Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Must I Be Perfect Before I Adopt?

The other day, I got a heartfelt comment from a woman who opened her heart on paper to me.  Beth, as I’ll call her, was a reluctant wife.  But now, God has moved on her to start with an adoption! 

But listen to what held Beth back.  She was not reluctant because she looked inwardly and couldn’t reconcile how she was going to fit this child around her world.  She was concerned that she wouldn’t be a good enough mother for an orphan; that with flaws and all, she couldn’t understand why God would choose her to be a fatherless child’s mother.

But through this journey, here’s what God has done in her heart.  She's referring to a post I did here entitled "Father's Day Special: Confessions of An Imperfect Dad"...

“Thank you for your honesty. It has helped me to see that it's not the perfect June Cleaver mother an orphan needs. It's a loving, nurturing family that puts God first in everything. A home where "I'm sorry's" and hugs are given freely. Where prayer is the first answer to everything and love is unconditional and modeled after Jesus' example.”

Friends, I cannot tell you what a letter like this does to my heart.  Imagine what it does to our heavenly Father’s heart!

You see, her shortcomings were not criminal.  They were basic.  They are things you and I deal with on a daily basis.  They are things that bring us face to face with our humanity in a fallen world.

How, God?  How can you use ME???

Or better yet, Why?

I certainly do not have all the answers.  (And by the way, God likes it that way. J)  But this I do know: A child who lives in relative obscurity (and this is a nice way of wording their “forgotten-ness”), a child who possibly lives with neglect and abuse every day of their life, a child who may even live in a decent orphanage, STILL has no one they can call Mommy or Daddy.

There is literally no one who tucks them into bed at night, prays over them, kisses them on their cheeks, and tells them they love them.  There is no emotional protector—someone who picks them up their arms when they’re crying because they’re hurt and whispers to them, “Don’t worry, my love.  It will be all better, because there’s a God who will always be here for you, and as long as I’m on Earth, I will always be here for you!”

An orphan does not need a perfect mom or dad.  They simply need a mom or dad. 

We can be so caught up in the day-to-day minutia of life.  One day melts into another until weeks, months and years pass, and we ask ourselves, “Where has the time gone?”

But each and every day counts to a child who does not have what God created them to have—a family.  God is all about family.  He gave Eve to Adam, then children, as a model of what the heavenly Family is all about. 

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  That’s a family.  It’s not this—God Unit Number One, God Unit Number Two, and God Unit Number Three.  Nor is it God the CEO, God the President, and God the Senior Vice-President.

God is passionate about marriage and children being in homes.  He’s even passionate about widows being taken care of.  Why?  Because He knows the innate need of every human being, whether they admit it or not, to belong in a family.

And this is what clicked in our friend Beth.  And this is what is clicking right now in many of you who are reading this post.  Adoption is not about fitting another mouth into our world.  It’s not about being the perfect parent.  It’s about getting in a car or on a plane to present yourself to a young child to say, “I’m here and I’m your new family.”

God bless all the Beths out there.  And God bless you!


  1. Blessed to be a part of a network of Christians like you who are doing God's work tirelessly. Thank you for helping this Beth to open her heart.

  2. Bless ya bro - and Bless you Beth!! I'm a Franciscan - spent 7 years in the Franciscan Seminary - until I finally realized that I was 'hiding' there. Learned a lot about myself in that time....but finally 'got the word' that I was called elsewhere, but I digress...

    Francis of Assisi always spoke of "Perfect Joy" - and as near as I think you can find that in this world is when you encounter the love of a child, untarnished by the "what's in it for me" that accompanies 'love' in a lot of adult relationships. And while that Perfect Joy is experienced by the parent - it's something the child DESERVES!

    And when a parent provides that for a child - they are nearest to God.

    Naw - we don't have to be perfect - we just have to decide to love...the rest takes care of itself!


  3. The devil will use any tactic he can to stop adoptions from happening. Even perfectionism.
    Ugh, so sad. Praise God she didn't listen to the lies for long! God will be glorified!

  4. Wonderful post! We almost fell into this trap. I'm a mother of 3 young children, and we're nearing the end of our adoption process to bring home a 5-year-old boy from Ukraine. Just before our dossier was sent over, the Lord was laying it upon our hearts to add a 5-year-old little girl to our adoption, one who was in the same group as our soon-to-be son.

    We prayed about it for a while, but what held us back was the thinking that I just couldn't handle that many small children. I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, and I most certainly don't have it all together, and at the end of each day, I'm tired and frazzled.

    Finally, God brought us to the point where we realized that no, of course I can't do it... but that He will provide all that I need to mother all the children He gives us - even if there are five of them five-years-old and younger. When we stopped looking at the lie that we couldn't afford to, either financially, or emotionally, all that was left was the question, "God do you want us to bring her home?" And the answer was the same as it always had been - "of course I do!"

    Our dossier was submitted last week, and now we're waiting out the closure to get our travel date to go get our children. Ready or not!

  5. Nope, don't have to be perfect, just well off. My biggest obstacle to adoption....

    But you are inspiring... I wish...

  6. God does not expect us to come to Him perfectly equipped for His purpose, only perfectly willing.

    Anonyous, I understand your thought process. Believe me I do! But God.........When we started our adoption we had scraped together 5,000. We didn't have any idea how we would ever come up with 25,000 to do this. In the middle of the process, we decided to add another little girl that God called us to. Raising the amount needed to around 46,000.........EVERY DIME we have needed, has come through at just the right time! Anonymous donations .....grants..fundraisers....benefit suppers. A little at a time. Trust me, we are NOT well off! But God is! Make the jump........he'll be there.


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