Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who am I going to listen to?

Right after we brought Avé home I came across some blogs I had been unaware of before.  These blogs are written by adult adoptees and so of course I was very interested in what they had to say.  I dove in and spent hours at night reading these blogs and the blogs they linked, and then the blogs that those blogs linked... you know how that can go.  And although I gained some really great insight into adoption, it also left me with a very heavy heart.  More than just a heavy heart- a panicked heart.  A heart asking, "Oh. My. Gosh.  Have we just done a terrible thing???"  I was pretty freaked out there for a while.  The perspective that adult adoptees have is real and cannot be discounted.  But I discovered that most of these adult adoptees who blog are in the middle of processing their experience and sometimes that is raw and uncomfortable.  And that is okay.  It is their experience and they have every right to their feelings and to express them on the internet.

But.  But, but, but...

Every time I would read them I would start to feel sick at my stomach.  Uneasy.  I'm already an over-thinker by nature and these blogs, well, they just weren't doing me any good.  Yes, I gained some insight and perspectives that were interesting.  But every time I would shut my computer after too much time reading, I would hear a still, small voice asking me, "Who are you going to listen to?"  

I knew what He meant.  I knew it was God and He was asking me if I was going to listen to those voices or to HIS.  

See, our reasons for adopting were very simple.  I heard God's voice telling me to do it.  Years ago.  Like waaaaaaaay before Avé was ever born.  (You can read that story here.)  And so that means that not only was that God's plan for me, it also means that it was God's redemptive plan for HER.  

Is adoption a solution to the orphan crisis around the world?  Not even close.  Are there major reforms that MUST be made to make adoption ethical in every situation?  Yes, of course.  But when I read those "other" blogs I was always left feeling like adoption of any kind was questionable and that Avé would probably grow up resenting us for ruining her life by adopting her and  taking her away from her homeland.  (Again, these adult adoptees have every right to their feelings- it is their experience.  But the ones I read tend to generalize and make you feel like they are writing EVERY adoptee's experience.)  

So... I deleted all those blogs from my Google reader.  I am not invalidating their voice, I am simply saying that for me, for now, I need to listen to God's voice.  HIS plans are good and redemptive and I need to put my faith and my focus on THAT.  

And this blogger who I really admire and respect blogged about a similar subject yesterday in a post titled, "Do orphans need saving?"  And she linked a blogger who is working in Haiti; who is seeing the orphan crisis firsthand.  And these women confirmed it for me.  

Who am I going to listen to?  

I am going to listen to the lover of my soul.  I'm going to listen to the one whose plans are good and loving.  I'm going to listen to the one who told me to do this in the first place.  I'm going to listen to the one who adopted ME when I was unlovely and unworthy and unlovable.  I'm going to listen to the only one who can offer me or any of us REDEMPTION.

And that brings me peace.


A Real Good Friend said...

is my

you have
EVER shared about
and Avé
your destiny

I love you the most!

saintcheney said...

I found your blog months (years? Maybe one year) ago through another adoption blog, and I've followed you on an RSS feed since. I don't know you at all and you don't know me. Sorry if that's creepy.

I just wanted to say that this entry has encouraged me beyond and completely outside of any mutual interests and passion for adoption. You describe my feelings regarding another life decision so well. There are many blogs and many people that would want to argue about the irresponsibility and practicality of the decision I made (dealing with where I attended college). At the end of the day - and at the beginning of the journey - I did it because God had spoken.

Arguing against those voices has never helped, it's the classic "better to light a candle than curse the darkness" idea. You have lit a candle. Thank you.

Lindsey said...

Thank you for listening to His voice.

Faith said...

Loved this post.
Thanks for sharing.

The one thing that I try to keep in mind is the screaming of the voices that we can't hear.
Those that weren't adopted.
Those that died because of lack of basic health care.
Those that died because they couldn't live any longer in their situation.
Those that are living on the streets.
Those that turned to prostitution. Those that....and on and on and on.

The voices of the adult adoptees are the only ones that we can hear. It's absent voices of the others that I hear so loudly...that make me ache like you ached.

Sohailah said...

Hey wait!? Aren't I your closest adult adoptee friend? I know, I know, I wasn't taken from my homeland, so maybe I don't count... :)

What you have done is beautiful, simply because it as pure and straight obedience. God spoke, you heard, you walked. Ave is blessed - always will be. She will probably have questions - like everyone does. About something. I have a VERY. DIFFICULT. TIME imagining that she would ever believe the TRUTH that would have been hers had she stayed in Ethiopia, that life in an orphanage, as a number, pulling her own weight from the time she big enough to fold a towel would have been a better life. Not sure if that makes sense. I know you didn't ask for my opinion - and you don't need it, as yours was so beautifully stated in your honest and God-hearing heart.

Sohailah said...

You, my friend, are absolutely correct. You will raise Ave' with a grateful heart - with an understanding of compassion and mercy and love. She will have hormones, probably, as most do. But YOU ARE HER MOM. And MICK IS HER DAD. Plain and simple. She just had to be born in Ethiopia by the two God picked so she could get to you the way He had planned. He had a promise to fulfill to you, and He knows the brokenness of the world. Those poor, miserable, lost, self-pitying people - there are more of ME'S out there than them. Maybe I'll write a book about the blessing of being an adult adoptee. That being said, I am currently in the process of trying to find non-identifying information about my birth parents - I'd like to know if anything "runs" in my body.

Love Love LOVE you!

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

L.O.V.E. this post!!!! I can't tell you how often I have thought about these same issues. You are so right about listening to His voice. Interestingly, when I was praying about adoption and wondering what role I would play in the world of orphan care, I heard His voice so loud and clear -the call to adopt...very few times in my life as His voice been so CLEAR. I know in my heart of hearts (which is the heart He knows best) that our Grace is meant to be with our family. I am sure that Ave is 100% meant to be with you and has been chosen for you by Him before she was even born.
Thanks for the beautiful post!

Sylvia said...

My sheep hear MY voice - no doubt you heard His voice. You only have to look at your dear daughter's face

Anonymous said...

I agree with FAITH!! Her comment gave me chills! It is the unheard stories that are really sad too!! You did a great thing!!


Heidi Jo said...

very beautiful post gayla. that question needs to be asked in EVERY situation we face in life. we will ALWAYS be able to find someone who disagrees with our thinking, and someone who agrees with it. that is irrelavent as to whether or not it is right.

who are we going to listen to? i think you nailed it :o)

Selam! G'day! Hello!