A post from our staff member, Deb Steiner

There is an article circulating on Facebook right now entitled, “Marriage is not for you.”  As a single person, I read the title and thought, “You got that right.  Apparently.”  Ha!  But then I read the article and realized that the title was just one part of what this husband was saying.  Marriage is not for you . . . it’s for family and for your spouse.  It’s laying down SELF for another person (and family) in a total and complete way.  It’s not about you.  

November is adoption awareness month, and I’m just going to say it:  Adoption is not for you.

I am a huge advocate for adoption in those cases where a child is truly in need of a family (more on that in another post).  My brothers were adopted; my three children were adopted; I have supported countless friends in their adoptions.  It would be crazy to think I’m anything other than an {huge} adoption advocate.

And yet . . .

I don’t want you to adopt.  I don’t want you to adopt if you think it’s a fad.  I don’t want you to adopt if you are doing it for your ego or to receive accolades from people you do and don’t know.  I don’t want you to adopt if you have a savior complex.  I don’t want you to adopt if you are filling a God-sized hole in your heart.  I don’t want you to adopt if you intend to treat your children who were adopted differently than your biological children.  {This seems painfully obvious.}  I don’t want you to adopt if you think you have to.  I don’t want you to adopt if you can’t say now that it’s FOREVER.  Please, don’t adopt.

Over the last couple of years we have seen the disruption rate of adoptions continue to increase.  This saddens my heart. Children who are already hurt are getting hurt again.  By us, Church.  Let’s enter adoption with the same prayerful, submissive, heart-ready heart that we enter all big decisions as believers in Christ.  Let’s not be rash; let’s be thoughtful.  Let us pray and seek wisdom.  Let us worship God with our hearts, souls and minds.

Do I think there are times when disruption is warranted and even necessary?  Of course I do.  {I put that in bold to avert any hate mail.  Please.}  But I also think those situations are in the minority and not the norm.  As parents who are considering and then proceeding to adopt children from hard places, it is our responsibility to be ready for, and dare I say embrace, the “hard” that it brings.  Be ready for your young, post-institutional daughter to behave like a cling-on spider monkey to any nice grown up that comes her way.  Be ready for your teenagers to rage.  Be ready for your special-needs child to smear poop on the walls.  Be ready for extra doctor appointments, therapies, interventions, respite options, surgeries, IEPs, and hard, hard work.  Just be ready!

Because at the end of the day, adoption is not about you.  It’s about HIM.  His perfect plans for our lives and for the lives of the children who we step out in faith to love.  God’s plans for our families and for the children He will lovingly place into our arms whether by birth or through the miracle of adoption.

So, while adoption is not for you, it is beautiful and awesome and redemptive and amazing and I pray that you will consider it.

it’s not about me.  –Deb Steiner

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of each and every staff member at Project HOPEFUL.  Thank you for following along through our Adoption Awareness Month series!  For more information or if you have specific questions about any post, please reach out to us at projecthopeful@projecthopeful.org