Seeds of Change

Alrighty, so today I was going to tackle the not so much fun, but very necessary, topic of fundraising.  But… I ended up writing this post instead.  I guess I will go with it, this is so important and fundraising Q&A can always wait…

We are not fundraising so that we can have a child.  If all we wanted was a child for ourselves, there is no way I would ask complete strangers (or even friends and family) to put their money into a dream that was ours.  We would save the money and do it when we had it.  But that is not what this adoption is about.  We are not doing this for ourselves (although it is very exciting for us too!)  So what is this adoption about?

Let’s talk about Juri’s case specifically.  What will his future look like?  It’s hard to say as many of those decisions haven’t been made yet, but there are two possibilities I am aware of.  The first is a mental institution.  If he does not learn how to walk on his own (he might not without braces and regular therapy), he will likely be sent to a mental institution to live out the rest of his life.  He is perfectly cognitively healthy, but because he cannot walk, there is no place for him in his society.

The other possibility is that he will be released to live on his own.  In this case he would be given government housing (or apartments that should be condemned and are infested with all kinds of ugly things), a small stipend to live on and the clothes on his back.  No family, no connections, nothing to help him navigate a world he has never seen or interacted with, a world that has no handicap accessible mindset and no need for a disabled orphan.  With a very small chance of finding any kind of work, poverty and homelessness will almost certainly be his lot, and he would be in the minority if nothing worse happened to him.

Now do you see it?  Do you see why we are so intent on rescuing this boy from the terrible cycle he’s been caught in?  Why this is so much more than just adding to our family tree?  These children, all of them, need out.  Their home countries do not understand their worth, and so they are hidden away on the fringes of society, in institutions where no one has to look at them or interact with them.

It’s easy to judge, but our country has a similar problem.  With an abortion rate of 90% for children who are prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome and routine screening for the express purpose of “terminating” undesirable traits in our children, our mindset is much the same.  We all need to realign our sense of human worth with the One who created us.  And what better way to do this, what better way to show the orphanage workers and government workers that these children’s lives are valuable than to walk into their very court rooms and say “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

What better way to plant the seeds of change when the judge asks you “Don’t you want a healthier child?” than to say “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”  What better way to show the underpaid orphanage worker the priceless gift in her work than to go visit your bedridden child who smells of filth and vomit, who hasn’t been changed or bathed, who cannot make eye contact or give anything in return… and you hold them close, kiss them, wash them, comfort them and breathe in everything that they are.

Change must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  We have been given the gift, the great privilege, of sowing the seeds of mercy and compassion, equality and love in a faraway country, a place that needs those things so desperately.

And what of America?  This land of life and liberty, unless of course you are found to be worth less than your peers.  In which case you are in grave danger of being dismembered in your mother’s womb.  And if you beat the odds and live to be born, you face ostracism, discrimination, cruelty and a culture that, for all its white-washing and attempts to clean the outside of the bowl, harbors a dirty scowl on the inside for people who are different, who cannot contribute to society in the way we think they should, people who inconvenience us or make us uncomfortable.

What better way to show our friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances the worth of these children than to walk into their very homes, schools, churches and playgrounds and to say “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

What better way to plant the seeds of change than when that well-meaning relative asks you “Don’t you want a healthier child?” than to say “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”  What better way to show your newlywed or empty-nesting friends who are so focused on vacations and retirement and enjoying each other that there is more to life than self indulging, than to take your child who will need lifelong care and to hold them close, kiss them, wash them, comfort them and breathe in everything that they are.

Seeds of ChangeChange must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  We have been given the gift, the great privilege, of sowing the seeds of mercy and compassion, equality and love in America, in this place that needs those things so desperately.

And this brings me to my last, and most crucial point, which is at the very heart of what we are doing.  For all the seeds that we are planting, the greatest blessing of all is how this adoption reflects to me and my family an even greater reality and truth.  For, what better way does God have to show us our own worth than to say to the world, “I love this child, whether he can walk, talk, play, work, love… or whether he can do none of these things on his own.  I love him and I see his worth; I have chosen him to be my son.”

Was it not our own Heavenly Father who took on the task of our adoption, knowing the great price and disregarding it for the worth that He saw in our redemption?  Was it not Christ who, when Satan attempted to deter Him by offering Him everything but the salvation of our souls He said,  “No.  I want this one, with all his sickness and brokenness. I want to give him love, and a family and healing and life.  I don’t care what it costs.  He is more than worth it.”   It is in this way that God has shown His love for us, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  While we are yet filthy, sick, disabled, orphaned and worthless… He comes to us and holds us close, kisses us, washes us, comforts us and breathes in everything that we are.  He gives us worth.  He makes us lovely.  He restores us to health.

Change must come from the inside.  But, how can change come if the seeds are not first planted?  Christ has given our family the gift, the great privilege, of experiencing His mercy and compassion, equality and love in our hearts, in these places that need those things so desperately.  Adoption is a reflection of this and so much more.  We are adopting to plant seeds.  To plant seeds in Juri’s heart, seeds that he is worthy and lovely, wanted and loved.  We are adopting to plant seeds in Eastern Europe, seeds of hope.  We are adopting to plant seeds in America, seeds of selfless giving and true fulfillment.  We are adopting to remind us of the seed sown in our own hearts, the seeds of love that Christ planted there long ago.

Comments

  1. Beautifully said.

  2. Yes Dalas, you have explained it beautifully. If we weren’t in,our 80’s we would really consider adopting a child. I am so blessed to have Matt and Becky’s young ones in my life. All we can really do is pray for you and Pastor Jake and for Juri. God will guide you in doing what is best for your family and for Juri.
    God is there to share the load, No matter what the task; The weight is eased when shared by two—–All we need do is Ask.
    Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you:seek, and you will find;
    knock, and it will be opened to you.”

    God’s Blessings,

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