This is something I don't know the answer to. How do you tell friends, family, and acquaintances that you plan to adopt? We've already told close family and friends. We've asked their opinions and genuinely care what they think. Do they think we're crazy? (Some certainly do!) Do they think this is bad timing? Do they think we're foolish? I'm sure the answer to all of these varies according to who we ask. So far though, the overwhelming majority has been supportive. "Oh, wow!", "That's awesome", and "I'm so excited" have all been said. I'm also sure that there have been thoughts that friends and family don't want to say because they're afraid of confrontation or of hurting our feelings.
I realize though that if we were "trying" to get pregnant we wouldn't be having these conversations with friends and family. We wouldn't be asking them if they think we're ready or if we're crazy. (By the way, we already know we're crazy.) When it comes to the marriage bed it's not really anyone else's business. But for some reason with adoption it seems like people should know.
I recently had this conversation with a friend that is expecting. I told her I thought it was easier to announce pregnancy than intentions to adopt. I told her it felt weird to bring it up, to tell people that we want more kids when we already have five. She disagreed. She said that when you announce a pregnancy, especially if you already have a larger than average sized family, people generally respond with, "don't you know what causes that?" or something of that sort. On the other hand, she pointed out, if you tell people you're planning to adopt their response is, "that's so sweet!" I see her point.
The answer to the question of prevention of course is "yes", we all know what causes that. The assumption though from both Believers and unbelievers is that surely you would have prevented pregnancy if you had known how. It's as if even a pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned is a problem or a condition. It's not though. God says that children are a blessing. That should be enough, shouldn't it?
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD.
So now we have brought this up with close friends and family. We've decided to move forward but we're still on hold. Now what? When do we tell our general church population (that we're very close to compared to many congregations?) When do we make it "facebook official"? I don't think it's now, but when is it? Is it when we start the PRIDE training class? Is it when we complete it and start our homestudy? Or do we wait until we are licensed? Or wait even longer until we get a placement and just spring it on everyone?
Again, I don't know the answer. For now though we wait a little longer. We talk to a few more friends here and there. We talk to our kids.
Here's what I do know though. In the small amount of time we've been talking about this outside of our home we've had many friends tell us they are interested in our journey. They want to watch us and learn from us. They want to see what it's like because they too are interested in adoption...someday. If/when we adopt it will not only change our lives, the lives of our current children, and the lives of the children we adopt. It will change our extended families. It will change our church family. It will change our friends. It will certainly change our grandchildren, and many many generations to come. Bringing in one lost sheep will change the world.
Even when we had our first child and friends asked why we wanted kids so soon or why we wanted so many we always answered that our goal was to evangelize, one little Christian at a time. If the birth of one child into a family can change the world, how much more so the adoption of a child into a believing family?
God saved us. He ADOPTED us. We are no longer Gentiles. We are His sons and daughters.
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons
through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
Andrew and I were just talking after I read him this post. He pointed out that through adoption we are actually evangelizing even more effectively. When we give birth to a child we are adding one to our "team", but when we adopt we are not only adding one to our team but we are taking one away from the enemy.