Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What??? Another One???

When you announce to people that you are adopting # 3 and moving onto # 5 you get some interesting reactions. Some think it is great and others just say very little. It is not like when we adopted Mia or even Finley-- it is just different. People are never rude, but they have different feelings about adopting "AGAIN!" Many think we should be happy with our 4 and why are we putting the ourselves through this stress and strain again. Many think it is not fair to the kids we have and others think we are crossing the line into a LARGE family and that is not our societal norm. Many are very happy for us and understand our calling to adopt, but others do not get it and frankly, are not overly thrilled.

I had an awesome email from a family member who admitted that when he saw we were adopting again he thought "What-- again??? When are they ever going to stop?" He proceeded to tell me what a hypocrite he felt like because he remembered after having that thought that God calls us to be outlandish-- to do things that are not normal and challenge the rules-- to be WEIRD!!! He referred me to a book that I am going to read about being weired for God. He said he felt so bad about his thoughts and was so happy we were following the Lords calling in our lives and that we were being WEIRD for the Lord. I genuinely appreciated his email and it really made me think.

I wanted to post this article written by an adoptive mom who explains the reasons why many of us adopt and grow our families into bigger than average families. She experienced peoples judgement upon growing their family outside societal norm and continuing to adopt children. She explains things so perfectly and I encourage you to keep reading as it really sums up what I am feeling.


Over the years, starting even when we had just two kids, I have heard statements (from friends, family, and strangers alike) such as “you don’t need any more kids,” “you have enough kids,” “well, surely now you have enough kids” and “why would you adopt again? You have enough kids already!”

These types of statements used to make me feel like I had to explain our decisions or they used to make me feel like I needed to be a better parent because maybe if they saw that I was the best parent in the universe, they would think that I could “handle” more kids.

I have tried (in vain) to explain to people that we are adopting children WHO DO NOT HAVE A FAMILY, kids who NEED A HOME, but this does not seem to matter to those who continue to make this statement after or before each addition we have made to our growing family. I know that some of it has been said by those who are concerned because they do not want to see us overwhelmed or having a harder life than we could have if we chose the easier path, but this is the path we have chosen, and all we need need is support.

Recently, a family member said to me again, “you have enough kids” and for the first time, instead of feeling like I needed to justify our decisions and make excuses and explanations, I felt angry. I thought about all the other times that people have said to me similar things and I realized that many of those things were said before the addition of some of our kids, kids who those same people now love and adore. Kids who now have a home and a family. Kids who are no longer orphans. Kids who I could not be more proud to call my children. Kids who have made our lives richer, not harder. Kids who have taught me more than I have taught them. Kids who have given me more than I have given them. Kids who we would not know had we thought of our family in terms of “enough.” And, I was angry.

I have listened to well-meaning friends or family members over the years say things that have hurt, badly, and for the most part, I have remained silent. Some people said this when we only had two kids or three or four, if four was “enough kids,” then what does that say about the last three?

Another reason it has me so upset is that we are talking about human beings here, precious children, not possessions. To say that one can ever have “enough” children sort of sounds like they are shoes or something.

Another is that I have never seen how it is deemed okay for people to question our personal decisions and give unsolicited advise and judgments, but it is not okay for us to do the same to them. What I mean is that when it comes to things that go against the norm, things like adoption, having a large family, and homeschooling, it seems that everyone and their neighbour thinks it’s somehow acceptable to tell us what a terrible thing we are doing.

Can you imagine how inappropriate it would be for me to say to a friend that I thought it was a selfish decision to go back to work full time when their baby was 4 months old because they wanted to pay for a nicer vacation or to say to a family member that it sickens me to think of all the starving children who could be fed for the cost of one of the brand new vehicles they buy for themselves every year? People judge it wrong that we went into debt to pay for an adoption of two children, but think nothing of going into debt themselves for a newer car, a bigger house, or even the latest computers, gadgets, and fashions!

I do not walk around telling people that they should not move because the house they have is “enough” or that they should not get another TV because the two they already own are “enough” or that they should not buy the latest iPhone because they just bought the last version and that should be “enough.” And, if you are shaking your head thinking, “yeah, but those are things, not children” then you are starting to get the point here! It is actually pretty uninformed to say “you have enough kids” as though they were objects. If there were ever anything I would want “too many” of, it would be children. Children are a blessing.

In response to the inevitable question, “are we going to adopt more kids?”, the answer is this: I don’t know. If you look only at logic, then the answer is…probably not. Logic dictates that seven children is nowadays, in North America, a huge family. Logic dictates that seven children is a huge expense. Logic dictates that I have a husband who is much more rational than I am and is less apt to make decisions based purely on emotion. Logic dictates a lot, but it does not dictate the size of our family. For now, we are done. That could mean forever. Or it could mean that tomorrow we will start the process for another adoption. Because God trumps all logic in my mind and in my heart. Our family size will be determined by God. He has called us to adopt, and I know that He is still working in our family.

