I've said the dumbest things to people when I have no idea what they are going through. I may think I know but if I've never been through it and have never walked with someone through it - it's safe to say you don't know what they're going through.
Now, one thing we have in common with other followers of Christ is that we can take someone to the Word and show them Truth in any situation. But that's not what I want to write about.
As many know, we've been walking through the adoption process. God has taken our hearts to places we never knew it could go! We are so thankful he has worked in and on us before we have started the paperwork and now that we are in that process I want to go over some silly things people say.
A little background first: My friend Christine and I have talked about how people say dumb things and don't realize it. She was single for years and people have said all the typical things to her: Christine, as soon as you are content in being single then God is going to bring you someone. Or Christine, I know of a guy who works with my second cousin and I'm not sure where he is spiritually but he's single and your single so maybe you should go out with him and see what happens!
She and I would laugh at these things but honestly, I've said just as many dumb things as the next person. It usually isn't with something I've been through. It's usually something I think I know about. And there lies the problem. I believe God allows us to go through trials and tribulations ultimately because it brings him glory and that's all that really matters but our God is so unique and smart that he gives us opportunity to share with others who are going through the same thing or to educate those who aren't - all to bring him glory!
And without further adieu, here are some silly things people have either said to me or assumed about me on the subject of adoption. They aren't wrong or sinful, they are just silly:
1. Don't assume the person adopting is struggling with not having "children of their own." Please don't feel sorry for them. I'm not saying the person doesn't or hasn't struggled with this - just don't assume they are sad they can't have children the traditional way. For me, there was a time of mourning of a dream but God showed me this is what he's intended since before time began (Although I could be pregnant next month, only God knows). The children we are adopting are not plan b they are simply our children.
2. Don't discourage people who are talking or thinking about adoption with adoption horror stories. I wish I could erase from my mind every story I have had to sit through about failed adoptions. I think the worst line is "all the kids of their own turned out fine, but the ones that were adopted turned out terrible." Even if this is true, please assume someone else has told them an adoption horror story. I promise it isn't your civic duty to educate them. And oddly enough, in the last six months I haven't had to sit through these stories. I am guessing it's the "talking" or "thinking" about adoption conversations that people think it's okay to share the stories.
3. Don't assume when there are fundraisers for adoption that they are looking for free money. Did you know the cost for foreign adoption is around $30,000? Even private American adoptions can be $25,000. Most people get pregnant for free. It's just the next 25 years (or more) they are paying for the child. I've had educated, godly people say they can't believe people have the audacity to ask for money to adopt children. Now, I will say that the parents need to be sacrificing financially in their own lives too. But $30,000 is a ton of money. Don't judge. You don't know what God has called them to and you can either be a blessing or a curse. Sadly, I'm a curse in many situations but I'm thankful God has graciously revealed to me my stupidity.
4. Don't say - as soon as you adopt you will get pregnant. I have said this before! I can't tell you how many times I have said this to people. But reading a great book (great book for anyone-not just those thinking of adopting) Adopted for Life, Russell Moore says that when we say this line we are minimizing the person's infertility or desire to adopt to a stress problem. I had never thought of that before. When Martin and I were at an adoption seminar a couple of weeks ago we went to a class on trans-racial families and as the speaker was describing his family he got to his third child and said Charis is three and we got pregnant with her. Yeah, we're one of those families. We all laughed and he continued on with the rest of his children. We all know it can happen. And I'd say 90% of parents it has happened to don't regret adopting. Those other 10% should have never adopted in the first place.
So as I step off my soapbox please know that I have absolutely no one in mind saying these things to me. I'm not sending out hidden messages to people I know, hoping they will get the hint. These are just some things that have been swirling in my mind for years.
And the cool thing is when I do get people saying these things to me I don't get upset anymore. I just try to remember the next time I am talking with the older single girl who wants to get married or the woman who can't seem to get along with her mother-in-law or the friend that is dealing with a difficult child to simply do two things: pray for them (and tell them I'm praying for them) and always bring the conversation back to Jesus. Because my stupid opinion is just that: stupid.