What if we adopt someone who harms or abuses our other children?
None of the other questions in this series cuts my heart like this one. Clearly there are some of you reading this post who have first-hand experience with this issue. I do not.
But for those who do, whether you are right in the middle of a situation or are dealing with the aftermath of a painful episode, I want to pray for you.
Precious and mighty Father, we place our entire trust into your hands. Give great wisdom to the parents who have experienced their adopted child harming or abusing their other children. Meet them where they are right now, in that place of hurt and pain. Bring healing and wholeness in the areas where it’s needed. Bring your presence into the situation. Bring your hope and peace to the entire family. Thank you, that when we throw our hands up in surrender, you catch us and act! We love you and we trust you with our very lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
All four of our adopted children have not harmed or abused any of their siblings. Of course, we adopted all of them while they were very young (except for Haven, whom we got just weeks before she turned eight). I say this because those adopted children who act out hurtfully toward the other kids are usually older than the other children are, though that’s not always the case.
Why do some adopted kids behave this way? Think of it this way. Why don’t MORE adopted kids behave this way, in light of what they endure in orphanages or foster homes? Things like sexual abuse (from fondling to repeated rape), orphan trafficking, drug abuse, severe neglect, emotional rejection, starvation, deprivation of proper shelter and clothing, mind games, institutional incarceration, slavery, battery, and even mutilation and torture.
Not to mention those who experience these things from their own parents before they are institutionalized. For example, in one Eastern European country, only 10% of orphans are institutionalized because their parents are deceased. All the rest suffer from their parents' abandonment, effects of alcoholism, and a wide range of domestic abuse.
In the very least, there is no telling how deep the wounds of a little heart run because they simply have no mommy or daddy.
As such, it is extremely difficult to find data on what percentage of orphans worldwide have suffered some form of abuse compared to those who have not. How can one possibly measure that?
It’s the same as when you fly to a country to adopt, and you find out quickly there’s something wrong here—your new child has a medical or psychological condition that wasn’t on the doctor’s report! Just as it’s next to impossible to gather statistics with these matters, so it is with abuse.
But you know what? Yes, there can be issues. But if you were to become involved in the adoption community through blogs, chat groups, and forums, you will find that in most cases, a child you bring home will not harm or abuse your other children. And this absolutely amazes me.
No person can fathom how far-reaching God’s arms are to these little ones who had no life before someone like you decided you would be their mommy or daddy. That’s why it is so important that more believers answer the call from God to work WITH HIM.
As we surrender our lives to our Lord, THIS is a very tangible way He puts us to work for His kingdom.
Do you hear the call?
Do you have what it takes, which is simply a willing heart?
Will you move headlong toward risk for the sake of His glorious kingdom?