What is my perspective, as a dad, on adoption? Since perspective is defined as an attitude towards or way of regarding something… I think discussing both of those words may prove the most beneficial.
Before jumping in, I am not sure I am qualified to write on this topic or that you would find anything I say as a value add. I am simply a dad, who is a sinner, that messes up this parenting thing every single day.
But I am also a dad, who is thankful for His grace and second chances.
What is my attitude towards adoption? The short answer – it is required to happen. The long answer is, the war must be won.
To rewind the clock a bit, adoption popped on my radar in my early twenties. It was not because I was some saint or do-gooder, heck – it had nothing to do with even caring about kids. You see I didn’t want children. My adoption plan was, adopt a 16/17 year old when I was in my sixties and give away all of my money/possessions to him. That is what adoption is, right? It is us, those who have been blessed with parents, healthcare, possessions, etc., and we give to those who are not as fortunate.
Looking back now, could I have been more egotistical?
Then I met my bride. The one woman, created by God, that would change my life forever. She too wanted to adopt, but for all of the reasons that, as I would later learn, are the right ones.
So, in 2014, Sam White made us parents to a fourth child.
I knew, the moment I was standing in the orphanage in Zhengzhou, that God had just pricked my heart. He opened my eyes.
He made me see His children….
Since Sam, we have adopted four more children: Chris, Leeya, Molly and Nataley.
What is my attitude towards adoption, as a dad? The war must be worn. What war? The war that says these children are not wanted, that they are not worthy, that it is someone else’s problem, that… and the list goes on and on.
You see, this dad thinks that they are worthy. They are worthy of a dad’s love, time, teaching, patience, support, encouragement and even our tears. That’s right, they are even worth our hearts being broken into a million pieces. To fully and unconditionally love a child, who was not born of our blood, you have to let go of pride, ego, your emotional barrier wall, everything. It has to become, all of Him and none of you (Romans 12).
On January 22, 2016, this dad’s heart was broken into those million pieces. Leeya, our heart warrior, went into cardiac arrest and nothing could be done to prevent her from beating us to Heaven. I was crushed, enraged, broken….
But I had Hope. She gave me Hope. God and Jesus gave me Hope.
And in that moment, standing beside her tiny, now lifeless body in the ER; I made three commitments:
1. She was worthy.
2. I would try to tell the world her story.
3. I will fight for these kids. With every fiber of my body, penny in my bank account (and others – fundraising rocks) and breath in my lungs.
I choose to be a dad, failing often, that advocates for the child who doesn’t have an earthly father and mother. And I choose to hold on to hope. Hope that God’s plan wins and the victory will be His. Hope that our Leeya is now complete and with Jesus. And hope that, one day, no child in the world will wake up without a mom and dad of their own.
So dads, let the world hear you! I have met so many of you that inspire me, motivate me, encourage me, teach me, hold me accountable – I am humbled and honored to be counted among you. You are literally the definition of His hands and feet on this earth.
– guest post by Jon