Adoption – Is It Worth It?

I’ve often wondered and been asked many times why international
adoptions take so long, and are so complex. The question behind that of
course is, “Is it really worth it?†“It sounds very risky?â€

We have been in the process of an international adoption for
almost one year. We expect to be in process for at least one more. During that time, we have had both highs & lows. We have experienced
exhilaration, disappointment, confusion, and frustration along the way. I
can begin to explain why adoptions take so long. I could talk about
infrastructure in a third world country, government bureaucracy, child
trafficking protections, and yes, even possible corruption. That would
not be a good use of time, because I can’t affect any of those issues.

I would like to answer the questions behind the question and
tell you about unspeakable joy & adventure in the journey itself.

Despite all the red tape, delays, hassles, costs, mosquito
bites, and setbacks, it is indeed worth it! Belle & I just returned
from our second trip to Haiti and had this very conversation.  We wouldn’t
trade a second of this journey. It has been a profound, life altering
decision and journey. We don’t know what tomorrow holds and that is just
fine. Here are just a few reasons that adoption is a worth it, and you
can’t put a price tag on it.

  • Building a love & concern in our family for the
    marginalized.
  • Watching my children cultivate a missional & servant
    mindset.
  • Experiencing Jesus in deeper & more powerful ways.
  • Being exposed to third world poverty and brokenness.
  • Seeing our local church grow in concern for orphan care.
  • Having an opportunity to love on orphans in practical ways.
  • Meeting incredible people.
  • Seeing the body of Christ in action in diverse ways.
  • Watching miracles & seeing prayers answered.
  • Observing a girl set free from modern day slavery.
  • Watching my wife meet our daughter for the first time.
  • Seeing our extended family support and grow in excitement for
    us.

Then there is Monday night 11/19/2012 at 11pm. I look down
and see my new daughter fast asleep beside me on a single bed in Port au Prince. I watch her, study her, and place my hand on her back to feel her
breathe. I am extra careful to make sure I don’t inadvertently roll over
on her. I’m not sleeping. This is almost too much for me to take
in. The events and red tape that have gotten us to this point suddenly no
longer exist. Do you understand the miracle that has taken place? I’m laying next to my daughter at this point, not an orphan.  We have been
given the ‘experience’ of adoption. This is something Paul talks about in
Galatians, where we receive a very deep knowing (feeling) of our adoption
through Christ. On human terms, as I lay beside our sleeping girl, I’m
realizing this is taking place. I’m loving her with fatherly love, which
is distinct, unique, jealous, and powerful! I’m also noticing that she
doesn’t look like me in any way, and that doesn’t matter in the
slightest.   I’m watching this all happen in the course of 48 hours,
and appreciating the fact that after our embassy appointment, we will leave her
behind for another long period of time.  It could be easy to become
saddened over this. I am not sad. I am appreciating the journey and
the joy God provides when we get engaged in the sort of activities for which we
were designed. 

I don’t know exactly how this story ends. There are
going to be more disappointments.  There are going to be difficult
days. It’s also going to be okay, because God is in control and in the
end He wins. We are learning that when we take risks like this, God will
indeed provide the strength for the task just at the right time. Anyone
who knows me understands that I am a sinful person prone to selfish
tendencies. I’ve met some personal heroes on this trip that leave me
lacking much. Somehow in God’s mercy He has placed me in the Son, and
that gives us the power & strength to do anything. What is even more
stunning is that God tells us that it is He Himself working, not us. There is no room for boasting here. This is God’s doing, God’s work,
& God’s goodness. We just happen to have been given a front row seat!

Anthony Schultz – Haiti Adoptive Family

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