All of the above. As I look forward to adopting Nikita and Alexei (Dusty) with my beautiful wife, Amy, and our family, I find that there are a couple of different ways to approach the impending adoptions. Yes, adopting two special needs children, for us, is impractical, imprudent, and ill advised. Allow me to explain.
We have a wonderful marriage, and two perfect children, Johnny (4) and Carolyn Joy (1). God has truly blessed us! Why adopt? No earthy reason.
I have just started to look into saving some money for Johnny & Carolyn's college fund. International adoptions are expensive - that money could go to their college funds. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
We have a wonderful home, but we have a hard time keeping up with the housework and the clutter. Add two more children, and the job will be compounded. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
Johnny and Carolyn Joy (CJ) are our pride and joy, and they might be jealous of the time we'll need to commit to the special needs of Nikita and Alexei, who have Down Syndrome. Why adopt? No earthy reason.
It is impossible for us to get out the door, even with only two children. We always feel rushed and late for everything, even for church. We get stressed and snippy trying to adhere to deadlines. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
Let's face it. I'm old. I recently celebrated my forty-ninth birthday. I have some "snow on the roof," and some of my friends are becoming grandparents. Why Adopt? No earthly reason.
Two years ago, we made a conscious decision to have Amy stay at home with the kids. We miss her income, and we'll probably never get to see Disney World or go on ski trips or take grand vacations. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
Most days, we are so busy with the kids that dinnertime creeps up on us, and it is tough to get a meal planned and implemented. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I have Plantar fasciitis, which is an irritation and swelling of the tissue on the bottom of my foot, especially under my heels. While it is only on my right foot, it is painful to walk or run, and it is worst in the morning. I feel like Methuselah (Picture from answersingenesis.org - check out their museum!) when I get out of bed and walk to restroom, limping and wincing. I can't hardly chase down the two children I have now in my condition. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
We live next door to my parents, which is a blessing. My father has advanced Parkinson's Disease, and he is largely immobile and needs constant care. I try to help my Mom with him, but I am often unavailable because I'm at work or the library or with my own family. She could use my help more. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I am currently writing a dissertation manuscript for my Ed.D. in Special Education. I'm out of the house several evenings a week trying to finish it up. I am crunched for time. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I leave for work at 0'dark thirty, and obviously don't even see my family until the end of he day. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I help my wife put Johnny and CJ to bed at 8:00. Immediately after brushing teeth, reading books, saying prayers, and settling them down, I crash, too. I'm exhausted trying to keep up with toddlers. I wake up to the messes I couldn't take care of the night before. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I'll be in my sixties when my kids are starting college. I'll probably be in my seventies and too broken down to enjoy grandkids. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
We built our home, and after ten years, there is still a laundry list of items to finish, including lots of trim work, and even a leaky roof. I can't put together any decent hours to get after the projects. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
I need more time to correspond with my extended family. I rarely write to them or call them, and recently, and I have yet to send Christmas gifts to my beloved nieces and nephews (sorry). And as far as "Thank You" notes? I don't think they'll ever get done. Not enough hours in the day. Why adopt? No earthly reason.
Above, I have listed sixteen problems that make my life chaotic and harried. Admittedly, I have difficulty keeping my daily life and schedule in order. Adopting, for me, is impractical, imprudent, and ill advised. It's all true - there are no earthly reasons for me and my family to adopt two children. However, in spite of all of these earthly reasons not to adopt, I keep coming back to one reason to adopt. It is the heavenly reason to adopt, and it trumps all of the selfish, temporal, earthly reasons not to adopt. It is a Call to adopt.
James (1:27 - NIV) reveals to His believers: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
You see, I believe that the bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. It is Truth. For me, to turn away from His edict in the book of James would be to ignore His mandate. It is our Call, our duty, and our extreme privilege to adopt these special needs children from EE. They are some of God's most vulnerable children, and I am going to work very hard to provide these children with loving and fulfilling lives through my imperfect life. My family and I will probably have to make some earthly sacrifices along the way, and our family will likely resemble a circus at times. I choose to embrace this kind of life. I am thankful for the opportunity to adopt, and believe me, this adoption, while changing the lives of these needy children, will change and bless my life even more. It will compel me to look upon the cross with more fervor and urgency, and to continue to shun the earthly pollution that we live in daily, during this brief time in this fallen world.
So, let these adoptions be impractical, imprudent, and ill advised. These terms are earthly adjectives from this broken world that are certain indicators that, from a heavenly perspective, prove that adoption is indeed practical, prudent and well advised. Planning for adoption seems like a fight at times because of the red tape, expense, time, and stress it causes, but following the Truth gives me the weapons to fight for Him in this sinful world. Thank you, God, for enabling me to endeavor to become a warrior for Your Word, and thank You for Amy, Johnny, Carolyn Joy, Nikita, and Alexei! I feel the need to say "Amen."
Thanks for listening, Daddy John