I think that God is definitely taking our weakness and making it our strength. Janna and I just cannot produce a child. We tried using various ways and means and it just didn’t happen. Biologically speaking…we are weak. Genetically, we should fade away. Fortunately there is a force and a Person that stands over and against weakness by embracing it. In our weakness we get the privilege of embodying the spirit of adoption that flows from the heart of the Father. My children are mine. They are Moores. They are not replacements nor facsimiles. They are real and they are mine. I get the privilege of raising them. They hone me. They are a spiritual discipline that tests me beyond personal prayer or fasting. I chose to raise them and I can’t un-choose that. Everyday I awake to face the reality that they need something from me. I have to wake up. I have to clean up. I have to make sure they learn basic hygiene and politeness. What I believe about Jesus and Christianity is tested everyday. Have you ever tried to explain faith or God or the Holy Spirit or prayer to a child? And have you ever done it without lying to them or to yourself? I strain to be honest with what I believe and yet get on their level. It is really, really difficult. Not only do we have two children but we have a boy and a girl…one each. And they are different. Bess cries for reasons I know not. She is emotional. She wants me to be near. I must put away the phone when we play. I must. She doesn’t understand that during the day someone may need to call Daddy. And Isaiah is all boy. He hits and he throws and he runs and he yells. And it’s beautiful. He makes me tired and I love it…I don’t always like it but it’s amazing.
Janna and I started the process to adopt through the state of Georgia 13 months ago. It began slowly. An application packet received, then a 16 hour intro class, then we stalled. Life got in the way. We already have 2 kids and a busy life. We went on a marriage weekend retreat and one of our assignments was to take a walk together and discuss the future. We decided to finish our application packet by Christmas 2010. We did. Then it took 3 1/2 months for our fingerprints to come back (yay govt budget cuts and red tape). We finally got an email stating our file was complete and someone would call us to schedule a home visit. That was over a week ago. So we wait. On one hand, we do have things to do. We’re not sitting around waiting for a child. We have 2 of those. We have jobs. On the other hand, we are waiting. And it can be annoying. The state (DFCS, Dept of Family/Children Services) has billboards all around saying “Foster or Adopt Today.” Yep. Maybe not today. And now I hear my 2 year old saying “Dada!” from the bedroom and my 8 year old is awake. THAT will not wait. Gotta go.
Best line I’ve heard in a long time – “We need to start rethinking adoption in terms of ‘a family for the child’ NOT ‘a child for the family.’ That has been our journey. We first sought adoption because we wanted a child(ren) and couldn’t seem to do it with good ol’ biology. But now our horizon has expanded to see that kids need homes more than we need kids. And foster parents (the good ones, ones not doing it for a check) are heroes. The common, and understandable, push back for many is that it would be too hard and heart-breaking to get close to a child and then let them go. (see above quote)…in other words…it’s about the child. You, I, we are probably doing just fine. They may not.
Janna and I are almost finished with our required classes to adopt again (this time through the state of GA). As of this week these are the kids available and legally ready to be adopted: Only 5 kids age 1-5 (All special needs). 19 boys age 6-11. 7 girls age 6-11. 53 boys age 12-18. 35 girls age 12-18. I’m a former youth worker, middle school teacher, football coach, and have 2 kids myself…and it’s still a bit scary. BUT…I’m trying to imagine being 6 or 12 or 17 years old…and in the “system.” Maybe you’re called to help. Maybe you’re called to help a family who is called. I’m no hero, trust me. Our journey into this began with our own biological dysfunction (not necessarily altruistic motives) and our first 2 children are healthy, bright and we got them at birth. And even now…hero isn’t a word I would give myself. Freely I have received…and I’m still pretty scared…and I have running water and don’t live in a communist country…and I have a beautiful, smart wife…and many, many great friends. So here we go. Here’s the website for lots of good information and a photolisting of available children. My Turn Now
I’m listening to this audio book. Very, Very good. Highly recommend it. It’s co-written by John Perkins, a leader from the Civil Rights era (and still a leader), and Shane Claiborne, a 30something “recovering redneck” that lives in north Philly.
One of the most often quoted (and misquoted) verses in scripture is Philippians 4.13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s a favorite verse of athletes and go-getters of all types. Too bad it has nothing to do with accomplishing anything like touchdowns, victories over opponents, or scoring that commission in sales. Nothing. I, personally, cannot dunk a basketball through Christ who strengthens me – maybe if I hired a personal trainer and worked out A LOT…but I doubt it. I just can’t jump that high. In the verses leading up to 4.13 (11-12 specifically), Paul is talking about how he has learned to be content whether he has plenty or not much (so that he won’t be arrogant or steal). He can be CONTENT with what he has through the strength of Christ. So if you have food, shelter, and love…be content. If you have a bit more than you need…SHARE. It’s really that simple.
You probably won’t change the world in a courtroom, legislative body, under a protest sign, with a petition, or from a platform. Try changing the world at your dinner table and on your front porch. Maybe you need to clean off your dinner table – it’s not meant as a junkmail bin or a fake plant holder. Invite friends over for home-made ice cream. Pass out popsicles to kids during the summer. Sit, rock, and wave. If you can eat with someone, you can call them a friend, and the world is changed…a lot. A lot. Maybe just in your head…but the ripple effects cause hurricanes.