Having three adopted siblings brings up so much conversation in my life that most teenagers don't have the pleasure to face and speak on.
I often get asked about my family. At first people, once they hear how many children we have, either assume we are Mormon, Catholic, or crazy a homeschooled family (possibly guilty of the latter of the three). As I show them a picture of all of us, they then change their posture and tone and don't write me off as some kind of nut case child whose parents have too much time on their hands (or maybe they do, but for different reasons then they initially assume ). To put it very honestly, my friends and strangers alike start asking common questions about adoption. Which is good. I enjoy those questions.
The typical questions come about in a multitude of ways. Of course i have become quite good at combating these purely curious questions with challenging their ideas of adoption.
Person: "How many are your siblings?"
Me: "all of them."
P: "No, no... I mean how many are..."
M: "how many are adopted? (Smile) three"
P: "Oh, well... Which ones? (Thinking I would assume them "racist" if they assumed the ones who look nothing like me are the adopted ones)"
M: "The ones with beautiful skin." (this is a new conversation reply I've been using lately. I seriously enjoy it.)
P: "Oh, well... Is it fun having that many siblings?"
M: "Absolutely. It's also hard... But I'll never be bored. It's certainly hard to do 'nothing' at my house."
P: "Well, where are they from?"
M: "My mothers womb, Utah, Kenya, and Harrisburg."
P: "Really? Wow! How did you get them all? Tell me their stories"
This is where the small talk conversations differ from the people who are actually interested.
I tell them each story.
It's honestly a joy for me every time. Telling how each story is laced with amazing amounts of God's provision and grace. Telling how we truly couldn't have gotten through any of them without family support, friends support, and the love of Jesus. The last one is most important.
I love hearing how people then share their interests.
"Yeah... That's amazing. I actually always wanted to adopt. I want to adopt when I'm older."
They tell me how they want to have kids of their own first, then adopt or visa versa. I hear about people who have family that adopted. I hear people talk about how adoption has made their family/friend's family so much better. I also hear how adoption has been the breaking point of a family.
Here is what I say or would like to say.
All adoption is different.
All adoption is blessed by God.
All adoption comes with baggage.
All adoption brings out your family's OWN baggage.
All adoption saves lives.
All adoption cares for the uncared for.
All adoption supports the future of this nation.
All adoption brings life.
ALL adoption brings hope.
People often think that adoption is just like having a child of your own, just not your own. Some assume that it will be a perfect and beautiful thing. Usually, adoptive parents/families walk into adoption with rose colored cheeks...
And then time passes...
The honey moon phase ends...
And things come up they didn't suspect.
ALL adopted children are traumatized to some degree.
Even adopted babies somehow have to deal with the "loss" of their blood mother/father once they grow up. Oftentimes, older children become "stuck" at an age where they last felt "safe" in life. Usually this means the last time they were happy with their biological family or the last time they weren't being abused by someone. Adopted children have to deal with their own family's generational baggage that they may not even know about (why do so many girls out of the foster care system end up pregnant as teenagers?).
I've seen all of this baggage (and more) come up in my family because of adoption. Scared yet? Want to know why?
The devil hates adoption? Why?
It gives life
It gives hope
It gives love
How repulsive that is to him!
He loves bringing up the baggage in adopted children's lives.
He loves seeing the family unit torn apart because of the baggage that comes from adoption.
But God loves adoption. He blesses it. He loves anything that has to do with orphan care and helping the hopeless.
So, those who feel called to adopt:
Put on your armor. Place your sword of truth on what you see in adoption.
Truth: Adoption brings life and love!
Why wouldn't God bless it? Why wouldn't the devil want it destroyed?
It brings so much life!
So much hope!
So much joy!
As the day of my brother's official adoption is so near, I am realizing truly what adoption means to ME.
A world full of little blessings that are now living with the life you have to show them in Christ.
Q: What could be of an equal challenge... but so worth it?
A: YOUR calling whatever it may be.
Right now, for my family, it's adoption. It may be for you too.
Mariana Christine King