Thursday, November 05, 2009

Adoption: Plan A? B?

One of the things we really liked about the agency we're using is that they repeatedly declare that adoption is not God's Plan B. And in a way that we cannot understand, it's not. And now things start to get a little Calvanistic: If it's God's Plan A, does that mean that the negative things that likely happened in the birth mother's life to lead to this child being available for adoption - were those things part of His plan? Or if they were not part of His plan, then how is adoption not Plan B? I mean, you could ask this question about any number of events that happen in this sin-sick world, and I don't know the answers. But I do know this: however we got to this point, there is a little girl right now in Rwanda (or maybe yet unborn), and she is meant to be ours. And her birth mother? I don't know.  I hope with my whole heart, and I pray often, that this woman who is so unknown and so very connected to us knows Him. That she belongs to Him. That someday in Heaven, I will meet her and hug her and thank her and introduce her to her - my - our child. But I don't know if that will happen or not. Perhaps the situation that brought or is bringing her to choose adoption for her child is just bad in every way. But even then, He can redeem it. This boggles my mind.

As I've researched and read about adoption, from the American perspective mostly, two extremes have emerged, two attitudes about adoption. The first is that adoption is Plan B. That people who have adopted are to be pitied because somehow they never would have chosen this path for their family unless they had to. This may be true of some people, but certainly not all. More and more families that I am seeing are adopting because they want to add to their family specifically through adoption. They may already have biological kids; they may not. But they know that adoption is part of the plan. And so they pursue it. And for the families that do choose adoption as a last resort: is pity the right response? How about joy that they now have a baby in their arms and joy that the baby has a loving family? This is not to disregard the grieving process that must happen for the couple if their dream to physically bear children will never be realized. But can we not grieve with them in that area of life, and rejoice with them that their dream of having a child has come true?

The other extreme is, I think, a backlash against the Plan B people. Some people are so into adoption that it becomes almost a badge of honor. If you've been around some big-family-no-matter-what people, you may have seen something similar. It becomes a source of pride (and not in a good way). Adoption becomes so PLAN A that biological children are seen as selfish or irresponsible. People like this say that you can't be pro-life unless you've adopted. Or they get so defensive about adoption that you stumble over your words because if you say them wrong, these people will think you're against adoption somehow.

How about we land in the middle? Being pregnant and bearing a child is amazing. Adopting a child is amazing. Adoption is certainly not Plan B, but neither is biology. The range of emotions that pregnancy and birth bring to you is unparalleled by anything except adoption. And some of the emotions are the same, but I would say that mostly they differ. Adopting is different and wonderful and difficult and intense. The two are different, but both are important and God-given ways of building a family.

Adoption is The Plan.

I must say, I sure don't miss the morning sickness, though.


Christopher Ryan said...

I second that!

Jeana said...

I agree! When we were told by doctors that we were unable to biologically have children, there was no doubt in our minds that we were going to adopt internationally. We never considered it Plan-B. We had always intended on grown our family with both biological and adopted children. I get so frustrated when people look at adoption that way.

Jeana said...

Also, I got your comments on my blog! So great to "meet" you. We technically haven't started paperchasing yet for Rwanda. We are waiting for some financing to come through before we get the ball rolling but are trying to learn as much as we can in the mean time. I would love to chat with you more. We can't join the AWAA yahoo group until we apply. Do you have Facebook? Look me up! Jeana Nash in Michigan

Heidi Armstrong said...

I just loved this and you said it so well! I honestly feel its a calling and it was a bigger and better plan that I am thankful God has lead us too... I have the perfect package people say to me all the time boy and girl twins but not to me we are not complete until our Ethiopian baby joins us. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Miss jane said...


日月神教-向左使 said...