(This post is day 17 of the 21 Days of Gratitude project.)
With today being National Adoption Day, you can probably guess what I'm going to write about. Absolutely, on this day, I am grateful to be an adoptive family!
But some people's approach to National Adoption Day leaves me feeling a little...unsettled. I love celebrating adoption and sharing that with others. For me, National Adoption Day is a great way to remind and raise awareness with the general population that each family is unique with it's own creation story.
Awareness is what the intent behind the day is. It was began to highlight the fact that more than 100,000 children in foster care wait to find permanent homes. That is a huge deal. Definitely worth highlighting.
But what rubs me a bit wrong is the ad campaign approach that many seem to take on this day.
They trump out bible verses about a Christian's responsibility to caring for orphans of the world. They quote statistics about how there are 147-million kids who need to find families, and use catchy slogans about adopting like "Got Adoption?"
In my opinion, if you need to be convinced that you should adopt, then you shouldn't do it. You should not adopt because the bible or the church say to do it. You should not adopt because kids need homes and you have an extra room. You should not adopt because you feel sad thinking about kids who need homes.
That sounds pretty callous. But in my opinion, the only reason to do it is because it's in your heart.
Because you want to. Because you need to.
That passion about adoption is what will get you through the challenging bits. And there will be plenty of those. No matter if you adopt from foster care, international adoption or private adoption, it's complicated. It's not for the faint of heart. It's not for someone who has been convinced or because they think it's the right thing to do.
You have to be completely committed. Unwaveringly determined. Passionate.
You have to go into it with eyes wide open. Knowing that the child has deep hurts in their heart. That they will have questions about those who came before you. That there will be things you cannot change or fix for them and that will likely cause you deep hurts too.
Now, if you are considering adoption, by all means, check it out. It's wonderful and my life has been blessed by it. I'd be happy to tell you all the things I've learned, more about the process, whatever you want to know.
I'm not trying to discourage anyone.
But all this hoopla just feels a little weird to me.