“Why adopt internationally when there’s a need for orphan care in the US? Shouldn’t we take care of our own? We need to get everything straightened out here before we go over there.”
As an adoptive or waiting parent of an international child, you may have been asked questions like this. We have heard the question many times. The answer, however, is never a simple one.
Behind this question seems to be an assumption that it is not only possible, but it is our civic duty, to mend every broken family and eradicate all poverty within our borders before we help anyone outside the U.S. To aid anyone who is not an American before we are able to create this utopian society is then seen as a betrayal to our fellow countrymen.
There appears to be the idea that we have to have everything in our lives perfect before we can help someone else. We think, “You can’t give someone money if you don’t have any money to give.” We think, “Once we get our house in order and our circumstances improve, then we can help others.” But we have to realize that we will never be able to fix every family or do away with all the poverty within our borders. In fact, the only kingdom where there will no longer be any pain or poverty will be Christ’s kingdom, and He never waits until our circumstances are perfect before He puts a call on our lives. He expects us to help others while we are still in our own mess.
We shouldn’t refrain from helping children just because we can’t help all of them. The children in our international programs are just as “real” as American children and without a family to love, nurture and protect them, they are just as vulnerable. We are thankful God has called families to foster children in the United States who need loving families while their biological families sort out problems. We are thankful God has called families to adopt children from the foster care program. We are thankful God has called families to adopt children from American birthmothers who choose life for their babies. We are thankful God also calls families to adopt older children from other countries. Each of these families is carrying out the call of God on their lives and none is any less needed or more important than another.
We believe that every child deserves a forever family, regardless of whether that child was born in the U.S., China, Poland, Taiwan or anywhere else in the world. Through our international adoption programs, we have been able to find loving homes for many of these children. And we work tirelessly to place as many as possible.
If you have questions about either domestic or international adoption, consider joining us each month for our Ask and Eat, where we’ll provide food and answers to your questions. If you’d like some information now, check out our blog. You might also try the treasure trove of knowledge known as the Creating a Family website. It has resources for just about anything adoption- related.