My husband and I are in the middle of adopting a little boy from Vietnam. I am hoping soon we will have an update for all those who have been following our journey thus far! Until then I wanted to take some time and talk about the first time I knew I wanted to adopt.
My mom was adopted by her aunt and uncle when she was a baby. Well, she was officially adopted when she was six years old. She has told me the story of being in the court room and talking to the judge and then her aunt and uncle told her “you can call us mommy and daddy now.” However, they had her since she was a baby. Adoption has been a part of our family for a very long time. My mom took in my two cousins over five years ago. However, I did not know for sure that I truly wanted to adopt until I went to Belize for the first time in college, on a missions trip.
I had never been on a mission trip before. This was a first for me and I was unsure of what to expect. While we were in Belize, we cleaned a church, helped out at schools, visited a couple of churches, visited an orphanage and volunteered several other places. Each experience I gained a little something.
However, the one experience that touched me to my core was volunteering at one specific school . It was a one room school. Little children came from all around this area, to listen to the service. No adults were with them. I remember being told that many of them don’t have a specific place to live. They roam the streets, or live with aunts and uncles or friends. This experience reached into my soul. I had heard of children being home less before. I had never seen it though. I had never been where I could see the poverty that many people live in. I didn’t understand. Not until that minute, how privileged we were in America, how spoiled we were.
I was barely entering my 20’s. God smacked me in the head with this wake up call. These are my children too he whispered to me. You are supposed to take care of them. His church, the ones who love God, he calls us to take care of the orphans and widows. I understand not everyone can adopt. But you can do something. And you should. This experience left me with an ache in my heart. A burning desire to adopt. To do something. A desire to be who God has called me to be. We may not be able to do a lot. But we can do something. At the very least we can pray for the ones who decide to do something. Something small or something big.
The next time we want to complain about how long our food is taking in that fancy restaurant, we can stop and remember the little children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We can stop ourselves when want to to complain about the small house we’re living in, remembering that there are children who have no homes.
The other day our dishwasher broke, right after our dryer and our truck. I shook my head and told my husband “first world problems.” These aren’t really problems. These are inconveniences. Here in America we consider our small inconveniences to be a real problem. But having to hand wash your dishes, hang dry your laundry, or go with one vehicle, those are simply inconveniences not problems. Having to worry about where your next meal is coming from. Where you are going to sleep tonight. Not receiving enough love and affection. Having your needs unmet, and there being nothing you can do about it. Having to walk down the street worrying about whether someone was going to rape you or kill you. Those are actual problems. There are real people, real children, with real problems. My husband and I may not be able to do much, but we have decided to do something. My wake up call were those little children on the street of Belize.