Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In for a Penny, In for a Pound

When my wife and I are talking with someone and it comes up that we are adopting, there is often a little surprise since we already have four kids. The second surprise comes when they ask, "Are you adopting a boy or a girl?" and we say, "Both!" It is OK with us that they are surprised because just a year ago the answer of "Both!" would have surprised us as well.

You see, when we started the process of adopting from Africa, we agreed to adopt one infant. But then one thing led to another. We started reading more about what is going on in Africa and we learned that 90% of all orphans in Africa are six years old or older. While we are thrilled when people decide to adopt infants, we kept asking ourselves if we should wait for an infant to come available when so many older kids are waiting for a family to come available.

Since we were already in for a penny, we decided to go in for a pound and adopt an older waiting child.

Well, our agency promptly sent us pages and pages of waiting children from which to choose. These children were bright eyed, beautiful, full of potential, and more importantly, made in the image of God. For all of the potential bound up in their faces as they gazed into the camera, that potential seemed to hinge on whether or not they would find a family to love and care for them . . .

Since we were already in for a pound, we decided to go in for two pounds and adopt two children.

And so our story is similar to so many other stories we hear. Once you begin to open up the door of your heart to children in need, you get drawn in. Not pushed in, but drawn in. You find yourself captivated by the children and at a point where you can do nothing else and desire nothing else but to cast your lot with these children.

And so when we found out about a third child that had connections with the two we were adopting, we decided that since we were in for a two pounds, we were in for three pounds and pursued the third child as well. Unfortunately, it did not work out at this time.

So is our family complete at two additional children or are there more children still to come? We have no idea but we take comfort in the fact that there is an upper limit. There are, after all, only so many orphans in the world . . .

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