"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Important Question to My Readers

I was talking (really instant messaging) to an old friend of mine the other day. I started talking about the sad situation of children in orphanages around the world.

He had a view on adoption that surprised me. Here is what he had to say:

"If I had too choose between a child that I have never met dying in an orphanage or taking away from what my own kids could have, I"d have picked my son."

"NO mom, dad, etc is good enough to do enough for that many individual children. A huge support group is needed. You've, in a way, pushed that on others and you don't have a right to ask for their help. It's not fair to your own, real kids. None of your kids will have all they may have been able to get in a smaller family.

"Your relatives and friends sometimes have to help you with the kids when they shouldn't have to. It's not their problem."


The more I heard, the madder I got. Then I felt sad. It hit me that probably a lot of people feel this way. Maybe this is why people question why I adopted more children when we already had a full house.

So, I ask you all, my wonderful readers, how would you respond to this person? Because, me, I am just weary of trying to explain my reasons.

61 comments:

  1. Good luck, my own father doesn't get it

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  2. WOW! I think I would have been speechless. There is a scripture that says to "shake the dust from your feet and move on."
    The closed coldness of some people's hearts reminds me of why we need a savior.

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  3. And to add to that.... he is not the only person who feels this way.

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  4. friend... I think this world would be a MUCH better place, if we felt the same way that other countries/tribes felt : It doesn't take 2 parents to raise a child...it takes a whole village.

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  5. I think he is wrong. Dead wrong. Dead, dead, wrong. What if he and his wife were tragically killed in a car accident. Should his child be put in a room and left to die? Because it would be his problem, right? Not the burden of the world.

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  6. There are some really deeply engrained assumptions out there. 1. That money and material things are more of a blessing to children than siblings. 2. That kids with special needs (kids in general for that matter) are a burden rather than a blessing to everyone who knows them. 3. That love in a family gets somehow divided up into smaller and smaller pieces as the family grows... We know they're wrong assumptions, but it's the message our whole culture is broadcasting loud and clear, so I guess we have to expect some people to have bought into the lies. It is more blessed to give than to receive, and I bet every person who helps your family does so willingly and is blessed abundantly for it. This friend, I guess, is sadly going to miss out on that opportunity to be blessed.

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  7. THe BEST thing I have ever done for my birth children was to teach them that OTHERS matter, OTHERS are more important, and that THEY are privileged even when they have to share their home, their parents and their stuff with their new siblings. Grrr, can you feel my temperature rising. It also makes my kids realize that the very fact that their bodies work is a gift and that they should treasure. Some people are jsut ignorant. (I am sorry if that hurts)

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  8. Two words come to mind: Pearls, Swine. Yep, shake that dust off, Sister! Yes, pray for him that God would change the hardness of his heart. But to spend any time trying to convince or logically reason is worthless. God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise. I've heard it said that God's is a Kingdom upside down with the servants at the top and the rulers on the ground. It's true. Sorry you had to hear that.

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  9. Well, I don't want "a village" raising my children... they're MINE, and stewardship over them was given to my husband and me. However, somehow in the past couple of decades we seem to have shifted as a society into thinking that what our children want is the same thing as what they 'need' or 'deserve,' and to that end they work as much as possible and limit their children (usually to 2) in order to provide them with Disney World and new minivans with DVD players, big houses, expensive activities... and yet in the end, what have they taught their children except to put themselves first, and that they are somehow entitled to do what they want even when the suffering of others is evident and change is within their own grasp. The people in this world who surrender themselves to Christ, who do what God asks ALL to do but unfortunately few actually will, they are the ones who will know JOY in this life and have abundant life eternally; not that life will be easy, but that our reward will be sweet when we meet our Savior face to face. People whose views are like that of your friend are just wrong, and sad. It's not been too many years since LIFE was almost ONLY about working, putting bread in your mouth, and your family's mouths, by the sweat of everyone's brow; now somehow people think if their child doesn't have every material thing he or she sees on a commercial they are deprived. It's sad, and it's wrong. But really, I don't think I'd even bother trying to correct him.

