I get it - those big brown eyes look up at you. Something pulls on your heart strings. Maybe it's the smile - or the dimple - or your belief that this child who was once an orphan is in desperate need of your affection. I understand it's well intentioned, and as such, I wanted to let you know what many adoptive parents are thinking when you approach our kids and begin treating them like the animals on an SPCA commercial featuring Sarah McClachlan: please don't.
For the record, I'm not okay with strangers touching any of my children. They are people, entitled to their personal space, and not subject to the desires of adults. We do not force our children to hug or even high five someone if they are not comfortable. Actually, I think not touching other people's kids is a good way of avoiding parental wrath and potential jail time, but I digress.
That said, I have noticed a trend. We can be any number of places - church, the grocery store, or park - and people are drawn to our adopted boys. I understand the curiosity about adoption, and the fact that our transracial family looks different than many families do. But, it is alarming the number of people, both acquaintances and strangers, who have felt free to strike up conversation with, or even reach out to pet our boys on the head. And that, specifically, is what I will be addressing today.
things to remember when you're tempted to reach out and touch our sons, or any obviously adopted child:
If you are looking for ways to be a blessing to children who have been adopted, and their families, you can find some ideas here. If you would like to help care for orphans and widows, this list was created for the holidays, but could hold true year round!
As adoptive parents, we are striving to do what is best for our children. To teach them to use their pasts for God's glory and their good. To show them love, and learn with them about forgiveness and healing. Of course our hearts ache with them. But that's our place as their parents. And when they grieve, we grieve with them - but we don't pity them. They are not pitiful and helpless. They are sons of the Most High God, and our precious children. They are overcomers, who are embracing not only what has happened to them, but who they are.
Disclaimer: If you have reached out to touch someone's kid, your heart overflowing with compassion, I'm not pointing fingers and sentencing you to guilt! God's Word is clear, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! I love that so many people take notice - my prayer is simply that you take notice and instead of feeling pity, you feel compassion - and are moved to help those who are still living life as an orphan - waiting for their opportunity to become a son or daughter.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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