June 10, 2010

Why Either Or?

This post has been floating around in my head for quite a while. I’ve written it there several times and I am not sure if I will adequately explain how I feel or my reasoning..but here goes.
As we have worked closely with Zambia, Ethiopia, and through our adoption, we have experienced quite a bit of judgment from people.
I have been asked by complete strangers “why not adopt in the US?”. We have been told while working a hot dog stand (a fundraiser for Grassroots) by a lady that she would not buy one because she only supports causes for here.
That is only the start. I have had complete strangers tell that me that if they were ever to adopt they would do so in the US and start giving me statistics. I have had other people do similar things. I usually bite my tongue and try not to respond emotionally.
I honestly do not understand the very snarky attitude that some people (especially strangers) give me out of the blue.
Here is my question…Why do you (whomever you may be) think that it is a either ______ or _____?
We have never said that we only support people or causes internationally. In fact, that is quite contrary to our heart.
Most of the people that we know that are supporting international missions are also very generous with their time and money right where they are locally. Quite a few adoptive friends I know have also adopted domestically and work with social services.
But that’s really beside the point.
People serve and give where God has called them to and where he has placed their heart and passion. I have a friend whose passion is Guatemala. I don’t ask her why not Ethiopia or Zambia or US. God has placed a love in her heart for the Guatemalan people. That’s a huge part of serving—a passion and love for the people and country.
There’s enough judgment in the world. Let’s support each other instead. There is quite enough need to go around.


  1. Totally agree, Charisa. Just explained to a family member that our decision for Africa/Ethiopia and not adopt from US is completely about where we feel God called us to love. Love your heart for Africa.

  2. Word!!
    I'm always amazed at how people make comments like this to me.

  3. Amen! I completely agree. I don't understand why people can't see the whole world, and by that I mean globally and locally, as God's people. There is no distinction.

  4. I had an imaginary conversation in my head the other day, answering that very question. (the way I would have liked to answer, without all the restraint and love I should give). It was great to vent! It went along the lines of:'come talk to me again after you have adopted from SOMEWHERE.'

  5. Charis, I totally agree with you...there is no either/or here. I've been asked this question by total strangers and by family that I'm very close to. For strangers, I turn it back to "That's a very personal question". For close family, I've found that they are often just truly curious and don't have the knowledge hubby and I do based on the TONS of research we did when trying to decide what was best for us and our family. I'm much more tolerant and open with these folks. But either way, you are right that each of us is called to do what we are called to do. Sorry to rant, but I had this thought - Am I a horrible person if I support Breast Cancer research because of how it has touched me and my family, but don't support the American Heart Association even though that has touched many of my friends and extended family? Maybe I'll support both, maybe I can't...what business is it of yours...Again, sorry, very passionate topic :-)

  6. We must be running into the same people!!! I always come back to the verse that really hit me at the beginning of our adoption journey (and I think I still have it on my blog)..."The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and ALL who live in it." Psalm 24:1 I see NO distinction there.

  7. Thanks ladies! I knew you guys would understand! Gail--LOVE your response in your head! If people could read the 'thought bubble' above mine sometimes!!

    Maureen--your comparison of research is so true!!

    It is nice to know that I am not the only one who gets the criticism and feels this way!!

  8. You must have "make rude comments to me" written on you somewhere. I've never had anyone say anything to me/us! I still marvel at how rude people can be. Of course I've probably said my share of rude things without even knowing it. You are doing an excellent work right where the Lord has you! If these people only knew you :) And UGH -the legalism that resounds in a comment like "I only"...ugh. I'll stop now :)

  9. ugh, this issue is more of an issue than most even realize. in fact my husband's mother refuses to accept our daughter from ETh solely for this reason. yeah, for real. so we have lost a grandparent over this STUPID issue which i just cannot wrap my mind around. who CARES where you are helping a child?? they need families whether from next door or around the world-why does it even matter??? rock on with your post sister, loved it!!!

  10. Exactly! I'd be interested to know exactly what these judgmental people are doing to live out Jesus' mission and love other people, since they seem to think they're so informed and know best!

    I have a heart for adoption and hope to adopt from foster care one day--that's where God has placed my passion. To imply that it's more important for domestic children to have a family than international children, or that supporting one is discounting the other, is just ignorant--thanks for addressing this!

  11. Great post. I especially like it when the person making the comment hasn't adopted and doesn't plan to...but for some reason knows fully what I should do with my life.

    I always say...you're so passionate? Start your dossier and shut up.

    Well...I don't usually say the shut up part. At least not out loud.


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