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  10. Your friend is looking at this from solely the world view. Think about it - if we believe that this is all there is or that this is the most important part of what is, then he is right. We should do everything we can for ours and forget about everyone else. (As someone very close to me once expressed 'Once the lifeboat fills up, you have to beat everyone else off with the oar')
    But if this, our lives here on earth, are only a sliver of the whole eternal picture? And if God holds and has plans for each of us, including each of your children, biological or adopted, in His hand? Then you open your arms as wide as God will allow them and gather as many as you can.
    Be sad but only for your friend. To me, you are wealthy beyond measure and anyone who helps you is being allowed to share in that richness.
    Pray for your friend. Do not allow his words to take up residence in your mind where they may become the tool of the enemy.
    While I was writing this, these verses came to mind 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.' (I corinthians 13:4-8a)
    Be encouraged! You are living an expression of God's love.

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  11. I have heard this before, and I think it all comes from a difference in what we think we and our children deserve...we live in a society that focuses primarily on the question of "how can I make myself happier? How can I make my kids happier? What can I do to improve my quality of life? What can I do to make people like me more? etc.."

    For most people, and I admit sometimes I fall into this category myself answer these questions based on things like better educations, better social status, better income, better looking children, weighing less, being better looking, the newest and brightest car....etc...

    We live in a world that teaches us we need to be the best, and anything that does not help us strive for "the best" is not worth our time...and unfortunately the things that a lot of the world thinks are the best and far from it.

    I like to think that because I love Jesus, and want to do what he desires that I have a secret that most of society doesn't know about - and by spreading it quietly through the world people will realize that happiness is found in loving EVERYONE - especially the people that society has thrown aside, because they need it the most, and that true joy and true can be found where miracles happen...and if people can witness this hopefully they will become curious about the love and joy that we have found, and therefore reach out to both God and orphans.

    Haha, I'm not sure I made the point I was trying to there...I kind of started to ramble.

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  12. I would ask if with a small family, he provided for all his children's needs himself- all the medical care, all the education, all the child care. The chances are that he constantly calls on others to help. I would also say "I would prefer to ask those around to help than allow a child to rot and die unloved in an orphanage."

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  13. So, if you had a biological child with a disability, would your other children "loose out"? When my daughter was born with Down syndrome, my then father in law wanted us to place her in a home because "those boys need their mother." Seriously...he said that to my face. Well he didn't get to see his granddaughter for several months because I wouldn't allow him in my home. Guess what, she turned out to be his favorite grandchild and he apologized for anything he ever said negatively about her. People who make stupid comments aren't worth listening to.

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  14. Quite frankly, there is nothing ethical about his statement. Would he mind being the orphan left to whither to death in an orphanage? Of course he would. None of us desire hunger, loneliness, sickness, etc. The first step toward creating a world boasting humane treatment for all is granting humane treatment to those who we see in need of it, not turning a blind eye and doing our best to ignore those who are suffering.

    People try to excuse indifference and inaction by pointing to the overwhelming nature of the need in the world, but they neglect to acknowledge all they do for their sake and theirs alone. If what one does for oneself makes all the difference, then shouldn't simple empathy dictate that the same notion applies to others?

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  15. I would have been in tears, angry tears, sad tears, ugly tears. It is such a sad perspective, really.
    I don't think I would have been able to respond at the moment. But to go back and think about it and respond I would have said, "If you were to ask any of my kids if they feel neglected or mistreated or unloved they would tell you no. If you were to ask them if they wanted to take back any of their adopted siblings, they would say no. My kids, ALL of them, are happy and loved. They lack for nothing, want or need. They certainly don't lack for love.
    My family and friends help because they WANT TO not because they are obligated. We do not ask much for help but when we do, they are there to offer and we are blessed and thankful for the help. We don't force any one to help us.
    My own, real kids, are all of my kids. Genes only go so far and there are blood families who are hateful to each other. Adoption is making them my own, just as I am God's own daughter, adopted through Jesus.
    These kids came from a place that no one should ever have to endure. You can't tell me you think they belong there just so I can get the kids I had before they came to us a few extra toys. I place more value in teaching my children compassion and patience and love more than giving them another toy they will play with for 45 seconds and break. If it were so important to me to provide my children with my complete attention and pocketbook, I would have only had one. None of us are "good enough" to be a mom or dad to any of our children, that's why we must rely on the one true Father to provide us with the daily strength and patience and love. "

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  16. My good friend Ellen wrote a post about her daughter's and their relationship. Take a look.
    http://elliestumbo.blogspot.com/2012/02/so-full-of-love-siblings-and-down.html
    My boys...I have 4 adult sons, absolutely adore ALL THREE of their siblings who have Down syndrome, and it doesn't matter if they came from my womb or my heart.

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  17. First, I love your blog. I am a fairly new reader and I am hooked on your story.

