Inevitably, whenever I start debating someone on Twitter or in person about abortion, they always say “the world is already overpopulated” or “there are thousands of orphans waiting to be adopted”…blah blah blah. First of all, even if the world was overpopulated, it wouldn’t be a moral reason to commit murder of another person. Second of all, yes there are thousands of orphans waiting to be adopted. I work with those children everyday. But again, NOT a moral reason to end the life of another person.
Furthermore, are we suggesting that the orphan life is not one worth living? How insulting! There are innumerable foster children that go on to lead very successful lives even without being adopted. And guess what? Even if they didn’t have a “successful” life, it doesn’t matter. It is our responsibility to give them the gift of life. No one can predict what will happen in the future. No life is meaningless, even if it is ordinary, mundane, or unremarkable. Even if life is horrible, it is still worth living because we have a God who created us and cares for us no matter who we are or what circumstances we are in. As a person who sees child abuse/neglect everyday, I still believe that those children’s lives are worth living. I believe they have an amazing hope for their futures, and I know that God cares for them. This reveals the hopelessness of the person who advocates for abortion.
Now that the true argument is out-of-the-way, let me get to my point: there should be no orphans. At all. Even though the existence of orphans is a stupid argument for abortion, I am sick of hearing it nonetheless. Church, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines and get in the fight. I want all the pro-abortion lobbyists to be dumbfounded as the number of children waiting for adoption disappears. We should show them just how pro-life we are.
Now I know that many of you are already doing this, through volunteering, becoming a foster parent, a babysitter or maybe a respite parent. But I am going to challenge you. The majority of children we have available for adoption are teenagers, children with more severe special needs, or large sibling groups. I understand that you may feel that this is too much for you to take on right now, or that you want to maintain the birth order in your home, or that you don’t feel equipped to take on a child(ren) like this. But as you can imagine, if we always wait for the families that feel “ready” to take on children like this, we will be waiting forever. God is bigger than our excuses, and He bids us come and die to ourselves.
Now, let me clarify some things. Adoption is successful in strong communities. I can’t tell you how many families I have worked with who have an idealistic, unrealistic picture of how hard adoption will be, and then the adoption disrupts because of dashed expectations. This is a task for the entire church. Everyone in the church needs to be helping adoptive families in some way. There are many people in the church who are truly not in a position to adopt: college students, children, elderly, etc. These church members can still be a part of eradicating orphanhood through bringing meals, being a mentor, providing babysitting, doing laundry, mowing lawns, transporting children to soccer practice, etc. The list could be endless. Foster/adoptive families should not be islands. They need to invite their church body into their ministry and into their lives. Church families need to have a special eye on these families, attentively caring for them and making sure their needs are met. As the saying goes; it truly does take a village to raise a child. Especially children that have been traumatized through abuse and neglect.
Not only is adoption not for all church members, but frankly it is not for all families. I am not encouraging anyone to be unwise with the responsibilities the Lord has already given them. I believe pastors and elders can help in this process, reflecting back to families whether or not they think they are ready for foster care/adoption. If you as a father or mother are so stretched thin with responsibilities that you barely get any family time during the week, it probably isn’t the season for foster care or adoption. But I think many of us find that we have extra room, extra time, and extra money that we could be using in this great purpose. What I am advocating is that we should not let lack of knowledge or fear keep us from considering foster care and adoption. As churches, we should be training up couples and parents on how to deal with the most difficult behaviors in children, and diagnoses such as autism, ODD, ADHD, PTSD, etc. We should prepare our families who are entering the process to adopt what to do when children act in abnormal and strange ways. We should bring in experts to train families on psychiatric medications and what they to do the developing brain. We should train families on why an adopted teenager may be throwing a 5-year-old tantrum. We need to go to foster care boot camp. To adopt these children, we may have to put in the hard work of understanding these issues on a deeper level.
Thus we will silence the whiners.
If you are wondering how to get started in your church, there is a great organization called Promise 686 that shows churches how to form care teams around foster/adoptive parents. There is also a great book that deals with the heart of this issue called The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield.
If you have any questions or would like to comment, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.