God, Adoption, and PB&J

Today is the last day of November (Holy Crap! Where did the month go?). That means that it is also the last day of Adoption Awareness Month. I didn’t want to let this month pass without some discussion of adoption here, so I’m going for a last minute adoption post.

It never ceases to amaze me when I see someone angrily lament about some stupid adoptive parent who thinks God put their family together. Or an adoptive parent who proudly proclaims that they believe in God, but don’t think He played a role in the creation of their family. They argue that, by believing that God played a part in bringing a family together, you have to effectively believe that God caused the birthmother to become pregnant. Or that God gave one person pain in order to cause another happiness.

This perplexes me. It is so counter to everything that I believe about a loving God.

First, let me say that I do not believe in the concept of predestination. I believe that one of the main reasons that we are placed on this earth is to experience agency–the idea that we are given choices, but have to accept the consequences of those choices. I don’t believe that God “makes” anyone get pregnant. Pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex. By making the choice, a woman risks the consequence.

So, how does that play into the concept of God bringing families together?

To explain that, let me tell you about lunchtime around my house. Every day, I ask my kids what they want for lunch. I may offer suggestions like a turkey sandwich, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese. Regardless, every day, N~ will tell me that he wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know that he is going to answer this way because he is my son and I know him very, very well. That doesn’t stop me from giving him the choice. I always ask. But I also make sure that I always have peanut butter and jelly in the house.

I believe that we are children of a loving God who knows us very, very well. He always gives us choices. But he knows us well enough to predict the kinds of choices that we will make. And he is prepared.

Sometimes, that preparation means having the right family in the right place at the right time for the right person who is making a terribly difficult decision. He’s not forcing things to happen, just preparing for them to. And that is no less of a miracle for the families it affects.


While on the subject of adoption, I want to encourage you to read a post by an adult adoptee. So many of the adoptee blogs out there are people writing about how they feel that adoption had a negative impact on their lives. I don’t frequently see things written by the adoptees who are happy with how things are (let’s face it, that kind of goes against human nature, to write about when things feel normal and right with the world). That’s why I was so glad to see a friend of mine write about her feelings about her own adoption this month. I always enjoy her perspective when we discuss different hot button adoption topics that come up on the internet, and I’m so glad that she wrote some of her thoughts out.

I’m sure that there are those who will disagree with her positive views on adoption, but that’s what makes hearing her say it so important. We need to remember that the negative opinions and theories about adoption that are thrown around are not held by all. I can’t think of a better way to end National Adoption Month than with the positive thoughts of a wonderful woman who just happens to also have been adopted.


Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. The hand of the Lord in bringing my son into our family. And, yes, I see it there. This doesn’t mean that I don’t grieve for the pain that his birthmother went through (and still goes through). It doesn’t mean that I think that I deserved him and she didn’t. It just means that I know that God brought us together in a time when it was right for all of us. And something wonderful has come from that.
  2. Kids who listen and are thoughtful in matters of compassion. Today, W~ had a new little girl in his class at church–a friend’s new four-year-old daughter who just came home a couple of weeks ago after living her life in a Ukrainian orphanage. As W~ told us how class went today, we discussed what it must be like to be in a primary class for the first time after leaving everything that you have always known, and not knowing what anyone was saying (or having anyone understand what you are saying). My kids really listened, asked questions, and tried to understand. I really hope that W~ will use that knowledge to find ways to be a friend to her and help her feel comfortable in class.
  3. The cute things that my kids say. Today, W~ asked Sean if he has a girlfriend. Sean told him that Mommy is his girlfriend. Not being able to resist the chance to gross my kids out, I chimed in, “That’s why Daddy kisses me.” W~ rolled his eyes and said, “Oh brother, why did you have to tell me that?” Priceless.
  4. C’s decision this evening to go to the potty on his own because he needed to! More than once!!! Each time, he giggled and grinned as he proudly told us that the tires were still on his pull-up (truck theme–the tires disappear when the pull-up gets wet). Major breakthrough. I’m praying it continues.
  5. The return of normalcy after a long holiday weekend. Of course, it would have been nice to have a couple of days to recover from all of the cooking and puking before having to go back to the daily grind tomorrow, but I’ll survive. At least until it sinks in that Christmas is less than a month away and I need to decorate a tree, make photo albums, buy presents…sigh.


Filed under adoption, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Potty Training, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

6 responses to “God, Adoption, and PB&J

  1. Nancy

    Cute comment – leave it to W~!

  2. Awww! I’m so honored that you linked to my little adoption post!

    I love your analogy of the PB&J sandwich. It’s a great example.

    And about W~…I remember when he was in nursery with us, Scott and I would often comment to each other about his compassion and consideration of the other children. Really, we were so impressed with his loving and thoughtful manner at such a young age. You’ve got a special kid there. (Like you didn’t already know that!)

  3. I read your parable of the PB&J to Ronald darling. We were very impressed with the doctrinal teaching and intend to use it in the future.

  4. Coco

    Thank you for linking this post over at TGM’s place.

    For the record, I don’t think adoptive parents are “stupid” if they believe God brought their family together. I can respect faith.

    I just don’t know how I feel about that intrinsic idea: that God directs adoption in some way. So many more questions than answers pop up for me.

    There’s a Calvin & Hobbes series of strips that’s one of my favorites. Calvin finds an injured baby raccoon and gets his mom and dad to bring it home. Calvin is sure his mother can fix everything, but both his parents tell him the baby is very ill and may not make it. Calvin and Hobbes lay awake worrying about the raccoon, and Calvin asks about it as soon as he wakes up, only to find that it had passed away in the night. He is, of course, quite upset.

    The following night, he and Hobbes are talking things over, and wondering why the little raccoon was brought into the world only to leave so suddenly, and so pitifully.

    Calvin remarks, “Either it’s arbitrary or it’s mean, but either way it gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

    Naturally, adoption and untimely death are two different things; I’m absolutely not comparing the two. However, Calvin’s sentiment about the great mysteries of the universe pretty well sums up how I feel about adoption. I’m sincerely not mocking your faith or telling you that you’re wrong. I just feel like the process is…more arbitrary than divine, I suppose.

    Thanks for listening, and have a Merry Christmas.

    • Coco-

      I don’t feel like you are mocking me. I understand that a lot of people don’t see things the same way I do and I always wish I could explain better because, for me, it truly does make sense. Even the things that are hard and painful make sense, even if the outcomes aren’t always positive.

      Merry Christmas to you, too! And I hope that, wherever your are, you’re a lot warmer than I am! I’m not enjoying today’s high of 13 (blech!).

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