From a Father’s Perspective

11 06 2010

For many Men whose family enters adoption, it’s a mere agreement to let the wife handle things, and more of a hands off deal.  At first, this was definitely the case for me.  I even know many Dad’s who have already adopted, and that remains true for most of them as well.  I am sure at least part of a reason that the women are more apt to push adoption is attributed a Mother’s intuition, and instincts.  And rightly so.  It’s quite natural for a mother to “mother”.  For me, and my situation, it was quite different from that.

Back in October, our church, The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch, did a topical series called A.W.A.K.E.  Align, Wrestle, Ask, Kneel, and Engage.  In this series, we confronted the truth about Hunger, Poverty, Orphans, Water, Human Trafficking, and Disease.  God moved, plainly and simply.  For many of us, it was the first time in church we’d heard alarming statistics like; there are 143 MILLION Orphans in this world, and in Sub-Saharan Africa 12% of ALL Children are orphaned due to AIDS.  Alarming.  Both of those statistics rocked me as I lead worship and sang, “Our God Reigns”.  I was moved to tears this Sunday.  It was November 8th.  Pastor David Ruzicka brought the truth, and it stuck with me.  You can hear his message here. I encourage you to take a listen.

Anyways.  I was moved, and then did relatively little related to the plight of the orphans after that.

Christmas.  Our church participates in Advent Conspiracy and raises $60,000 to drill water wells for the poorest of the poor in Guatemala.  My heart was moved for the poverty stricken, and we did Christmas as a family like we have never done before.  This whole, giving ourselves away, was starting to feel like it was the only viable choice for me.  Out of our abundance, why wouldn’t we give it away?

January 12, 2010.  Haiti was struck with a 7.0 Magnitude Quake that killed over 200,000 people.  That kind of loss is unimaginable.  For Vanessa and I, this was chilling.  We sponsor a child, little Olsen LaBranche, through Compassion and we were totally in the dark about where he was and if he was safe or not.  We shed tears for Haiti, and still do in fact.  It was a few months before we received a letter from Olsen.  All was fine, in fact his family grew.  His mother had another child, praise God.

But in the time that we didn’t know, we asked ourself, “What if he was orphaned, would we pursue adoption of him?”  This was a pretty big question to ask, but for us it came pretty easy.  ABSOLUTELY yes!  I mean, Olsen was already part of our family.  This really was a no-brainer for us.  But when we got the letter from him, for me, adoption was put on the back burner.

If I’m honest, I had so many doubts and fears.  The money, not being the least of them.  Would I love another child brought in our house?  Are we fit for yet another kid?  Will my kids feel less loved?  Is there even room for another child?

Every day, I dwelled on these thoughts until the potential for adoption was further and further our of my psyche.  Occasionally, I would think about it, only to have the doubts overtake me.  But…my wife was almost committed by then.

Early this Spring, Vanessa met a woman who was Haitian, and an International Lawyer.  It was very uncanny how they met, and that she was Haitian, had facilitated adoptions before, and offered to help us with ours for FREE!!  She wouldn’t charge a dime.  Vanessa talked to me about her and I stalled, and doubted, and more of the same.

Then, one Sunday morning, early…something in me switched.  I was getting ready for church before the whole family was awake, and something kept going through my mind.  “It’s the right thing to do”.  After every doubt, “It’s the right thing to do”.  After excuse, and distraction, “It’s the right thing to do”.  I had the sense, that yes, these doubts and fears are very real but adoption is the right thing to do.  If only more families would do it!  How I made this switch can only be from God.  I was going down a different path, and He led me.  Praise God!  Did you know that if only 7% of Christians chose to adopt a child, there would be no more orphans?  Staggering.  I want to do my part.  Will you?

Through a series of events leading up to now, Haiti is not where we have ultimately been led.  Ethiopia has our son right now.  We pray for him every day, and night, and count the days until we can bring him home.  Read these books.  “Fields of the Fatherless” by Tom Davis.  “Red Letters” also by Tom Davis.

Prayer is secret to both husband and wife being on the same page with this.  In my life, and in other families, I know you must wait for the Lord to lead.  He led me.  I am his, and we are on this journey!

-John

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One response

14 06 2010
MainlineMom

Yeah, the AWAKE series affected me too, but it probably started before that. Have you heard John Piper talk about adoption, and how it is the perfect picture of what Jesus has done for us? Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgNXQ2CazUg

Also, I don’t mean to be overly flattering, but you singing “Hold My Heart” sticks with me to this day. The expression on your face, in your voice…better than 10th Avenue North even. It’s one of my most favorite songs. It hadn’t occurred to me before that Sunday to tie it to the plight of orphans. But that did it. For God’s glory.

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