[Post edited – added links to photo albums at the end] I am hoping that I can use this blog to encourage people who may have thought of international adoption – especially of older children and/or siblings. It can be hard to imagine doing something that sounds so unusual as to bring children into your home who have lived part of their conscious childhood with another family and/or in an institution. In case you don’t know our timeline, we traveled to New Delhi in February, 2008, so our girls have been with us for almost nine months.
I am here to tell you that if God is calling you to do this – do not ignore Him! You know how God is, He calls us to do things or to walk a certain path and it does require work and it changes us and teaches us and prunes us, but God always has many more blessings for us than heartache. If God calls you to adopt older children, you can be SURE that He will equip you and give you the strength you need to accomplish the task and you will be blessed beyond your expectations.
I have been shocked at how quickly I fell head over heels in love with our new daughters. At around four or five months in our home I knew that I felt about them the exact same way I felt about our birth children. Sometimes I laugh with Kevin about the “Children’s Manual” that I am sure exists all around the world and every child memorizes it in their own language. They all come up with the same things no matter if they were born in Oregon or New Delhi!
I won’t lie and say there aren’t hurdles to cross. When a child comes from another culture you have ideas coming out of their head that don’t mesh with your worldview. In our experience, though, I have seen that our girls want to adopt our culture and our ideas and our values as their own. Children just want someone to lead them and tell them what is right. You are also dealing with past hurt or rejection in their lives. But, God will give you all that you need to be able to handle these things.
These kids also want someone to love them and show them that they have value as children of God. It is a privilege to be able to take a very small portion of the millions of orphans in this world and personally give them food, shelter, clothing, education, fun, and most of all love and affection. These are all things they may not have had much of in their lives.
Should you be interested in India I would love to share some photos with you. Ask in a comment and I will send you a link to some albums if you would like to see more. Going to India is an overwhelming experience. If you have never visited a third world or developing country it will be a shock. However, it changes you for the better. You realize how fortunate you are and how much we have, but it also makes you want to do something that can help the lives of the people who live in these places. From what I have heard, it is much the same in Ethiopia.
The Taj Mahal
A slum near Agra
I hope you enjoy looking at them and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you want to ask something private just ask me in a comment to email you and I would be glad to do that.
James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.