, or from money. These things only enhance our happiness. The source of our happiness is a peace in our hearts that tells us that no one is forgotten by our Maker. Our happiness created a marriage based on trust, and compassion. Our happiness allowed us to give up control over the size of our family. Our happiness sustained our decisions when we chose to birth at home. Our happiness has caused us to live a life that concerned friends and family consider far too radical to be rational.
And if what I have just said does not make your brain flood with peace, then I can never explain your concerns away. We are in this world. We are not of this world. We dare to love like God has loved us.
And in a few short weeks, you will be able to look at our precious, perfect boy. Let’s say we get all the way there, and he is not available to be adopted anymore. It doesn’t matter. If he is well, and is being loved, we will rejoice. Because we know every step we are taking is not for our personal benefit. It’s to grow the family God has placed in our care. To safeguard the child He has chosen for us. To advocate for the children we will be leaving behind.
And, if you read my words, and want this kind of happiness, but don’t want this kind of calling, it’s ok. God will never shove you into international adoption kicking and screaming. No one has ever accidentally ended up adopting except in a Hallmark movie. We offered God our lives when we committed to become a family, when we married in the Catholic church. God offered us His life when He offered His son on Calvary. If we believe that He loves us and cares for us more than we could, and loves our children–all of our children–more than we could, how is this little boy, who needs our undivided attention for three 10-day trips and a Chevy Suburban’s worth of funds, be remotely considered anything but a blessing? He asks for so little. Our city is overwhelmed with resources and opportunities, and understanding. We are not special. We are barely sacrificing. We are continuing our lives, but adding an extra child. A child who will present greater challenges because he was institutionalized for a year than because he has 47 chromosomes. We are prepared to meet these challenges as best as we can, and God will equip us for the rest.
And now, if you still consider yourself concerned, I beg you to please do so silently. Don’t talk about us to our families, don’t speak about us when we are not there. If you wanted to know, if your heart was open to change, it would happen. I will pray that it does.
But we are pursuing Thadius’ adoption because God has made a way for us to pursue it. Your continued concern will only bring unhappiness for you and separation from us.
We are not concerned at all.
We have been so honored to be in contact with the young men and woman mentioned above. We will be featuring Dylan’s art and Andrew’s products in our Auction to Bring Thadius Home, being held via Facebook from 8/15/12 until 8/31/12. We are delighted to share in Sarah’s passion for all things Ohio State by offering our supporters “the chance to be in the band.“