Worth the Struggle

I was reading a post about a little boy on an adoption advocacy site. (Yes, I fill my life with adoption stories, testimonies, and resources. Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe. I just can’t help it.) This particular post was about a boy with a very rare cleft deformity that was going to be repaired soon. The post mentioned that no families had shown interest in adopting the boy. These kind of stories are heartbreaking, but also hopeful, and I rarely spend too much time reading the comments that follow. This time, though, I did. There were plenty of comments cheering the organization/boy/surgeons. There were lots of prayers going up for this boy’s surgery and his future. There was also one that said they’d love to adopt him. I also saw comments that read “If international adoption wasn’t so hard…” and “Adoption is just too expensive, otherwise…”.

I get the hesitations and reservations. Really, I do. Adoption is not second nature, it’s not cheap, and it is not easy. But that doesn’t make it any less worth doing. In fact, I’m sure you’ve heard that “nothing worth doing is easy.” There are lots of misconceptions about adoption, and the fact of the matter is that international adoptions can be costly, and they can be difficult. But not any more difficult and/or costly than getting married, having a baby, and providing for a child would be. Not more so than your college degree in a field that may or may not be lucrative, not more than your dental maintenance, or a year or two of sacrificing your movies, Starbucks, and hair appointments. Sacrificing is painful Nobody is saying otherwise. But giving an orphan a family is sooo worth it, in my opinion. If I knew that by giving up a coffee, movie, or a dinner out would provide a hope and a future for a child out there with little prospects of one, I’d do it in a heartbeat. That doesn’t always mean adoption. Sometimes it means social advocacy. Sometimes it means sponsorship. Sometimes it means prayer. All of those things take some level of time and sacrifice.

Don’t get me wrong. I am by no means some saintly woman who is easily and effortlessly giving up all indulgences. I’d love to say that is true, but I am a human being with a family, desires, and needs. I have a full time job and don’t always get to come home and prepare a meal after a long day and a long commute. Sometimes we go get Mexican food. Do I feel guilty about it? Honestly, yeah, sometimes I do. But not because I am a failure and have no self control.  I just hate to see money that could be used for the purpose of bettering the life of our child go to enchiladas and guacamole, knowing that our son is out there, in a place that can’t afford to give him the nutritious diet that he needs.

And if you know us and our journey at all, you know that we are not some wealthy, kind hearted people that just want to help an orphan, either. Got put adoption on our hearts from a young age, and we are obediently following our hearts- and his wishes. But we are also trusting in Him to provide the way. We did not look at our finances and say, “hey look! We’ve got an extra $40k in our accounts; let’s adopt a child!” No, we have daycare expenses, a house that is sinking beneath our feet, school debt, mortgages, and plenty of other things tugging at our bank accounts. But we don’t let that hold us back. Yes, it is weird asking friends to help out with your adoption expenses. I don’t like asking for hand outs and feel weird every time we do. But, my feelings (and let’s be honest, pride), are diminished when I think of the end goal. So we fundraise, apply for grants, work side jobs, and do just about anything we can think of to raise the funds to bring our son home.

So, we’re not rich. We’re no saints. And you don’t have to be either. Yes, it will be a tough road, but those roads are the ones that are more gratifying when you reach your destination.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” -Theodore Roosevelt

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.”

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Proverbs 13:4

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Luke 16:13

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

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