    What a very sad outlook your friend has on life. I don't understand his way of thinking. Does he feel that his own children are stealing from what he and his wife could have without them? It's a very selfish way of thinking. Does he also get mad at people for being sick or disabled?

    What a sad world we would live in if we were only interested in material things. It's the people in your life you remember, not the things. To be surrounded by a large loving family. To grow up with a bunch of people cheering you on. That is wonderful.

    Every time your children smile you should be reminded that you are right and that guy is wrong!

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  18. I say we each need to follow our heart and our calling in life. Adoption is not right for everyone, but thankfully it is right for some. Thankfully for those beautiful children of yours it is right for you and your family. Thankfully for them you put others first and thankfully your love has grown instead of being divided. PLEASE listen to your heart and never question the decisions you have made regarding your cuties!!

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  19. I think I would say this:

    We have been friends a long time and I love you. And the part of love that I hold dear is that we can be two different people and hold very different views on things that are important to each of us. I don't agree with you, and hope that if and when you offer support to me and/or my family, it is done with a free heart out of love and not because you think I have any expectation for your help. Love is freely given and gratefully received.

    I think you too have very different ideas about community. Not that he is wrong to hold his own opinion (that is his right) but it is just super different. We are all called to different things.

    XOXO Jane

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  20. All you need to do is ask your son if he would have prefered a new laptop, ipod or ipad (you get the idea)or his sisters..he will give you the respose for this 'friend'.


    This 'friend' also sounds like the kinda guy who would park his brand new fully loaded SUV in a disabled spot...


    Sometimes you just gotta walk away..like I will do know before I say anymore....

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  21. I wasn't aware that it was about what our children could "get". Our job as parents is to teach sacrifice, service and selflessness. My children have been completely humbled by Seth and his story and our journey together as a family. What he has given us is far greater than what he has "taken away".

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  22. Walk away and move on. Some people really don't get that the purpose of life isn't about acquiring things and they can't see past the selfish end of their own noses.

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  23. I should introduce myself. I am Kristin-mama to 2 real girls from China and 1 son waiting for me in China (who is turning 3 tomorrow). I Love Your Blog!

    Oh, my gosh. I don't know what I would have said. Probably good it wasn't me talking cuz I got a bit mad just reading it. My kids got something they would have never had if I hadn't adopted them. They got siblings. They got sisters (and soon a brother). They got a family! They get more too, but those are some of the important things. And they don't get LESS with more siblings. They get more! They get more love, more family...

    Sorry, I'm just a bit miffed.

    Your family has more than that person's ever will!

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  24. I don't know exactly what to even say to that...I'm so sorry you had to listen to it. But I couldn't read without telling you I think he's dead wrong. On too many levels to count, really.

    I pray almost daily God will bless my family with an adoption someday... that He would find us (husband and I) worthy of that! Your family fills my heart with joy every time I read about you guys and see your pics :). All children are gifts. Every. Single. One.

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  25. Well, I wouldn't have been able to say much at the time but after thought this is what I'd try to convey.

    1. I love children
    2. I'm single and have no birth kids (so not quite same)
    3. I didn't look for kids to save;i looked for my child who I felt was out there to be loved and found him in an orphanage in Russia (and one here in USA foster too)
    4. if I could take all the children out of the rotten orphanages and put them in an orphanage run by me, you, and pretty much any person who can provide loving care I would do that over adopting a child 'just to save them'; RR lets me at least try to help children I love but who I am not motivated to be their parent find homes
    5. I probably sound like some complete insensitive idiot at 12:56am trying to explain to that insensitive man who would ask that: what I'm trying to say is that my kids and your girls are not some afterthought or whim. They are your kids. Souls destined to you from conception I believe...and anyone who can't see that just doesn't get adoption at all.

    As a single parent with 2 kids, struggling with little family support I can't envision any more children in my family, but I keep my eye, heart, and mind open. Each time I scan RR, Adoptuskids, etc... I never know if that first inkling of interest is another son or perhaps daughter calling but I would tell that man if I had too (I'd tell him a few choice words if I really had the gumption) but maybe some reason would open his eyes to the truth.

    i have an older co-worker who is sort of a friend but also very 'practical', childless of course. She gives me advice like tonight when I found out my oldest son is skipping classes and my youngest son, who has a birthday right after kindergarten cutoff date so turned six immediately after starting is suggested to repeat Kindergarten. My friends advice was 'you know you didn't have time for another child. of course he's failing you never teach him anything. And you always favor him now so your older boy is acting out. I told you not to adopt again'.

    my response was to quickly end the conversation and burst into tears. then read blogs from other adoptive parents. And now be up to 1:15 am and probably all night agonizing over keeping my self-confident, proud to be oldest boy in his class, hard working, younger son in Kindergarten at age 7 while his friends move on...So maybe I really shouldn't have answered this question in this mood.

