Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quiverful, Adoption, Judgment, Etc.

Stacy McDonald wrote a great post recently regarding how we view children: blessing or burden. This brought on, of course, by the Duggars' recent pregnancy announcement.
One commenter had this to say:

I think when I heard about the Duggars addition I was a little uncomfortable.
Not because I think that many children are not a blessing, but because I feel so
strongly that there are SO many children out there who are neglected, abused,
and suffering from poverty that could be freed from it all if adopted. My
husband and I are expecting our first child in about a month and are thrilled.
But we plan to have two of our own and then adopt from there, because we feel
God calls us to care for the orphan, the widow, the ostracized and outcast. I
have to admit it's hard for me not to judge a family who continues to have
children when there are so many children who are in such desperate need of a
loving home right here right now.

I have battled with this question myself. Why don't the Duggars adopt? But why is it so easy to judge the Duggars for not adopting? Do we judge families with three kids who never adopt?


Faith said...

The thing is, Ginger, is that God does not call everyone to adopt a child. He DOES call us all to care for the orphans(and widows) but that looks different for each person/family. For you and I it means we are bringing these children into our homes to love and care for them. For others it may be sponsoring an orphan, helping an adopting couple with finances and so forth.

I do not judge families who never feel like adoption was something they wanted to do. I admit, I have a hard time with friends who talk about adopting all the time but never make the step forward. You can tell God has laid it on their heart but they just never get up the courage to make the next step. That bothers me more for some reason.

Rachel Marie said...

well, for one thing, there are other ways to "visit orphans" as James 1:27 says than by adopting! that may mean caring for them in other ways- showing them the gospel through your words, doing work projects, helping them financially- i remember one episode of the Duggars for sure where Jim Bob took the older kids to do a mission project (in Mexico perhaps??).
I just think it's really dangerous to expect others to do the things that we believe God has called us to do (whether that be adoption, mission work, or any other "good" thing). It's definitely a temptation though!

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys know how difficult it is to adopt a baby in this country? There is this myth that there are a lot of "unwanted" children out there. Thanks to abortion, there are more parents wanting to adopt than there are available infants. That is why many find it easier and cheaper to adopt from foreign countries. We have no orphanages for babies and young children in the US. And many of the (older) children in foster care are unadoptable for legal reasons. And as for the children who are "neglected, abused, and suffering from poverty", wouldn't it be better to reach their parents and try to change their circumstances, and thereby keep their birth families intact? Last time I checked, being poor was not a crime.

Rae said...

I agree with Faith and Rachel Marie--adoption is not for everyone. It takes a lot more than love to really care for an adopted child and it is different from raising bio kids. I have a lot harder time not judging folks who adopt and then give up on their adopted kids than those who don't adopt in the first place. But, that's my weakness. :(

Veronica said...

Stacy wrote:
"Our view of children matters. The way we obey God is crucial. But it's important to communicate these truths without being condemning. We can teach Scripture; we can discuss our thoughts on what is happening in society; and we can share our own personal testimonies of how God has changed our heart. But I’m not going to turn the "quiverfull topic" into a battering ram - or a measuring stick of who "trusts God" more; because the fact of the matter is - I have enough to worry about when I consider my own sin."

And I couldn't say it better :)

Faith said...

Anonymous, I disagree with you about adopting in this country. It is fairly simple. There are thousands of children legally free for adoption through foster care that are pretty easy to adopt. Yes, it takes time and energy but it is not "hard". It doesn't even cost any money to do so!

Ginger said...

I'm sorry, Anonymous, but you're just plain wrong. There are orphanages for young children in the US and while it may be easier, it is absolutely not cheaper to adopt overseas. You say that being poor is not a crime (who said it was??), but neglecting and abusing children is.

I'll go back to moderating comments now, ladies. :)

Faith said...

I was surprised when I commented on the previous video and it put my comment on there immediately. You must attract some pretty great people cause I have never had even one comment that I felt needed to be moderated. ;) But, don't feel like you need to moderate either! Sometimes, crazy discussion is fun! :) As long as it's done respectfully, of course.

