Our first experience in Africa was really being immersed in the drama of International Adoptions.  We didn’t intend to be in that position, but because the guest house we stayed at was housing so many adopting families, it just worked out that way.  We learned so much and have such a great respect for people who have been called to adopt.  This commitment to adopt a child from another culture is an amazing thing.  I have to admit that I don’t feel that call on our life, but to witness it changed my heart.

I did not realize the sacrifice that it takes to adopt.  One family has been delayed in the process for many months and has many more obstacles to overcome before they will be able to take their child home.  So what this means is that they are basically trapped in Africa.  They can’t leave without their new child and they can’t go home because the paperwork isn’t complete.  They endure being separated from their children and spouses back in America because of the love and commitment they have given this new child.  This story is common.  There are the occasional cases that go smoothly, but so many don’t.

The governments in Africa operates much differently than they do in America.  You have to remember these are “developing” nations – which basically means that they just don’t have their act together quite yet.  Filing systems aren’t the same, expectations aren’t the same, the addage “time is money” means nothing there.  No one wants to accept responsibility and so the addage “pass the buck” reigns!  It is simply the reality and there isn’t anything you can do about it as much as it grinds against our “American way”.

So those families who have made a commitment to adopt a child from one of these developing nations are saints in my book.  Not only are they opening their home, their family, their heart to a child that was born of another, they are opening their lives up to trial and difficulty that they probably would never have imagined.  But after meeting the children who benefit from this commitment I understand why they do it.  The children are just wonderful and so deserving of a loving family.  We met some of the darlingest kids that I will never forget.  I found myself, at times, being envious that God had called them and not us, just because the kids are so amazing.

If you know of someone who is adopting, please remember to pray for them.  They will need it!  They are becoming lifetime missionaries in a sense as well as living out the example set before us in that we have been adopted into the family of God ourselves through the sacrifice of Christ.  Adoption is such a beautiful picture of sacrifice and redemption.  It simply amazes me.

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