Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What would Jesus do?

Juan and I receive emails about adoption and thinking about adoption from readers.
We feel honored to be able to be used even in just a small way and to let others know, "Hey, we've been there."

Because of the books out there about "birth order" we sometimes are asked how we feel about this. Lots of couples are very scared of what it might do to their family, how it will affect their current kids, and what kind of short- and long-term implications it might have. How did your oldest feel about no longer being the oldest? Maybe afraid that changing the birth order will be taking away from the child somehow in some way. How will this effect the child's emotions, self-worth, and their security.

We have changed the birth order of different kids in our family several times. I think that that change always creates some upheaval, but that is not always a bad thing. We have had Joey the longest and he has changed order several times. He would like to be the oldest boy, sometimes, but he likes having older and younger brothers more.

I think that the benefits really out weigh the negative thoughts of "birth order"
You are NOT taking anything AWAY from your children. Instead, what you are doing is imparting to them something eternal: You are expanding their capacity to love. Think about that for a minute before you read anything else. How do you plan to teach your child to love others unconditionally and in total compassion without giving them the opportunity to do so?

Our children have a greater capacity of love in their hearts than I could ever impart to them by just giving them a safe Christianity, by maintaining their status quo, by simply modeling "godliness" as parents (as if that's the end-all be-all for a Christian family). My kids...all of them...have lived out self-sacrifice and understand (because they live it!) that laying down one's life does not steal anything from us. That is the lie of the devil, who would have us believe that sacrifice is not worth it; that there is nothing for us in return; that God doesn't really mean what He says when He said to His followers that "anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [Because] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 10:38-39).

Do you really believe that? That whoever LOSES his life for Jesus's sake, for Jesus the Orphan's sake, will actually FIND it? Ask yourself honestly. Because you might answer YES prematurely. I have no doubt that you might believe it for yourself, but do you really believe it for your children, too? That if they "lose" their "place" in the family that Jesus will instead impart to them LIFE? REAL life???

Consider the older orphan. Consider the sibling groups. Consider the ones who are not often considered.

And whatever you do on your adoption journey, PLEASE I beg you, do NOT steal from your children the opportunity for their love capacity to be expanded. Do not deny them the true gift of learning early in life that "My life is not my own."

When your first adopted child, who is now the middle child,after being knocked down from oldest to very middle prays for the orphans and asks to adopt again because children are hungry- your heart will beat out of your chest, not just because you can envision another child saved, but because you know that your child will NEVER EVER live a limited, safe Christian life. He won't even know what that means. In fact, he won't even have the capacity do so.

And all because you didn't limit your child. You didn't limit God.

Give your children the gift of the greater capacity to love. Let it ripple out into the future.

Let it change the world.
Blessings, Pamela Dawn


Aus said...

Wow - great post! Ya'll have a pretty good handle on what's going on in your family - and that's what matters! We really searched souls a lot about birth order before being matched with our next - in fact we had found an older boy that we were really thinking / praying / wanting to adopt - and it would have made him middle child overall and oldest in the home...but then he was removed from the process for reasons that went undisclosed. So we really do understand your point - as well as others concerns. Nice work here - really nice work!

hugs - aus and co.

Brenda said...

I have seen your kids, over and over, take care of each other, share everything (remember the boogie boards last summer), play together peacefully, and be considerate of each other They are learning life lessons at an early age. God bless you and Juan for investing in these precious lives.

The Gang's Momma! said...

Whoa. Wow.

We've always wondered about birth order and talked about it with our bio kids recently. They are old enough to articulate their feelings quite well and for now we've remained in agreement with them and respect those feelings. And they really, really have a heart for little ones, should we (when we!) choose to adopt again.

But your points here bring another whole dimension to the conversation. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Definitely thought-provoking.