Friday, July 16, 2010

Question #2 Why did you adopt?

My grandmother taught me the art of carrying on a conversation. She said when you try to engage someone in communication it is important to ask questions. She said to ask who-what-when-where-and how questions, avoiding using the word WHY, which she says tends to put people on the defensive. WHY questions are very hard to answer, my grandma says.

Now isn't that the truth?

However, most people did not have my grandma and therefore 'why' still tends to be one of the most common questions adoptive parents get asked about their reasons for growing their family unconventially.

So this is my attempt to answer the question about WHY we chose adoption, and particularly special needs adoption. There are so many reasons that I guess I will just list them, in no particular order of importance.

Question #2 Why did you adopt?

1. We love kids. We talked about adoption while we were dating, during pre-marriage counseling, and again with a church counselor when we were closer to making our decision. 
2. There are a LOT of kids who will never know the love of a family without the possibility of adoption.
3. There are more people unable or unwilling to raise their own children than there are people able or willing to adopt. Which means millions of children are being raised in orphanages, foster homes and on the streets.
4. Older, minority, and disabled children (and boys in general) have a much harder time finding families.
5. We saw a gift in our children, a heart for people with disabilities.
6. When we tried to imagine ourselves at the end of our lives, asking ourselves if we had any regrets, not going through with our call of adoption was the one regret we would have. I think laying on a hypothetical death bed looking back on one's life is a wonderful way to decide your life's calling. 
7. We have a lot of love to give to a child who has nobody to call their own.
8. Jesus' love  and the Word of God compel us to reach out to the widow, the orphan and the stranger. There are many many references to this in scripture. Adoption is one way to do this but there are many other ways..baking cookies for a lonely neighbor, visiting the elderly at a nursing home, inviting a foreign exchange student for dinner, mowing the grass for a single mom, showing hospitality, sending a kid to camp, etc. etc.
9. Many people wrongly assume adoption is a last resort for infertile couples. Our decision to adopt had nothing to do with fertility. We have 4 biological children and have decided to shut the factory down and open our home to kids without families.
10. We have a great home and property perfect for a lot of kids running around. And our floors are ruined anyway.


Shelly said...

You know your answers to that question were so well put i have tears in my eyes. Me being a single parent i know what it is like to "need the help of a mowed lawn" that's for sure!
I have only know you and John for a short period of time but i will say that you ARE two of the strongest people i know. It takes GREAT people like yourselves to change the world, one child at a time.
I have always wanted to adopt but honestly unless i meet a man that sweeps me off my feet i don't know if it will happen. It is SO hard raising the two boys that i have on my own, and somedays i feel so overwhelmed. I look to your blog everyday for the strength to continue my tiny life compared to yours.
Anyway with all that said, God Bless you and John for being here on this great Earth to DO WHAT YOU DO! And i will close with a question: Why does the "system" charge SO much for a child to be adopted that needs so little? one thing! LOVE

Alana said...

Okay....I laughed so hard at the "our floors are ruined anyway!"

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

Tearing flowing over here!! Very well said, and it also made me really think about how I could do more to give. I may not have the best of everything, my floors are ruined too...but my heart is full of love and I have been so blessed in so many ways....I know I can do more to help those around me.

Jodi said...

Well said! Beautiful in fact.

MoonDog said...

ditto all of that and then some, and I laughed out loud at the floors comment. ours are too, but from the daily use of children and ddogs. miss you! You have a big heart. I understand. I miss you guys!

Gretchen said...

Nicely put. Not many people have asked us why, but I am sure they wonder. Maybe they knew your grandma??

Jennifer said...

I love each and every one of your answers :) Well said!

Kristin Ferguson said...

Great answers Charissa! I had to laugh at the last one since we just had our floors re-done (while we were in Ukraine in fact!). So, now the damage our first 3 had done is "fixed" but I'm looking forward to see what Nadia and any others God calls us to bring in can do to the "new" floors. :)

Anonymous said...

We get a lot of "Why was he given up?" type questions. We've chosen to keep that personal and besides he can be right there when people ask and why would we want that to be a defining thing people think of when he's around? People can be so rude, inadvertantly sometimes, I guess, but still. I think its great you are using the "why" questions to educate others. I'm going to copy and paste your answers to use later. :)

Anonymous said...

ps we also get "What did his parents look like?" I usually say, "You're looking at them! If you mean his BIRTHparents, probably a lot like him". Nosy!

mom2four said...

