I recently read a new book written by Jeff Gammage of the Philadelphia Inquirer about adoption called China Ghosts. It’s about the journey that Jeff and his wife undertook to adopt a child from China. While I don’t agree with everything in the book, it’s an excellent personal account of a family’s journey towards adoption. Jeff is an excellent writer that captures his feelings on becoming a father. It spurred some good conversations in our house about the issues we will face as adoptive parents. It also made us think about why we are adopting.
Jeff agonizes throughout the book over why his daughter was given up for adoption. He mentions that he often feels that he is benefiting at the expense of another when adopting. It seems to him that the birth parents lost their child, his daughter lost her country, and he gained a child. So he lives with a mixture of powerful grief and joy. The book is in many ways a chronicle of this journey of grief.
For us, the answer to these questions is to trust God Himself. For God is not an impersonal force in our lives; rather He knows every one of our steps. We trust that God has chosen the child we will adopt. We trust that He can use the difficult circumstances of the birth parents for a greater good. We trust that He will give us the patience to be good parents. For us this is the only way we could adopt.
I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this, particularly from those who have already adopted.