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    1. ywilbur,

      Hung in there! You need to talk with your children. Also, you need to talk with you sons' teachers. After all, children are just children. But they grow up fast!

      I agree with you. Parenting is very challenging these days, even if you don't want your children to become medical doctors one day.

      We never have enough money or time for our children. For example, my friend's 5-year-old can read books better than most 10-year-old. Why? Because my friend and his wife read to daughter every day. They feel that they are OK parents. However, they barely have energy to do anything except working and taking care of their children.

      I guess that I can never survive a big family. If I stay single, I may just adopt one child. If I get married and my husband is helpful, I may afford 2 children, as long as I don't send my children to private school.

      Best luck to all parents.

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  26. These people never cease to amaze me. I'd love to know what he thinks your children are missing out on??? When we announced our sixth pregnancy a certain relative told my children, "Well if your mommy would just stop having babies we'd get you to Disney World!" HA! I told them my children would much rather have another sibling than go to Disney! When we announced our eighth baby another relative said, "Don't you know how much all of these children are going to cost!" I told him that you can't put a price on a child. He disagrees. I have also lost friends due to advocating for orphans. People who I previously respected that now talk behind my back and don't think I should try to help children who aren't in the U.S.A. I just can't believe how many adoptive families I hear about that are surrounded by nasty, unsupportive people! It's sad really. Either you have a heart for children like our Lord's, or you don't! Just wish they'd keep their nasty, evil, comments to themselves!
    Anyway, I think I'd tell this man that your children and "support group" are blessed beyond comprehension by these two precious little girls. That you're glad they will grow up a whole lot less selfish than most other people in this country(although that one may go right over his head!) and he should be grateful that he has never had to spend a day of his life in a place where people don't care if you live or die.

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  27. When I get comments like that I don't try to answer ethically... Because obviously the commenter and I are in completely different wavelengths there, so I don't think it'll do much good. I DO say that, I know my existing kids will possibly miss out on some things (less money... Less individual time from me... less space etc)BUT, I am convinced that they will gain other things that they would not have gained if we had not adopted, such as learning to compromise, learning the world does NOT revolve around them, learning to care for others, learning to appreciate difference etc. And that, any parent has to decide what they think is best for their family, and to us the above is a worthwile trade for our children. (We don't have a huge family, we are expecting #4 at the moment, but we did go on to adopt a child with a disability so we got similar comments or "burdening" our kids with responsibility etc.)

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  28. My parents had the perfect family- one girl, one boy, and a couple of pets. But over the course of several years, they took in many other teens whose families weren't supportive- alcoholics, remarraiges with stepparents that didn't want the kid around, neglect, addicts, and so forth.

    Your friend is right in a way- I didn't get "All that I could have gotten in a smaller family". I didn't get to grow up thinking that what I wanted was the most important thing in the world. I didn't get to ignore the Biblical teachings to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, or to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and minister to the sick, or to care for widows and orphans because that honors God.

    I didn't get to grow up thinking I was the only one who mattered. I didn't get to spend holidays alone, playing with my dolls. I didn't get to always get the biggest piece of fried chicken or always get the chocolate donut with sprinkles. I didn't get to think that my upper middle class, private school education was "normal" in this world. I didn't get to spend my days doing whatever I want whenever I want.

    See where I'm going there?

    (post continued in next post)

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  29. But let me tell you friend what I did get: I got siblings that were always there for me, who stood up with me at my wedding, who laughed with me at my birthdays and holidays, who shared in doing the chores and who never failed to make me smile.

    I got amazing "almost brothers" who were there when my Mom died, way too young, two weeks after Christmas. Who carried her casket proudly to the graveside and wept the same tears of loss that I had streaming down my own face.

    I got amazing "almost sisters" who rallied with us and my almost brothers (we use almost to respect both our relationship and the relationship with their bio fams) when my Dad was dying of cancer- who hunkered down in the hospital with us, who grieved as we grieved.

