Saturday, August 22, 2015
As a Christian, and as an adoptive mother, I have a very strong opinion on abortion, and with all of the recent Planned Parenthood videos being released I think now is the best time to talk about this subject. Please, please, hear me out, because this has been weighing so heavily on my heart for such a long time. And now that there's a chance that abortion laws and funding may change, maybe now people will finally act.
There are over 1 million abortions performed per year in the United States.
If there is Planned Parenthood defunding and new abortion laws, the number of abortions will decrease (yay!) And, inevitably, the number of babies born each year will increase (yay! right...?) There will be many more infants up for adoption (yay?) , and even more children will enter the foster care system, as unfit mothers try their damn hardest to raise a child in unhealthy environments.
Oh, wait, did we not think of that...?
Currently there are 397, 122 children living in foster care, without permanent families, in the United States. 101, 666 of these children are adoptable (meaning the parental rights were either terminated by the court, or relinquished by their parents)
Do you know what happens to the children who remain in foster homes and are never adopted? They 'age out of the system', which means that when they turn 18 they are completely on their own.
Each year more than 20,000 children age out of foster care. 2 out of 3 of these children become homeless, or imprisoned.
I'm not saying that I support abortion. I'm also not saying that I don't.
Here is what I am saying: regardless of where you stand on the issue, there is another bigger issue on our hands- and it is only going to get bigger if these laws and defunding actually go through, which is what so many Christians are praying and fighting for.
We demand that 1 million more babies be born, yet we are not caring for the ones who are already here. If we can't even step up and care for the thousands of children up for adoption, how could we possibly care for hundreds of thousands more that will inevitably be added if abortions decrease?
And how can we condemn a woman who looks at the circumstances around her and comes to the heartbreaking conclusion that she simply cannot support a child at this time in her life, and chooses to abort, yet we sit here, knowing that there are literally thousands of children who desperately need a home (right here! already alive!)
And we also know that we are called by God to care for orphans ('Pure and undefiled religion is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their suffering..." James 1:27) and yet we don't condemn ourselves for not acting on this?
We are doing exactly what that woman is doing; looking at our circumstances and deciding that we simply aren't ready, not financially secure enough, or whatever the excuse may be.
Those against abortion label the women who choose abortion as being incredibly selfish.
But who is more selfish: a woman who chooses (based on her current circumstances) to not have a child...or a Christian, who is called to care for orphans, but also chooses (based on their current circumstances) to not care for a child?
How about, instead of focusing on what she is doing wrong, we take a look at ourselves.
If you would do anything to save the millions of unborn babies, then please also do something about the babies who are already born...and abandoned, and in front of you. If you were unaware of the number of orphans and foster children in the United States, now you know. Once you are aware of an injustice, it then becomes your responsibility to act, and to make others aware so that they may act.
If you are going to be passionate about abortion, then you must be equally, if not more, passionate about adoption. There should never be a conversation about abortion without an even lengthier one about adoption.
If there is any way that you can adopt or foster at this time, please step up.You are desperately needed. We have a tendency to sit back and pray for the orphans, and pray for others to step up, but God asks us to not only pray but to also act.
"What does it profit, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:14-17)
"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place...but perhaps you were brought to this kingdom for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14)
And if you truly cannot, but are still passionate about abortion/adoption, and want to do something, then please share this information with others.
Or.. support a family who is fostering or adopting (babysit for them, donate to them, bring them dinner)
***Share this information with your pastors; ask to have an adoption education night at your church, so that those who have a heart for adoption can be provided with resources and information, and also so that they will know they have the support from their church. Why is this not already happening in every church?!?
NOW is the time to step up.
If God has instilled in you a desire to adopt, and you still hesitate, why?
"I don't think I could financially support a/another child"
Did you know that adoption through the foster care system in many states costs nothing? NOTHING. If there is fee, it is small, and can be written off on your taxes. Travel expenses can also be reimbursed. And there is a thing called "adoption assistance' which is a monthly payment given by the state to help with expenses until the children are 18. Call your local Department of Human Services and attend the information class to see what the costs would actually be in your state before dismissing the idea.