BTW, every single time I want to comment on your blogs I hesitate and worry that I will forget to put a comma in or say something wrong. I don't want the grammar police to pull me over!

MommaofMany said...

People can be so quick to judge others.

Adoption is not a ministry that every family is called to perform. Neither is having a large family. Nor homeschooling, working outside the home, being an usher at church, etc., etc., etc. If the Lord had directed the Duggars to adopt, I expect they would. He calls to each family to a mission of their own.

Ginger said...

Faith, generally I have no need to moderate, but I said I wouldn't publish anonymous comments, so I hate to be wishy washy.
MommaofMany, you speak it, girl!!

Meagan said...

I, too, often have a hard time not judging other families, especially those with many children, but not for the same reasons. I have 3 wonderful step sons, but as of yet n biological children of my own. And I've always wanted to have a large family (barefoot and pregnant is my dream). Perhaps my judging stems from my jealousy...Anyways, I know that it's not right and it is something that God and I are working out. But, I do know that it's not as easy not to judge someone as many people think.

And, anonymous, I would be interested in knowing what your background is as far as adoption and foster care go. My oldest son was adopted through the state when my husband and his first wife were married. My brother in law adopted both of his children through the state. And my mother in law? She was a foster parent to 20 to 30 babies (that's where my step son and niece and nephew came from). She had plenty of infants in her home. You speak to keeping the family together, which is a noble goal and as I studied social work in college one we were taught was supposed to be our focus if possible. But, my MIL can tell you how many of those babies got sent back to parents who could not support them, could not/did not take care of them, were abusive....

Thanks for this interesting discussion topic! I found your blog through SCM (in case you were wondering)

Sherrie said...

The Duggars , by allowing God to plan their family, clearly have many blessings to care for. Others of us whom God, in His infinite wisdom, has limited their womb can make room for many children. It does seem like an abundant womb would make you believe that during those birthing years you should probably focus on the many that God is giving you that way. Who's to say that eventually they or their children won't adopt but they are constantly bringing in warriors in the way that God has worked through them.

To the adoption comments about adoption isn't for everyone. Unfortunately I have to agree. I would have never said those words before but now that I have seen so many disruptions I do believe we are not truly prepared to die to our flesh in the way that adoption
requires. I don't mean that in judgement (my flesh hates to die) I just mean that we look at an orphan and forget that once we adopt that child he is no longer an orphan but a full fledged sinner (like all of us) who doesn't feel the need to be grateful to us anymore than we have always felt the need to be grateful to God. When pity stops if there is no Love (God's Love) adoption will never work.

~Stephanie said...

I think at this point it their family size would be prohibitive in getting a homestudy done. Not all social workers have that bias but I've come across quite a few that do.

Kait said...

Ginger I'm going to come out of lurking because the comment made by anonymous really frustrates me. My husband and I are in the middle of a domestic adoption and while it's been emotionally complicated for a myriad of reasons, it has not been as impossible as Anonymous would suggest.

I also wanted to point out that our agency and agencies across the country are actively recruiting families to adopt babies (as in, less than 2 years old) that are racial minorities, boys, or have any (minor or major) medical complications. The only medical issue with a waiting list to adopt is children with Down's Syndrome, otherwise they are begging people to consider adopting these babies. It is not easier or cheap to add to your family via international adoption.

To answer you question, while I don't particularly mind the Duggar family adding more children, there are things I don't love about the way they raise their children. I don't judge them for their family size or child rearing methods because honestly, they have found a system that appears to work for them even if it 'offends' my personal preference. Quite honestly, their reproduction is not my business.

One thing I am ashamed of and working on is that I do tend to judge people who invest many years and many thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars in to achieving a pregnancy. I feel like it's such a waste of time to deal with all that when there are children waiting for families all over the world. Again, I am working on this because it's not my place (just like with the Duggar family) to judge what God has lain on their heart in terms of building a family.