    I got amazing siblings who taught me about hope and perserverance and that true love isn't created by DNA but by GOD Himself, as we teased each other and stood by each other through thick and thin. They opened my eyes to reality- that my 2 parent, married, Christian family wasn't the "norm" of American life- that I was blessed beyond comprehension and that you can have a crappy childhood and still grow up to be a good man or woman.

    I got to see that love is never divided, but always multipled. The more kids in our house, the more love. When it was just me and bio brother, we each had our own little lives- separately- his sports, mine band. When we mixed in all the others, somehow all our interests overlapped and it was like amplifying the good times.

    I got to try new things and learn about new things, as they brought elements of their culture and upbringing in and shared it. We created new traditions and new adventures together.

    I got to never be lonely, because there was always someone to share a laugh with.

    I got to see that beauty comes in many forms- and that sometimes, you look more like an almost sibling than you do your bio sibling and that looks are as unimportant as what size shoe you wear.

    I got to see that even though the money may have been spread different ways, money is not an indicator of happiness and God always kept us fed and clothed and happy. I don't recall wanting for anything- not once.

    I got to feel blessed, because truly, God does smile on those who follow His instructions, whether it's helping orphans or caring for widows or whatever it is.

    I got to be a part of God's Kingdom- doing REAL work, even though I was just a kid.

    But most importantly- I got what other kids missed out on. I got each one of my almost sibs. My bio brother and I are pretty different and there was a big age gap between us. I thank God for each one of the other sibs- for their presence made our family feel complete.

    (more to follow)

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  30. As a teen, I was pretty self absorbed sometimes. I would get an attitude over something stupid- my gym shorts being lost or having to ride the bus, then come home and find one of my almost brothers sitting at the table. It reminded me that my life's worries were nothing compared to his- that lost gym shorts mean nothing when your mom died and your dad's a drunk and no one cares what happens to you. Or I'd see my favorite sister- and think about what it would feel like to have a mom that turned tricks and an absentee father.

    I "GOT" a chance to develop a bigger worldview, greater happiness, a chance to grow closer to my Savior, more friends, more entertainment, more depth to my faith, less selfishness, more willingness, a greater understanding of the distance between the "haves and have nots", to understand sharing, to be blessed by those that love me, to have my own selfishness challenged, and to have relationships and memories that can last a lifetime.

    I "GOT" love. I could no more choose which sibling to cross off my family tree than I could choose which toe or finger to cut off and toss.

    Not getting a few extra outfits, a nicer car at 16, more trips to Disneyland or Six Flags, or whatever else that the world prizes right now could never compare to what I did get.

    And if this isn't testimony enough- I am happy to say that my husband and I are carrying on the family tradition- we are foster parents and adoptive parents. And my bio brother also welcomes "almost" kids into his home and life. So, obviously, it didn't take away anything that we thought was truly valuable, or we wouldn't be doing it now.

    Praise God! I am BLESSED because of foster care, adoption, guardianship and family members that are family because of love, not DNA!

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  31. This is also asked of me, how can I think to have more kids when I have already had kids, shouldn't I just be happy with the ones I have? With us adopting children with DS won't that be a burden, not just on us, but on our other children as well when we are one day no longer here.
    My response went something like this...
    Our youngest children are currently 13 and 15. Some people would be very excited about the thought that soon all the children will be moving out and driving and out on their own. We can go on family trips more often, vacations, even think of being able to retire. Sure we could do this, but our eyes have been opened. And there is no going back. Children around the world are becoming orphans because they were born different. They are not getting nutritious food they need to grow, they are not getting the education or therapy they need, they are not being loved...

