I have a confession…over the past several weeks I have gone back and forth between understanding if international adoption is really the route Brent & I should take. Through the power of Pinterest, I have witnessed a few arguments take place following some pictures that I have pinned that support international adoption. These arguments are between passionate people on both sides of the issue of Americans adopting children from other “3rd world” or “developing countries” (Haiti, Guatemala, Africa, etc).
I *thought* I had always understood the debate surrounding this issue. I have already been questioned for why Brent & I would “choose to adopt from another country when there are needy children in the U.S.” and I had assumed that all people who are against international adoption just wanted those couples to adopt orphans from the U.S. instead of another country. I thought that these people were coming from the same mindset of those that have criticized Brent and I for doing community service overseas rather than in America (of course those people forget I committed 10 months to AmeriCorps NCCC).
But the debate extends far past that. There is an entire argument revolving around taking orphans out of their native country and “forcing” them to live in America thus “losing their culture and identity”. This is a view that I had never considered and one that I actually find valid points in. I have read different people’s opinion stating that the amount of money that an American spends on the international adoption process could help save an entire African village and therefore potentially save hundreds if not thousands of lives in the future rather than a single child’s life. This is a strong, very valid point as well and one that completely flipped all of my ideas and strong feelings of our future plan out the window…for a little while.
But God has a way of reminding me of His plan for Brent & I. I know He plans for us to adopt first and I am still not completely certain if it will be domestic or international. But I know that those who are called to adopt in any country are doing so with the hopes and dreams of providing that child a brighter future and safe upbringing.
Brent & I have been saving up for the past several months for a trip to Africa this summer. We currently don’t have a date of departure or a country in mind, but we are saving. I have a strong feeling that this trip will not only change our lives but dramatically impact our vision for our future family. I pray that God directs us to exactly the people and places that we need to go to so that our vision can become clearer and so that we might have a better understanding of our next step.
Right now I am just continually grateful that I have been given this time to research the incredible amount of articles, blogs, opinions, books, and other sources of information that are available concerning adoption. The world of adoption is so huge and incredibly overwhelming and this time that I have to read, process, pray and reflect on this decision is so important to me.
Links to great resources:
How to answer the question, “Why adopt internationally when there are children here who need homes?”
A VERY interesting debate surrounding the issue with many points of view:
UNICEF’s view against international adoption