I spent a lot of time with adoptive families over this past weekend, including:
The Magical Families event at Disney World, an annual get together (at Disney World!) for adoptive families. I volunteered at a movie/crafts night facebpainting kids. (http://www.facebook.com/MagicalFamilies)
I also spoke at a local church (where my coworker’s father is the pastor) where they have some adoptive families and are looking to adopt more.
I have added a picture so you can see because I am about to make a visual point, but also because pictures spice up a blog 🙂
Haha do these look like kids or what? Like none of them are still.
So anyway. It was a busy weekend… but really awesome. I found myself moved and inspired by the many different children (boys and girls, all shapes and sizes and colors) even as the families themselves were fairly homogenous. It is obvious to me (and can be seen in a fairly quick scan of the bible passages relating to orphans and widows and adoption) that adoption is an issue on God’s heart, but what about multicultural, ‘trans-racial’ adoption? I felt a tug here after this weekend but I wasn’t sure what God was trying to tell me.
I was chatting about it with my sweet coworker yesterday who adopted her daughter from Guatemala. She agreed with me about this vision of God’s glory in multiracial families and helped me clarify my theology a little bit. She told me that back in the Old Testament days, at the Tower of Babel, all people of the different cultures were separated. But in Jesus, God is bringing all the cultures and peoples back under Him. I know thats a real simplification, so forgive me, but I think you can get the picture. God is saying people of all races and cultures are precious to him and equally loved. They are all welcome into God’s family, which isn’t reserved for just one group. And also… that all children regardless of where they are from or the color of their skin deserve a family… and that if there aren’t adoptive families of their own race or in their own country, they shouldn’t have to go without.
Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect with transracial adoption… or ANY adoption. It’s hard to grow up in a family that doesn’t look like you or have your same culture… but then again, this happens for many adopted children even of a same or similar-looking race to their adoptive parents. They are still not biologically related and thus will look and feel different in many ways. For many reasons, adoption can just be hard in general. There is a lot of research with differing conclusions on the issue of transracial adoption, but the fact is that there are many children without homes and families who need them and we don’t have enough people adopting of every given race and culture to give them all homes with families at all, let alone by families that look like them. So… conclude what you will. I think it is important to remember that adoption is different than biological parenthood in some ways, and can be more challenging, but it is also uniquely beautiful– and that for each child who gains a loving home and family, the challenges are worth it.