As a message to our friends and family and to the friends and families of others who choose paths that are less socially acceptable…

Please support and love us where we are at, on the path that we have chosen. Pray for us, because the path that we have chosen is not an easy one. We know that you did not choose this path and we are not asking you to adopt yourself or have a large family yourself. We are not even asking you to understand or like the path we have chosen. If you choose to come and visit us on this journey once in awhile and ask how we are or offer your help, we would appreciate it greatly, but if you can only offer judgment and harsh words, please heed the wise advise of Thumper in “Bambi”…”if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”!


  1. Congratulations on another adoption, what a sweet little face of your beautiful daughter.


  2. Oh I so know how you feel. I have four kids (the youngest is adopted) and I often think about adding one more- a sister for her.

    But then I think about what everyone would say (including my husband!) if I brought up the idea....

    4 is a lot of kids, and I know 5 would be a lot to handle, but I still think about it. A LOT.

    Good for you for pushing forward, and congrats!!!

  3. So, so true! I for one am thrilled (and a bit jealous!) of you. Your family is beautiful and God ordained and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We are starting the search for our third child (our first two are adopted) and we are older (my husband has two grown sons). Talk about people thinking we are nuts. :)

    Anyway, what agency are you using? I would love a rec.


  4. Soooooo very true..... Most of our friends are a little stunned that we are adopting number 6 at 48 years old and my answer is always .... I said " no" but God said "yes" ... What can you say to that:)

  5. You know what I think...WOOOHOOO!!!

    Did you read the article on my blog about this very thing?? check it out!!

  6. I love this post as I often struggle with what to say on this subject, as people just don't get it. My latest answer is just... we wanted another child.

    Great post.

  7. Answering God's call is NEVER easy. In fact, if its easy it may not--in fact--be God's call! LOL I recently read "Walking with God" by John Eldredge and there's a section in there that spoke so loudly to me...he talks about following God's path and it not being the easy path. We recently answered the call to adopt a 13yr old from China. Not our plan. Not on our radar. Not what we wanted to do, but it was God's call. God's plan. Its not been easy, but it has been rewarding. Well, most days! :-) If you haven't read the book, I think you will find it refreshing.

    I grew up in a family with 5 kids. And I recently was reminded of the near elimination of Christianity because Christians are having small families while Muslims have families of 10 (or more) kids, who's kids have families of 10 (or more), etc. Before we know, Christianity will be extinct simply due to birth numbers. Yes, there is evangelism. But, Christian family numbers are consistently shrinking. Yet another reason (not that you need to give any reasons to ANYONE why you are adopting again!) that you can share with those who are less than supportive of your decision.

    Personally, our new 13 yr old is a "need" vacuum. She has so much jealously of our 4 yr old that adding to our family would only worsen that. (She consistently tell us she wishes she didn't have a sister.) Who knows what God has in store for our family in the future, but I know that for right now we are a family with 2 kids. I would love to adopt through foster care, but God is going to have to soften my DH's heart on that one!!! But then he did for our 13 yr old, he can do it again! :-)

  8. Congratulations and blessings on your journey to your new daughter. Thank you for writing this post. It is a real encouragement to those who are or will go through this. We only have one daughter who we adopted from China and we are headed back to China for our second daughter. When you step out of the "norm," people react out of fear or maybe sometimes they don't want to be left in the boat alone. We are 46 & 53 and our family has been judgemental about our decision. We are thrilled and humbled to be on this journey with Him.

  9. Hmmm, why is it that people can buy more cars than they need because they like them and no one says "what, another car??" but adopting another child gets raised eyebrows and sometimes even outrage? Good grief, isn't a child worth more than a car?

  10. Aunt Randi H. here:

    Well said, Christy. I
    love and support you and your family in your decision! Personal testimonial .....growing up in a large family of 6 children was wonderful! We didn't have a lot of material things....but I think that was a blessing. We played games together, made leaf houses in the fall, snow forts in winter, and helped our dad remodel houses (his 2nd job), and had dinner out only once a year and it was on Easter Sunday! Maybe some of your critics should "engage brain before starting mouth!"

  11. You go Christy!! I am so sick of hearing ppl talk about the cost of adoption but think nothing of the cost of their new Lexus. Makes me want to puke.

  12. With our first adoption, we were worried about where the money would come from - God provided, and we now have 4 girls home from China - in 4 years!! You go girl, and, I would love to do it again! I told my husband the other day, we started with boys, and we could end with a precious little guy from China!! Blessings, and I can't wait to follow this journey!
    Regina - mom to 6 - 2 grown, and 4 at home