In our country, the natural progression of life is graduate from high school, go to college, get married, have 1-3 kids, focus on your career while raising your kids, retire, and travel the world until life ends. That's just life, and in this culture we don't really question that life. It is "normal"...what we see around us all of the time. This is Plan A in the US.
What if you don't go to college? People judge you.
What if you don't get married until you're in your 30's? People question you.
What if you don't have kids within 3 years of getting married? People have opinions about it.
What if you have 4-10 kids? People definitely have opinions about it!
In the US, Plan A means having biological kids and then maybe adopting later. That was exactly how Ryan and I felt about adoption before beginning this journey. We always thought about it and knew there was a strong chance we would adopt "someday," but it was always after having biological kids. Notice I'm not saying our "own" or "real" kids. Kids who are adopted are those parents "own" or "real" kids, too. We decided long ago that we hoped to get pregnant twice and then maybe adopt. It was an "option" but not a necessity. It would be "neat" to adopt, but if we never did, that would be ok, too. I am ashamed to admit those thoughts, but it is true.
My, my how things change in a 8 months...
By the majority of people in our country, adoption is seen as Plan B. Obviously I'm not judging anyone for feeling that way because before this enlightening, I felt the same way. This is the message of our culture! Adoption is something you do after having biological kids or only if you struggle with infertility. So sad. Why is this the overwhelming belief in our culture? The majority of people in the US are educated, middle class folks with decent homes and jobs. How did the idea that adoption is Plan B come to exist? Christianity is the most prevelent religion in the US. I just learned that 78.4% of adults claim to be Christians, and why are Christians buying into the idea that adoption is Plan B?
I was one of those people. For years I was, but not anymore...
I have struggled with my own guilt since learning about the state of orphans in this world. How could I have ever considered them as Plan B? I am a mother, and I work with children who have special needs. God gave me a heart to LOVE children. How did I turn a blind eye to the fact that are 153 million orphans in this world? How did I get so caught up in the American Dream that I turned away from loving "the least of these?"
God also has a Plan A, and His plan was ADOPTION: http://vimeo.com/48047907 (Watch this)
There is a really awesome movement happening in our country right now, and I am seeing it progress day-by-day and minute-by-minute. There are amazing families out there with HUGE hearts, and they want to live out exactly what God did for them. They want to take a child who lives in an orphanage, an instituion where there may or may not be food, clean water, medical care, heat - let alone opportunities for love, education, and development - and bring that child home to love, nurture, and protect forever. There are more and more couples who see adoption as Plan A, adopting before they try to have biological children or adopting instead of having biological children. Yes, people in our culture judge them and have strong opinions because they are going against the grain, but I am totally inspired!
I am so thankful that God intervened in my life and asked me to take this journey. I finally feel like I'm living with a purpose and not just going through the motions of what our culture says life should be. We live once...only once. What are we going to do with this amazing opportunity we have?