He does not require us to gain the approval of others as we walk. In fact, He pretty much guarantees us that we will not be popular!
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me."
What, may you ask, in a letter could cause you me to shut down my blog? Just to enlighten you a bit, I will list a few key points that the anonymous writer had to say.
1. There really are not enough orphans in the world to meet "Western demand." It's a sham. You know, like the Holocaust.
2. If I really care so much about orphans, I could use the money to sponsor a child in Africa. (you mean those orphans that don't exist?)
3. I am ruining my life, and the lives of my children by adopting. It is hard for kids to adjust "to even a natural baby." You know, as opposed to the unnatural babies we will be adopting?
4. I am making a foolish mistake in my career choices. Switching from RN to PTA. Um, ok. Yes, because how lame to possibly make a bit less money helping disabled children to learn to walk, and use their bodies to the best of their abilities. To help them become self sufficient and independent as possible.
5. I am "CRAZY, but salvageable." Yes, I can still change my mind and not adopt. Hey, it would make my good friend "anonymous" feel much better if I just said, "Nah. Never mind all of that adoption stuff! Look how much money I can save if I just have me another one of those "natural babies!"
6. My expressed love for children that I do not yet have the pleasure and privilege to know is "Scary, and feels a bit like a cult."
Yes, all of those quotes are direct quotes from the letter.
Ok, friends. Let's take a moment to gather our composure. Breathe... If you are like me, this trash has your heart pounding, your hands shaking, and mind racing as to WHO THE HECK is this insane, shallow, and just plain MEAN?
What hurts the most is that I am certain I know who wrote it and it was a family member.
Enter GRACE. A few days after receiving this letter, I was off to a ladies retreat with my sweet friend Erica (who is in China RIGHT NOW getting to know her precious baby girl!!!). Let's just say that God showed up, right when I needed him. I was so overwhelmed by His love and the love of so many precious people that I came away feeling refreshed, forgiven, and able to forgive. A few highlights of the retreat: Speaking with A, a beautiful, strong and loving woman that was adopted as a baby. She assured me and eased some of my fears. A missionary that works in Africa. Her talk was about PERSEVERANCE. I know, right? I should add that the theme of this retreat is NOT adoption on any level. These we just "coincidences." ;) I also happen to have been in the same group as a woman that gave her son up as young woman. She had been raped and adoption was the best she could do for her baby. She thinks about him and prays for him always. I got to tell her how much REAL, GENUINE, LOVE we adopting mothers have for our children, even before we have met them! I assured her that the adoptive parent of her son likely loved him to pieces. This seemed to bring her comfort. GRACE.
So when I returned home, I truly did not have the anger in my heart that I had been carrying. It was replaced with pity. I feel sorry for the person that is so confused by all of this. They cannot possibly know peace, or the love of Christ and this saddens me for them. I have a new person to pray for. I forgive them and I feel sorry for them, and that's it. If anything, the letter gave me a new reason to be thankful for the grace that I have received and for my ability, through Christ, to give that grace when needed. It did not, as the writer intended, even make me think twice about our decision to adopt. If anything, it made me even more determined. This person is watching, and by the time our babies are home, they will have witnessed miracles. I hope they are able to see them and their heart is changed. I also hope they seek some therapy because, dang...
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:7-11