Good morning, my lovely friends!
So . . . adoption. Foster care.
It’s something that’s on my heart.
No, I’m not ready to adopt at this exact moment. But it’s something that’s mulling around there in my brain and in my soul.
I have a strong empathetic vein running through my heart–I’ve always cried easily when I see the distress of others. When I was growing up, for example, all I had to do was see one picture of an orphan in a Compassion International advertisement and I was brought to tears. As a pre-teen and teenager, I also fell in love with fictional orphans such as Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, and Jane Eyre, which (odd as it may seem) made me start really desiring to take care of the motherless and fatherless. When I was 15, I determined that I wanted to run an orphanage when I grew up. Then I realized there wasn’t exactly a college degree called “Orphanage Manager,” so I ended up applying for the music program instead.
So even though my dreams of caring for orphans haven’t exactly materialized in my life, recently those thoughts have come back. I’ve been stalking some Chicago adoption websites and reading up on how to become a foster parent. My friend Sarah told me about a program in Austin, Texas that involves local photographers taking portraits of the kids that are up for adoption, so I contacted the organization that runs a similar program in Chicago–I would love to volunteer my lens, if there’s an opportunity. And of course, I’ve been thinking about logistics–how exactly would this all happen? Would we wait until we had children of our own? Would we wait until my husband finished school? Would we wait until I was able to stop working and stay home?
I’m not on the edge of the adoption/foster care diving board, but I’m at least feeling the rungs of the ladder leading to the top, testing out their sturdiness, and pondering the height of the thing, if you’ll allow the metaphor. To climb it? Or not? I want to pray actively about my future, and my role in this world full of kids who don’t have parents or homes, who may be going to bed scared, hungry, or in real danger.
I’m grateful for the empathy that I feel, and I pray that God will never allow callouses to grow over my heart, but I also know that feelings are not enough. What good is empathy unless it takes action? That’s why I’m really excited about an event here in Chicago this coming Saturday called “Together for Adoption.” It takes place from 9 to 2:30, and it’s not too late to register if you’re in town! The event description says: “Join Dr. Russell Moore (author of “Adopted for Life”), Jason Kovacs (co-founder of Together for Adoption), and a half-dozen presenters for a unique one-day event on regional and global orphan care. Our hope is that you’ll leave with a deepened sense of God’s adopting love for you, as well as an increased love and desire to care for the orphan and the fatherless.”
I wonder about adoption. Is it a case of ‘the need is not the call’ or is that my heart presenting excuses to not do what Jesus commands when he tells us to take care of the orphan and the widow? Is it enough just to give money–or am I called to something more radical? I need the Spirit to shed some light on this. And to give us direction. The thought of foster care and adoption inspires me–and scares me to death. I know there are no guarantees, no easy paths. It can bring great joy, but also strain and stress. I have a lot of thinking to do. A lot of praying.
Anyway! My band, Thornfield, will be playing at the adoption conference during lunch. And once the conference is over, we’re hiking our butts over to CityGrounds where we have a gig. The talented Andrew Jackson, a local singer songwriter (no, not the long-dead ex-president, just to quell any zombie rumors) will be playing the first set at 8pm, followed by our band around 9pm. Come on out! We’d love the encouragement of your presence there! Here’s the facebook event page for y’all’s reference.
So Saturday will be full of music, and (hopefully) hearts open to God’s leading.
What are your thoughts on adoption and care for orphans? Or your experiences? I’d truly love to hear from you.