    How can I be a role model to my children, a good example to them, if I KNOW of a problem in this world, and choose to sit by and not do everything I can to help fix it. Sure we do our part to recycle, we even compost, but we are talking about human lives. Lives that are not valued in their society. If it were my son or daughter, would I not want someone, anyone, to help save my child if I could not do it myself???
    Our world has become one where we pretend we do not see what makes us uncomfortable instead of working to change it. The movies we watch have conditioned us to accept poverty and homelessness as "normal" in some areas. How many times do you see a homeless person on the street and advert your eyes and pretend they are not there?
    We have become desensitized to violent and the needs of others. Today, most people hearing someone else scream, would continue to walk on by, because, after all, it isn't any of their business. Instead of making sure that person is ok, we pass it off with a "someone else will call the police, someone else will help".
    But WHO, if not us, is that someone else??
    WE are that someone else, we will teach our children by example. We will show our children that human life is ALWAYS more important than a trip to the movies or a trip to Hawaii.
    We hope that the little ones we are adopting WILL change the lives of our children. We hope it will teach them about respect, teach them patience, teach them loving unconditionally, teach them appreciation, teach them compassion.
    When we are asked if we are ok with the fact that us adopting will impact our children's "quality" of life, our answer is YES we do... and quality of life, should never be measured in what we have, but rather than what we have learned.
    If I only can pass on one thing to my children, I pray that it will be a sense of responsibility for those around them, to help the helpless. To have compassion and love for their fellow man, for them to be a good Samaritan.
    Our wallets may be a bit lighter, but our hearts will be filled with riches beyond anything money could ever buy.
    In a world where most people no longer know who their neighbors are, I PRAY that all of our children will grow up to be loving, caring, compassionate adults, who will value ALL human life. That they will WANT to know who their neighbors are, that they will care more about people than stuff.
    When we die, we will not be remembered for all the money we had, or how many cars we owned, but by how we lived our lives.
    http://becauseyouareloved.blogspot.com/

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    1. you are so right about once your eyes are open. I may not be able or ready or called to adopt again but I'm obsessed with helping as many children as possible! Everyone has their own causes but there are literally lives at stake. A man donated 265 million to a local university and all I could do is think bitterly 'that university will be there in 200 years with or without 265 million' what about these kids! How many kids could have been helped with 265 million! I spend every scrap of money not for allowances for my kids or extra treats but for gifting a RR child. once your eyes are open you can't see how anyone couldn't do everything possible.

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    2. Good universities are very important to children. We need highly-trained professionals who can one day make US the best country in the world.

      Besides, a university cannot function well without enough funding.

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  32. I was so mad after reading this! But after reading the other comments, it is clear: Our kids DO get more through adoption. It's just his value system is off! More love, compassion, self-sacrifice, humility, etc.

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  33. I would simply have told him that my children received so much more from having these children in their lives rather than not. And then, I would have sent him the Starfish Boy story or video.

    A large incentive for us to adopt is to impress on our children the importance of just genuinely being a good global citizen. Compassion, and kindness. It is these lessons that are so much more valuable than the extra trip to Disneyland that I now can't afford!

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  34. "Shake the dust off" is right. NOT all of us feel like your "friend". I am a mom who desperately wishes we could adopt, I pray daily that the Lord will open up a way for that to happen someday. Until He does though, it is my honor to get to pray for, love on and support those families that have been blessed by adoption.

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  35. This is the first time I comment on this blog.

    There are two responses to your friend's worries:

    (a) it is good for our bio children to have siblings, especially rescued from such horrors. True, there may be some costs to them, but all in all it is a valuable experience. See the points from all the commentators for illustration.

    (b) you *should* expect people to help you, family, strangers etc. Your friend's claim only makes sense if he denies that we all have a duty to help orphans. You are doing what we *all* have a duty to do! It sounds like your friend is denying that he has this duty. It is wrong and callous of him.

    I must say I am a total outsider to all this. I am not adopting, I do not have children with disabilities and I am not a SAHM. But anyone with any moral sense should see that your friend is wrong.

    So set him straight! If you can be bothered...

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  36. It's all been said already in the above comments but I just had to add a big GGGRRRRRR!!! I've had some of the same attitude come at me from parent-in-laws but I wish people could realize children do not choose their lot in life and what would they want people to do if it were their child in that situation (orphaned)?

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  37. I guess I can see his perspective to a point. Many people do think that way. However, it was very wrong and quite rude of this 'friend', to say what he did. I never thought blood was ever thicker than water. I never believed in the sanctity of blood relatives only. I commend you for doing what you do. It takes a strong person to be able to handle the obstacles that are tossed at you. I think this friend needs a reality check.

    You know why you adopt, you know why you do it, and it brings you happiness. And so long as you and your family (biological AND adopted) are happy and cared for, then that truly matters. Look at how much all of them have improved and grown. Victoria and Francesca are looking SO healthy and happy compared to where they were months ago.

    Personally, I would tell this friend that you do not have to explain yourself, and that you are sorry he feels that way, but you are happy, and you have a wonderful family. What exactly are your kids missing out on? I'd also say that while you respect his opinion, he'd never understand, as it looks like he's too hung up on other matters to understand, and to not judge you.

    I'm not a mother. I don't have kids, and my husband has a condition that could result in us never having kids biologically, so adoption may be in my future. This friend seriously ticked me off with his close-minded response.

