For one reason or another, the topic of foster care, orphanages, and adoption has come to my attention several times recently.
First, awhile back, there was this article on the Conversion Diary about how Jennifer went from pro-choice to completely pro-life. It is long, but excellent reading!
Then there was Mary's article at Owlhaven about the gradual development of her and her husband's desire to adopt.
This was followed very shortly by her post about how they afforded the adoptions of six children from foreign countries.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Jennifer published a superb blog post about her and her husband's burgeoning interest in foster care, in spite of the fact that her oldest is four and her fourth was born in March of this year. Coming from someone who had once been in the position of not planning to have any children at all, this is clearly a glorious, grace-filled progression!
This past Monday, Jennifer posted a question-and-answer session with the parents of a severely handicapped child, addressing the issue of whether or not it is a mercy to deny them life as pro-choice proponents claim. Interesting reading.
On Wednesday, she issued a very thought-provoking and eye-opening post, even for a "cradle Catholic" like myself, with the excellent (and, I think, very accurate) observation that Christians are open to life in a way that atheists and agnostics are not. They are willing to surrender control of their lives to God and demonstrate this in a willingness to accept the less-than-perfect aspects of human life.
Finally, yesterday, I received a couple of e-mails about two guys from the west coast who have set out to bicycle around the world as a fund-raiser for an orphanage in India! They have a website set up - The Orphan Ride - where you can follow their progress and make a pledge to donate. (Their application for non-profit status has been submitted and is pending.)
These two brothers - 21 and 29 years old - have worked for two years to save the money to cover all of their own expenses! That means that every single penny donated will go to the support of an Indian orphanage - 100% of the proceeds! Wow!
To read more on their gutsy undertaking, you can go to their website or read this article.
Rumor has it that they'll be traveling through our town this weekend!
I'm not sure why there has been such a convergence of articles on the subject of adoption and life lately, but it has definitely gotten my attention and I've been doing some thinking about it.
It seems to me that a course like adoption should not be entered upon lightly, with too little consideration. And it's clear to me that there are an almost infinite number of circumstances that play into such a decision... and every family works with a unique combination of circumstances, which influence their decisions. It is also seems to me that it really needs to be God's Will that one adopt, if it is going to go as smoothly as possible (with the financial requirements, with the timing, and with the transition and integration for all persons involved). Above all, there needs to be plenty of God's grace and a lot of generosity, understanding, and selflessness (as well as an accurate grasp on the possible speed bumps inherent to the process) on the part of the prospective parents!
If any of you out there are considering adoption, you have my heartfelt support and admiration. God bless you!