When I was pregnant with the twins, we were taking a walk one day when I mentioned a certain foster child in our South African adoption group. It was some years ago that she posted, I think it was 2015, actually. Someone had asked about adopting older children because social workers discourage us so much.
A sixteen year old girl responded saying she’s in a wheelchair and needs oxygen because of certain health issues she has. She was in a children’s home and did see a few children get adopted. But nobody ever considered her. They only wanted the younger babies and toddlers, and very clearly, not one with additional needs. She begged us as adoptive parents to consider people like her too, stating that they “have feelings too!”😭💔
It broke my heart. If we hadn’t already been adopting our second, I’d have found a way to take her. So, as we walked, we spoke of how yes, we adopted and now the birth moms know their children are safe and loved, but what about older children who themselves want to be safe and loved?
We decided that when our eldest is financially independent, we’d adopt a seventh child. Not a baby this time, but an older child. One who knows they need a family. We wanted to answer the prayer of a child. We even came home and my husband announced our decision to our children. There was excitement all round!
But unless a miracle happens, this past weekend my husband and I decided it can’t happen. He was away last week and my autistics couldn’t handle his absence. I thought of the mental strain I’m already under. I thought of the therapies they all need. I thought of how after we see the neurologist for our youngest, I’ll need to start therapy for HER too. And I know it will be years of therapies for them all. Also, if we as a couple ever want to go away, if our older children are in a different province or country, we’ll need to hire carers for our adult children who won’t be able to care for themselves.
We won’t afford a seventh child. Even with both teens out the house, our financial responsibilities won’t disappear EVER for our two. Maybe three.
As I said this to my husband, with great regret, he said he too can’t adopt. But his reason is also this… He already knows he’s going to work as long as possible became we need to care for our children for the rest of our lives, but also, he is scared. Scared to take another child because that child too might have special needs. Basically, he’s traumatised. Lightning DOES strike twice.
And so, unless a huge miracle happens, we’ve let go of our seventh child. And my heart is sore. Because those children need parents. Last I knew, there were 500 000 adoptable children in our country. And the most recent yearly stats show only 459 adoptions. This is awful. What happens to all of them when they age out the system? No money. No training for jobs most of the time. No family to live with. How many criminals are criminals because they have nowhere to go? No social housing. No welfare system providing financial support like in the States or in the UK.
As I used to see many Christians in America asking, “Why aren’t so-called Christians adopting?” They know God loves the downtrodden the most. Why aren’t THEY loving them too? They know God has a blessing for those who love, feed, clothe the naked and hungry. Why aren’t more doing that for the most innocent? And as Seventh-Day Adventists specifically, our founder writes VERY clearly that the childless should adopt. But they aren’t. And it’s hard for me as an adoptive mom who wasn’t childless to keep listening when someone talks about trying to conceive for eight years but never mentions adopting. I understand it. I lived it. BUT I also put parenting above pregnancy. As you know, I was ready to adopt both times I needed fertility treatment to conceive. The first time, we were in the wrong countries. Second time, my husband wanted to try a few more times before adopting.
It’s always been on my table. And for SDA not to have it on theirs yet call themselves SDA is as weird as Jehovah Witness young men who don’t want to witness.
It doesn’t work. Then go join a church that doesn’t have witnessing as a goal. Go join a church that doesn’t have the writings of Ellen White as it’s undergirding.
The children need us. We’ve given our hearts. Now it’s your turn!
I’ll mention here how I’m tired of people telling me they ‘want to adopt.’ They ‘plan to adopt one day.’ Years pass, but they don’t. I am super proud of an SDA single girl who HAS. She’s not one of those “I’m so holy! I eat right, I dress right, I’m better than the rest of the SDA members” type people. People who never teach all truth, truth that includes adoption because they’re too busy teaching how messed up the OTHER church members are. She is nuts. Totally lives her life with her own rules. But she has a golden heart. And she has adopted. I respect her more than all those people who dress modestly like me but look down on people like her with their crazy weaves and painted nails. We’re ALL in need of transformation.
Beam vs mote.