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  38. We were just discussing this sort of thing in home group last night. Not just kids but putting aside our comfort to serve others who are sick, dying or just in need. Isn't that what we are called to do? God's ways are not our ways and unless someone is tuned into what God is saying they are just not going to get it no matter how much talking we do.(even other Christians may not understand what God has asked YOU to do.) It's taken me a long time to stop seeking understanding from my family just for homeschooling! The rest they definately freak out about. When these comments creep in just remember the multitude who are just waiting to hear what they can do to help you and your kids. God sends like-minded people who expect nothing in return to bless and help not only you but the kids He has entrusted you with.
    The jury is still out but the difference between my kids and my nieces is already evident. Not getting everything they ask for has made them appreciate and be thankful AND to work for what they do want. The longer they have to wait their priorities change and they realize that some things are just not "worth" it. They think about what they can do for others and it is definately NOT the parenting that has caused this! Its asking what is a priority, a new game or some guy who walks to the "Hope Center" in our town in his slippers because he doesn't have other shoes. We ARE responsible for that guy and the kids who are being starved because they are not perfect.

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  39. I am about to post the SAME kind of thing on my blog ( if I find the strength). My brothers have pretty much disowned me this week over this very issue. That is why I am actively choosing, at my almost 47 years of age, to CHOOOSE my family. And you know whom I choose? I choose the people who THINK LIKE YOU. As Christie says, shake the dust off. I feel very very sorry for that man...

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    1. Let me know if you want to start a support group/family!! HEE!! I'm going to need it!! Sheri

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  40. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality of our fallen, depraved world. You will even hear it in the church. Just remember, sometimes people are defensive because you have struck a cord within them. He may very well feel guilty for giving his kids everything they want and trying to justify his behavior. Adoption is not for the faint of heart!

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  41. I think everyone else has already expressed the truth you already know. I'm sorry your friend was unkind. Just pray that God will change his heart to see life through Jesus' eyes. Forgive and move forward.

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  42. You don't owe him ANY response. You know what you are doing and why you have done it. You know what is right for you and your family. And you are amazing. I'd not even respond.

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  43. The "real kids" bit got me.
    Victoria and Francesca and Isabella and Catherine are your "fake" kids, then??

    I go through this all the time with my kids and with my animals -- we have lots of both!

    Seriously, though, I would just explain that it's a simple matter of pros and cons. The positives that will be done for the dying orphan far outweighs any negatives that your biological children will experience.

    Further, he's forgetting the good in the equation (how convenient, right?) He's forgetting all the benefits of having siblings. I'm sure you can make a very long list of all the ways in which your biological kids have grown and improved as individuals thanks to having their adopted siblings.

    Plus, he's also forgetting that mom and dad won't be there forever. Someday, **all** they'll have is their siblings. Ask the adult only child (or even 1 of 2 siblings) whether they wish they had siblings (or more siblings) and I think most will tell you "yes." I know I wish I had more siblings, and my parents are still alive (thank god!) My mom is one of these people -- she lost her dad, her only brother and then her mom. I know she'd tell you that she wishes she had more siblings; it just plain sucks to be the sole survivor of your immediate family when you're only in your early 60s.

    He's right on one point -- you don't have a "right" to get donations from others (nobody has this "right," in my opinion), but there's absolutely **nothing wrong** with accepting gifts from individuals who would like to help.

    Really, I suspect you may just need to agree to disagree on this one.

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  45. My parents adopted my brother at age 3 and my life is far better because of it. I have always wanted to adopt, it seems so natural to my siblings and I. It's really sad that people fear things they don't understand - or maybe making up an excuse. What message is he sending to his child when his child asks one day why they never chose to adopt? "Well son I decided it was a choice between a bit of discomfort to you that would also teach you about self giving love or the life of an innocent child that was born into unfortunate circumstances."

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  46. I think that God has clearly spoken that we need to care for the orphan and some people listen and seek to find their child or children and some of us (yep my family) God had to smack upside the head a bit hear, but now that our adoption is complete, I can't imagine life without Meya. We did not cross any oceans - barely crossed in our State as we are a foster family, but even with God clearly saying what needs to happen it takes some of us awhile to get it and I think many choose never to get it. Our family will forever be changed for the better in finding Meya. Is our life journey different? Absolutely, but the journey is so much sweeter and we appreciate so much by seeing through Meya's eyes what life is about. She may never sit, walk, talk, but oh what she has taught us and I praise God for showing us that we did have what it would take to be her forever family. So that my friend is why people should consider stepping out of their comfort zone and seeing how amazing adoption is.
    Dannette

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  47. Perhaps he should speak to me. I can speak honestly about what it was like to grow up in a large family with adopted special needs siblings. He probably thinks you all are in denial on how the other (real?) children are impacted. My childhood was marked by the usual good stuff- bikes and Barbies, hide and seek, sandy bathing suits, and family vacations in a paneled station wagon. But in some ways it was certainly different than many of my friends. For one, we became THE destination for a sleepover. We had the numbers- and the sense of fun- for a great party.