Of course I love your post (as always) but had to laugh at #10....those wonderful floors of yours have made their way into so many of your posts day you will truly look back and laugh :)

breanna from glimpse said...

gorgeous post!!! thank you for the tip! i get so defensive when asked "why" questions... LOL love LOVE your last sentence. *giggle* what a good spin!

Mary said...

Lol the sentence about the floors was hilarious :-)

Holly said...

Love you girl. "And our floors are ruined anyway" :)
So, I mean, why NOT?! :)
Holly- Purpose Driven Family

Judy Manna said...

Hi Charissa!

I finally got on your blog last night, and it was fun to "meet" Zoya and Joseph through pictures. They are so cute ... I loved that picture of Zoya in the stroller before you had visits with her. That sweet smile as she watched John play with Joseph -- taking joy in another's joy. That was a precious picture! Zoya is a just a smidge on the thin side, isn't she!?! :-) Yet Joseph looks well fed and healthy. Zoya's size probably has a lot to do with her clef palate (sp?). (Although, how do you gain too much weight on borscht and gretchka?) I'm sure you are anxious to get her home, feeling loved, and fattened up a bit!! :-)

We are having Stoddard's over tomorrow (Sunday) -- it will be Luke and Zachary's last day together, as Zach and Suzie fly to the States on Monday.

It was such a joy to meet you on the 4th! I continue to be blown away by you and John and your children -- your love and willingness to take in not just one, but now SEVERAL (three is several)children with special needs. You understand fully that your lives will be changed forever -- that to varying degrees these children will be dependent on you for the rest of their lives -- yet you are willing to take on that responsibility. We stand in awe of that kind of love, John and Charissa. We know from Whom it comes, but still -- you had to act on it. We honor you for fearlessly following God's leading in your lives. You are an example to many of us of what it looks like to walk in trust when God leads -- not trying to figure everything out first. We pray and believe that God will richly bless your family in every sense of that word -- providing for your physical and financial needs.

We are still finishing up Katya's adoption. Mike and Kate are at the police station now, signing more documents to get her new Ukrainian passport and hopefully to get her picture taken for it. Mike has been in different offices, standing in lines every day this week ... documents and more documents. The frustrating part has been when they've stood in line for a couple hours only to discover that the proper person is not there to sign the document. We will be SO relieved to have that Ukrainian passport in our hands ... so Katya and Mike can fly out on August 9. The plane tickets are bought, and Luke is going at that time, too, to start college in Omaha -- Grace University. Mike and Katya will be in the States for 3 weeks to obtain her American citizenship. They will be returning in time for Kate to start school here, and we will get her US passport here in Ukraine. Kinda weird to do things in reverse of everybody else, since Ukraine is our home!!

Katya just called me all excited to tell me that they just got a call from Volkswagen. Kate was invited by a lady from our church (who works with an advertising company) to audition for a Volkswagen commercial. They needed a girl under age 14 who speaks English. Katya just found out that she got the part! How fun! Luke and Sammie will have to take her there on public, because Mike and I will be in France for our missions conference when they shoot the commercial. We don't know yet which country they are making this commercial for ... but it must be for an English speaking audience. Maybe you will see Katya on TV!! She was video taped at the audition saying, "Mom, I need a drink! Dad, can I have some sweets?" ("Sweets..." Maybe it's not for America!! :-)

We will be in France from the 22nd to the 31st, so we will probably miss John and Leisle when they come to pick up the kids. It would have been FUN to have them over and to meet Leisle!

Have a great day, Charissa!

In Christ's love,

Charissa said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. Judy, wow about Katya. Could anyone ever imagined that little orphan girl would one day be making commercials. :) Precious.

zoesimm said...

I have found/followed your blog as my husband & I are in the process of adopting. We did have infertility issues but have had different roadblocks in that my husband is disabled (spinal cord injury/quad).....and everyone assumes that we won't have children & are happy with, no. we were told by every domestic agency that we'd never be chosen by a birthmom so we set our sights outside the country....Haiti and Ethiopia were the only 2 countries that would work with our disability & not require my husband too travel as we hope for a 0-24mos old as our 1st child (then we hope to adopt older children).
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that people from all sorts of adoption situations are following you and your journey :-)
PS...between our 2 dogs and my hubby's wheelchair, my floors are already ruined too

Charissa said...

Please do not let your social worker discourage you from at least trying. I personally know a couple right here in my town that were picked by a birth mother. The daddy is a paraplegic but that didn't stop someone from realizing he would be a wonderful daddy. Thanks for your comment. Please keep me updated on your adoption plans.

Anonymous said...

Love this post. Very well put.