Hey guys, guess what? Adoption isn’t sexy! It’s beautiful, and wonderful and redemptive, but its definitely is not sexy.
You know what is sexy?
And we are a media organization, so hear me out. Media has the potential to make a situation or lifestyle seem romantic, sexy, or something to covet. We all know this though. Social media has the ability to send us into a downward spiral of comparison, jealousy, lust, bitterness…the list is endless.
We document orphan care for a living. It can look like its so amazing, and believe me we love our jobs, but we see real sh*t, hard truths, and we cry more than we laugh. We say goodbye more than we come back. Our hearts are with a dozen children living all over the world, and as romantic as instagram or a blog can be, the reality is that our hearts break almost daily.
The same is true for adoption. Those moments at the airport or meeting adoptive children for the first time are real, but we must keep in mind that they are moments. They are a snapshot of a long journey full of un-sexiness. Sometimes the un-sexiness is getting to the adoptive children. Sometimes it comes after they come home. Sometimes adoptions are a breeze, sometimes they end in tragedy, and sometimes they're somewhere in-between.
So how do you know what to expect? How can you decide if adoption is for you if you have no idea what awaits you? That just it. You embrace the fact that you have no idea what awaits you and then see if you still want to adopt. Don’t expect it to be easy but also don’t expect it to be miserable. Chances are it will be full of immense joy AND immense pain. But who knows? We certainly don’t and neither does anyone else.
I guess the point is we all see beautiful, happy moments of airport homecomings and gotcha days and adoptive families where everyone is smiling and happy. Those moments are real, beautiful, and inspirational, and they should be celebrated. Celebrate that abandonment is no more and a child has a new home! Celebrate that there are families out there daily fighting for their child’s hearts. But don’t use these moments as the basis on which you decide to adopt. Be inspired, do some research, talk to families who have already adopted, and really take a moment to decide if adoption is right for your family.
Think back on all the families or adoption stories you’ve heard and potentially romanticized. Give yourself grace but challenge yourself. From this day forward commit yourself to encourage and serve the families you applaud on social media. Be there with them in the hard times and don’t just witness their journey through photos. Be on their team; be their people. Then, perhaps we can all roll up our sleeves and break down the romanticism behind a hard reality, and walk hand in hand in caring for orphans!