Truth be told, I used to have a “mommy blog”.
Some might have called it an “adoption blog”.
I probably would just say it was “my blog”, because it was just me sharing my heart – and it so happened that I was an adoptive mommy.
In early February, 2009 I wrote a blog post about spiritual warfare in adoption. So many changes and struggles with some popular international adoption programs. Corruption. Lack of honesty and integrity. Painfully slow processing of immigration paperwork. My heart was super heavy…
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12
It is very near to my heart – not only because we have adopted three children, but because I, myself, have been adopted by a heavenly Father that chose me before “the creation of the world”.
It is my opinion that adoption is not for the faint of heart. It is a process that will rattle your nerves, challenge your sense of normalcy and stretch you quite a bit further than is comfortable. That said, it sure seems to me that international adoption just keeps getting harder and harder. When I think of the hoops we had to jump through to prove to all the governmental powers that be that we were fit to parent… well, it makes my blood pressure rise!
I just caught up on a China adoption forum for special needs children that I was glued to while we waited three times. My heart sank as I read story after story of families sending LOI (Letter of Intent) to adopt children last summer and fall that will be waiting many more months to travel and complete the adoption. Truthfully – it means that the child is waiting many more months for a family.
But, then – I thought of the verse above – from Ephesians.
We are not struggling against people or governments (although it certainly feels like it sometimes).
We battle a very real enemy.
He hates us.
He hates these waiting children.
He hates families.
He hates God’s heart for orphans.
It sure does seem that international adoption is hard. But when you remember that we are in a war against a very real enemy – for the hearts and minds of “the least of these” – difficulty shouldn’t surprise us. So – if we are going to war – don’t we want to win? Don’t we want to be victorious?!
That passage from Ephesians goes on to read:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
So – as an encouragement to all my friends that are somewhere in the process of adoption – whether from China or Ethiopia or Liberia… Remember…
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11
I am praying for you. One step at a time.
Unfortunately, I can’t say things have gotten better.
In fact, they seem to be getting worse…
Country programs are FILLED with corruption (just a FEW examples here, here and here). Agencies have hidden the corruption – even so called “Christian” adoption agencies are not above reproach.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
“Religion that is pure and undefiled”. That is where we see God; where we commune and have intimate relationship with him. It puts skin on everything we say we believe. To give without expectation of anything in return? That is religion. To do that and “keep oneself unstained from the world”? That is apparently more difficult.
The world stains us every time we take our eyes off the One who has called us and focus on ourselves and our own story – our own distress or affliction.
Pure and undefiled religion? It’s about God being glorified. It’s His story. It’s His heart. It’s His desire that we make much of Him and that He is glorified and worshipped among the Nations. We don’t do that very well when we are making much of ourselves…