Monday, June 20, 2011

Reader Thoughts Wanted: Calm or Crazy?

I recently had similar conversations with two friends, both adoptive mothers. Drumroll.....

Are we to live the life we want, which for me and for many people, is a calm, happy, predictable life with two point five kids, a house full of goodies (food, electronics, etc.), beach vacations, and two fabulous cars in the driveway? Or, are we to live life to the max, even if that means adopting many children, some of whom will likely have special needs, having less money for the fun stuff (like a nicer wardrobe, eating dinner out a few times a week, fancy cars, a lovely home, etc.)?

I don't believe God wants us to live an easy life. I don't mean to imply that he wishes for us to be unhappy. God is the ultimate example of love and peace. However, all Biblical characters faced many trials in their lives including facing some pretty fierce deaths. Yet, they seemed to have inward peace and joy. Mary "pondered" many things in her heart, yet she gave birth to a child who would face an excruciating death, a child who would spend His life as an outcast. He would be misunderstood, abused, gossiped about, and ultimately, murdered.

I am embarassed to admit that sometimes I get really caught up in the little things in life. I get pretty pissy when things don't go as I planned. Even little things. I act so childish at times---impatient, easily angered, moody. (I try to always blame it on my blood sugar swings, but I know it's not always true). So, with my two children, my lovely home, our lack of debt, our rather comfy life full of organic groceries and beach vacations, there is one thing that REALLY doesn't fit into my pretty, perfect life plans: a lot of kids.I know I talk about this a lot, but my heart ACHES for the kids in foster care. The kids who want the bare minimum (it seems to me in my middle-class life): a family to love them and provide them with the basics---food, shelter, an education, health care.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

We can provide a child all that and more. We have SO much. We are, even though we don't always feel like it, incredibly wealthy in many areas of life.

I can't imagine my girls without the basics in life. Can you picture your children floating from place to place---sometimes places where there is atrocious abuse, neglect, lack of running water, no electricity? Where going to school isn't enforced? Where dirty clothes are acceptable? Where food might be spoiled or non-existant? Where a bout of RSV isn't treated?

I shudder at the thought.

The other day I saw a YOU TUBE video that said 100,000+ kids are free for adoption in the United States. This is a must see video.

I feel strongly that Christians need to do so much more than push anti-abortion/pro-life messages and start doing something to help the kids in the system. There are many options. Become a birthday buddy for a child in foster care, become a child's advocate or mentor, donate unused household items and clothing to an organization that helps kids in foster care, or....

become a foster parent or adoptive foster parent.


God doesn't do things in a little way. God does big things, significant things, life-altering things.

And shouldn't we follow that example?

So, readers: What's your thoughts on the idea of "calm or crazy" and/or "go big or go home"?


After typing this post, I found this article which is very well-written. It talks about the Christian's duty to take care of orphans in foster care. GULP.


  1. If you stay at home and do not have to pay for child care, foster children really don't cost money. They are on medicaid, so their medical is covered. If they are infants, they qualify for WIC, so that covers the cost of expensive formula. Also, the state gives an "allowance" per day per child in foster care payable directly to the foster parents. This allowance is usually based on the level of care the child requires. I am not sure about IL, but in TX, for a "basic" level of care foster child, that equates to about $500 a month.

  2. So I guess what I meant to say was, maybe its not a question of crazy or calm....maybe sometimes God lets us have our cake and eat it too :-)

  3. Oh, good stuff, Rachel! I'm Gwen, from the Goshen Market. I love your thoughts! I would love to sit down and get to know you better! Let's do lunch soon! Also, I wrote a blog about adoption a couple months ago. If you have time or if you want to, check it out at

  4. Hey - I started reading your blog a little while ago, after Heather featured it on hers.

    I'm very very skeptical of anyone pushing a religious mandate to adopt. I read the article, and I get what he's saying, which basically boils down to Christians need to stop trying to prevent gay people from offering loving homes to children if they are not willing to offer children loving homes.

    My personal bias, and I'm a Christian, is that regardless of whether or not you have adopted/will adopt it is pretty hateful to attempt to prevent another person or persons from providing a loving home to a child who needs it.

    That being said, I don't think that simply being a Christ follower means a vocational call to foster parenting or adoptive parenting. It's not for everyone. And when people do it for the wrong reasons we all suffer, but especially the kids.

  5. Breathe deeply & live it to the max!


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