    It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but then... what do we learn when there is no challenge? Not much. We need challenge to stretch our minds, develop skills and capacities, learn and grow to our potentials. We need an atmosphere of love, acceptance and responsibility to foster that learning. The atmosphere that enveloped my family just happened to be a bigger one:) And I like to think we learned that much more.

    I learned that the world was at once vast and small. That a small child living in fear and loneliness on the other side of the world was very real... and could become my sister. I learned to look deep into liquid brown eyes to glimpse the trauma and hurt that shed light on perplexing behavior. I learned to slow down, be patient, be flexible in order to let another catch up and join in. I learned that despite my lack of Izod pants (dating myself I know) that I was truly blessed by what mattered, my family. My big noisy technicolor family.

    It shouldnt be a surprise that many of us found vocations working with people. I am a child psychologist and specialize in complex neurodevelopmental disorders. We also have a teacher, a special educator, a physician, a social science researcher, and a military guy. The siblings that people were so worried would "drag us down" are all independent- awesome parents now themselves. Several of us have adopted as well, knowing the blessings that come. My grandma would love to say: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating". You are welcome to join us at the feast and see for yourself.

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  48. All of your children are real! At least they look that way online. Your kids are touched and enriched by each other in a way this "gentleman" is not able to understand. And ALL of your kids are beautiful. Your are blessed beyond measure to have them - and they are equally blessed to have you. I feel sorry for this man's son - he may have "stuff", but he will never know the beauty and wonder of watching a Victoria or a Francesca come alive.

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  49. hi,

    I do admire you being such a wonderful Mom for both your adopted and biological children. However, I have different opinions about parenting.

    1. I don't have any children yet. If I have to adopt, I will choose one or two healthy children with IQ as high as 110.

    2. I don't think that I am strong enough to see my children going through surgeries, ER and hospitals. Thus, I won't adopt children who are HIV positive or have mental health problems. I believe that at least 90% of adopt parents share my opinion.

    3. I have big goals for myself. I will have big goals for my future children too. I am not satisfied that my children growing up to be nice people. I am thinking about they grow up to be professors, engineer or doctors. Thus, the cost of raising each of my child will be at least 150k. As a humble engineer, I can only afford one or two.

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  50. hi,

    In my previous post, I sound pretty harsh. I am a very devoted aunt to my niece. I am confident that I can become a good Mom for both my biological children and adopted children in the future.

    However, the problem is that there are so many children need help. For example, more than 40% of children in US foster care system will develop severe mental health problem when they grow up. In another word, most of the 40% are children otherwise will have happy and productive lives. It break my heart to see children suffering.

    In China, sometimes orphanage cannot support so many babies. So, the stuff will open the windows and expose some babies to winter wind. It is bloody murder.

    I believe that I have to choose my battle. Because as a single mother, I only can afford no more than 2 children. I will choose perfectly healthy children, before they are killed or damaged by ophrange or foster home system.

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  51. Beware my friend, sometimes the devil disguises himself as a diamond or a crystal, claiming to be light and spread love when they actually spreading lies and darkness.

    A school will not save the United States.

    There is so much ignorance from that rock is is beyond believable.

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    1. I think that the education system in the states have much problems. I am really upset when college students cannot do basic junior high math or very young girl get pregnant. I think that we should teach some disciplined and value systems in schools. Currently, the teachers are trying too hard to be 'cheerleader' instead of 'educators'.

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  52. I read your blog from time to time, because your posts make me laugh/make it easier to parent when days are rough.
    And while I am not an adoptive parent I am a parent. When you bring a child into the world you have hopefully you have lots of love and time to give, when you add to your family there is a little less time but no less love to provide each child. So what's worse, a little less time to spend with a child, or a child who has none, no time and no love? How is that even a valid question or argument?

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  53. I would smile and say "Tell you what...You try not to judge me, and I'll try not to judge you".

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