First, I am in NO way saying moms and dads should not adopt internationally. They should! By all means, go adopt internationally. It’s holy. It’s right. It’s good. International adoption opens ministry doors, meets needs a multiple levels and brings great joy.
I am saying that local adoption opens different doors of opportunity. I’d like to share one experience that illustrates this.
Friday afternoon following wrestling practice my boys and I went to a local establishment. Not many boys and men frequent this particular establishment due to its location and somewhat “stereo typicalness”. Also, I’m an insider here. I’m not an outsider. Many of the men who come into this place have known me since I was 5. I went to school with a lot of them. They know me.
Remember, I have two biological sons and one adopted son. Most of you reading know this fact already. But what makes my situation different is that my adopted son is very clearly black (we say brown for many reasons but I suppose that is a different post). This is also not the post to deal with why we use the terms biological and adopted. There are theological reasons for that as well. Just know that Daniel is as much my boy as Gabriel and John Mark are. He’s got the name and social security number to prove it. He’s a Jolly, by God.
Well, not thirty-seconds into entering this shop the few eyes in there were peering pretty hard. I’m used to that kind of thing but not so much the boldness of one who actually opens their mouth. Some people actually have honest questions and that is ok. Some have questions that are really statements and I’m sure you could tell the difference too. And truthfully, I’m totally not even aware most of the time. I’m so used to my mixed race family that it takes me a minute to become aware people are staring. However, all of a sudden out came this question/statement: “all three of them yours?” The tone was clear. The black kid was not welcome and they needed to know if he was with me and could stay. By God’s grace the Spirit caught my response that included a string of four letter accusations about their character, momma and family line….lets move on. I simply responded, “yes, all three are mine, all three carry my name.” My tone also made clear my intentions to protect, guard and take the offensive if need be. We looked around and the boys were completely unaware. They were just enamored with the inventory and they never brought it up so I’m sure they never caught it.
This is just one of the encounters we have had nearly seven years. So, why put yourself and your children in the line of fire for such things by adopting out of the town you live in and inter-racially? I mean, you may run into distant relatives and into people who would gladly take a step back socially. Why do that? Here’s why.