If you are looking at private adoption fees, you can do many fundraisers. You could also get your church involved and ask for donations. Don't be ashamed to ask for help when it's a worthy cause; we are talking about children's lives.
"I would really like to, but 40 hrs of classes, plus the length of time to complete a home study is just too time-consuming...how would i find the time?"
Really? When God puts a fire in your soul and commands you to care for a child, do you think this is an acceptable response? WWJD, eh?
How long did it take Noah to build the ark? They predict it was over 100 years. Not sure if that's true, but the point is that when God commands something of us, the length of time it may require to complete the task is irrelevant. We make time for what really matters, and if it is a passion of yours then this excuse is silly.
40 hours out of your life in order to give a lifetime of love and hope to a child is too much for you? Come on...
I'm not trying to be insensitive, honestly. I understand first hand that there are real fears and concerns people have when trying to decide to adopt or foster. I had the same thoughts, and my husband had immense anxiety as well.
But when we look back on those fears, we can see how minuscule and silly they were compared to the big picture.
I'm going to end this with my story of having to face my own excuses:
A few months before officially deciding to start the adoption process I was standing in line at the grocery store when I saw a woman with a young boy (barely 2 yrs old) and he was in the grocery cart acting a fool; yelling, not buckled in, half hanging out. She was yelling at him and slapped him (hard) repeatedly, and I kept glancing over, my blood boiling, about to say something to her.
All of a sudden he fell out of the cart and hit the floor, and i felt my heart drop into my stomach. He was crying and bleeding and she was screaming at him, and by this time the store manager had gone over to them, and I heard whispers that he had also called the cops. I could feel my heart pounding and i had this insane thought that I should stay and wait, and offer to care for him. Which is ridiculous, because that's not the way it works.
If the state did decide to remove him from the home, he would have to go to a family member first, and then if a family member is not available he would go into emergency foster care. But I'll never forget what God spoke to me in that moment.
Call it God, the universe, my soul, whatever your faith...the point is that I heard these words.
(my internal dialogue)
Me: I will take him. I can care for him
Me: Because he needs a home, and i can provide that. He needs love, and I can love him.
God: But why him?
Me: Because his mother is clearly abusive and neglectful. He needs me.
God: There are thousands of children in abusive and neglectful homes. Why him?
Me: Because he's right here. I can see him.
And that's when it hit me. I had been wanting to adopt for years, and had discussed it with my husband many times. Yet we hesitated and hesitated, even when I knew that the majority of the children waiting for adoption came from abusive and/or neglectful homes.
How sad it is that it took having to actually see a child being neglected in front of my eyes, before I felt called to action.
More than likely you will never actually see children being beaten or neglected in front of you, but it is happening. You do not see these children, but they are here. And they are then tossed into the system, where they just wait.
Open your eyes and SEE these children.
They are not in orphanages; they are in foster homes, and the longer we wait to act the longer they wait.
Here are some resources:
ccainstitute.org (congressional coalition on adoption institute)
davethomasfoundation.org (yes, the founder of Wendy's created a foundation to help children in foster care find forever homes)
adoptuskids.org (Click on the state you are in and get specific facts and steps for adopting in your state. Some states even show pictures/info of their adoptable children)
We live at a time where information is right at our fingertips, so please Google any questions you have and you are sure to find forums, blogs, websites to answer any of your questions.
Also, pick up the phone and call your local office to attend an introductory meeting on fostering/adopting in your state.
Because of the current uproar involving Planned Parenthood here in the United States, my focus of this post has been on domestic adoptions. For the record, though, I believe that all adoption, whether domestic or international, is beautiful.
Do you see that we have the power to end the world's orphan crisis, if only we chose to stand up and fight for it as strongly as we stand against abortion?