Adoption is Rescue

There is an ongoing debate in adoption/orphan care circles regarding the statement that adoption is rescuing a child. Some think it sounds arrogant and prideful, and is offensive to the adoptee as well as to the country they are from (in the case of international adoption). Some say using such terms as "rescuing" or "saving" orphans paints a worse picture of orphanages and foster homes than is really true; that really, it's not as bad as we make it sound.

I read this comment on a recent post...

Ransomed, rescued, saved...all those words need to be removed from the adoption community. We're creating families. We're not on a rescue mission.
My initial response was a personal one--regarding our own motivation to adopt. If, as Christians, we're not on a rescue mission, then what the heck are we adopting for?! Selfish reasons? So we can have kids? Is that somehow better or more noble? I have four biological kids. We do not need to adopt to have a family. We are one already. We adopt because we are commanded to give of ourselves, to love as Christ loved, and to love a child that does not have a family. We long to demonstrate the love of God to a child who doesn't have a home.

I'm A-OK if some adopt to grow a family. It's placing orphans in families, and that is the greatest goal. And we are not some sort of noble family, because of our motivation--deserving some sort of pat on the back or an extra measure of gratitude from our adopted child. It's never been about us. It's always been about the gospel; it's always been about the child who needed a family.

But we cannot downplay, ignore, or avoid the truth of adoption as rescue for one simple fact: Because when we do, we deny that there is a need for rescue. We belie the fact that there are millions--MILLIONS-- of orphans who are facing horrible circumstances and have little hope of a way out. We risk that the urgency of that despairing truth will be lost, and many will not be aware of the need for action. Someone must do something. WE MUST ALL DO SOMETHING.

I read a great post over at Rage Against the Minivan, called "Do orphans need saving?" PLEASE GO READ IT. She addresses the issues so well, and references another incredible post by a missionary in Haiti. My heart resonates with the truth of what she communicates. Honestly, I know I rambled a bit, but I really wrote this post so you'd go read hers...please, please take the time to do so.

There is a crisis. Children need to be rescued. We cannot be silent.

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5 comments:

Barbara said...

If this is rambling...then keep rambling <3

Dustin & Megan said...

i completely agree with you. did Jesus not "rescue" us and "save" us? it doesn't make us less of who we are to say that, it just demands more from us. as an international adoptee myself i absolutely believe that my parents rescued me when i was adopted. i thank God that they did :)

Connie said...

Amen Rachel...ramble on Sister! I just wrote a big ole response to Erica's post (which I was told by the computer was too long, go figure, so we'll see if it is able to be seen after Erica moderates it), and then I noticed your post which is along the same sentiment. Let us lift up the name of The Rescuer, freely admitting the neediness of us all, and grow in thankfulness and service to the One who compassionately brings us into His family when He could have justly condemned us instead. It isn't as if orphans need rescue and we don't...God is at work in both adopters and adoptees! To His name be all praise.

Angela Hunt said...

Yes, I'm so thankful that Jesus came to rescue and save. To give us freedom, to give us a home, to make us part of His family.

sarah bess said...

I agree with this 100%