I like this author's perspective!
Your family is doing such a neat thing–you are literally saving four kids.I cringe upon every mention of “saving”or “rescuing” orphans and vulnerable children. It depicts this picture in my mind, a picture of a prince and princess galiantly riding in on a big white horse, and swooping up helpless kids from a dark, gloomy orphanage. What that image does is it places the adoptive family up on a high pedestal, and it gives the notion that the kids are forever indebted to the adoptive family for doing some great, high and mighty task.
What a horribly dangerous place to be.
If not careful, that thought process can very quickly turn into “just be glad that you live here and not on the streets.” or “why are you complaining about that food, at least you HAVE food?”
It is said all the time, “adoption brings a family together, but in the process it tears another family apart.” While it is true that “adoption” is not what tears a family apart, the reality is, these kids have experienced pain and hurt beyond what we realize. Whether adoption happened at birth or at the age of 17, there was a loss experienced. I firmly believe that as Christians we have a high calling to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” I believe that when we approach adoption in a “rescuing” sense, then we are undermining these kids feelings of loss, which deserve to be validated. Not to mention, we are exalting ourselves in a very false way and taking the glory away from the Lord.
Adoption is a gorgeous picture of what our Lord has done for us, when “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5).” It is such a privilege to get to be a tiny part of this great master piece that He is creating. I do truly believe that He can take hard circumstances and bring much goodness and joy out of them-adoption, in many cases, is a perfect picture of that. Because of our mandate to care for orphans, and the passion that the Lord has so clearly given me, I will always be a huge advocate for foster care and adoption. It is where my heart is!
However, any saving or rescuing is done by our Lord Jesus. He saves us, all of us, from eternal separation. He died for us us, all of us, and saved us by grace through faith. He has truly rescued and delivered, when we are so unworthy.
“He must become greater, I must become less.”
When I look at my little siblings, I see the miraculous work of the Lord. He is using my broken family to fulfill some big things, but that is just the point…HE is doing it, not us.
There are (roughly) 210 million children worldwide who have experienced loss in a much more profound way than I will probably ever know. That loss and the feelings that accompany it deserve to be validated and the Lord deserves to be exalted as He heals and restores.
I am all about caring for vulnerable children, loving them, and advocating on their behalf. I just get really really uncomfortable when someone mentions that we are “saving ” kids.
No, that is not us, it is the Lord.
________________________________________Kylee is a 19-year-old college student who is passionately pursuing a degree in Social Work while simultaneously learning what it means to be a big sister to kids from “hard places.” Her parents jumped into the crazy world of foster care just days before her 8th birthday and cared for numerous infants and toddlers over a 10-year time span; four of those children became permanent family members through adoption. Kylee loves sharing about foster care and adoption on her blog and is passionate about advocating on behalf of vulnerable children.