I had an upsetting conversation the other day with someone who probably had no idea just how upset I was.
Someone had told "Mary" that we were thinking about adoption, and she asked how old we were considering. I told her, and after briefly listening to my response, she told me that I should think twice about adopting any kids that were too old, because more than likely, they'd be damaged.
I couldn't believe my ears. I'm not arguing that our future kids will likely have more problems than many other kids their age, but isn't that all the more reason that they need a loving home?
Mary went on to say that she wanted to adopt a younger child, because they most likely wouldn't be damaged - and did I know that there was even the possibility that an older child could have been sexually abused? Certainly we wouldn't want that, she said.
Truthfully, I was appalled, and on several levels.
As I already said, the fact that these precious children have endured so much is all the more reason that I want to bring them into our home and shower them with all the love their hearts can hold. We already understand that children who have gone through such hardships may act out with different behavioral problems, but we're willing to work with that, because we believe that they deserve a loving home and parents who will teach them right and wrong just as much as any other child.
On another level, aren't we all "damaged?" Who's had a perfect life? Who hasn't had trouble in their lives at some point? Who doesn't have issues to work through at some level? Whether we choose to recognize that or not may be a different story.
However, as someone who is fine with acknowledging that my life's not perfect (it would be very hard to claim that on a blog that has 43 posts about cancer!), I think that puts me in a great place to understand kids who have had a rough time. Life can be hard? I know. Life feels unfair sometimes? I get it. But, here's what I also know, that they may not: God is bigger than life's struggles. Hope in Christ gives you strength for each day, and trusting in Him for salvation can calm your fears.
That's why I want to adopt kids - especially the "damaged" ones. Because they need to know. They need to hear that God loves them, that he can offer them hope when they have none, that they can be a part of His eternal family. Don't they deserve to know that?
I know that Mary probably didn't realize quite how cold she sounded. Her warning was probably very well intended - I guess I just found it a little....shocking. And it got me thinking...now here we are, a blog post later, and I still want to adopt those kids more than ever. True, there will be challenges, but we're trusting in God, and the Bible says that when we do that, we'll "taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."