An indictment

June 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Posted in adoption issues | 5 Comments
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The following (partial) quote was recently sent to me on Facebook:

What is happening in Africa is a human tragedy with vast proportions. What you have done is deliberate, self-serving and horrific….and totally Christian in it’s arrogant assumption that buying African children because you are American, white and can… is anything less than a cultural form of genocide.

The venom in this comment stings.      I feel the (intended) indictment of these harsh words.  And this is the most offensive and intense push-back we’ve gotten in the whole process.      Most people, Christian or not,  are extremely supportive.     This person obviously isn’t.

But the writer does pose an important question about transcultural adoption .     Should a child’s birth culture ‘trump’ his opportunity for adoption into another culture?    Does transcultural adoption contribute to the killing of the culture of another people group?

I’ll post our thoughts on this later. What do you think?



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  1. Isn’t it possible that borders are irrelevant in the call to love, and to care for widows and orphans? To visit those in prison? I’m not saying I do all that very well. But if borders are really to control people and commerce, wouldn’t those borders be of no consequence in a greater light?

    If children were, of themselves, Africa’s hope, then Africa would be hopeful indeed! But it is disease and poverty that has left these many children without parents. So, you reached across the man made borders and rescued orphans in their distress. What difference does it make where they live, as long as they live? What you have done is legal, scrutinized, and welcomed. Moses was cross culturally adopted. Surely Jesus counts in that also. Oh yes, and I am too if Jesus is going to call me His child as the New Testament says. Thank God that He ignores borders, nationality, and religion when it comes to intervening for us all.

  2. Uggh, regardless of its validities, the harsh and condemning voice comes nowhere near one of love, or one that hopes to transform his/her audience. Guessing he/she is speaking-out of a person experience, as bitterness is an understatement for the tone. I can only imagine that layers of hurt and sadness lie beneath. I hope he/she will find those layers soon, and ultimately find love in them. There and only there, I believe, will change and healing for any culture, or individual, take place.

    I’m reading a book that speaks heavily into the dichotomies between our worlds and maybe what this person is referring to in its repercussions. It’s called The Ubuntu Theology of Desmund Tutu.

    Another interesting article/book in this vein might be:

    I’m so proud of your journey, Lisa. Hang-in there, dear friend. You are loved.


  3. When I was in our adoption class, there was a video we had to watch about these adopted children that were now adults. They were very bitter that they were adopted. One african american woman said the same thing this person said “you are rich and white and selfish”. This lady came from a place of deep hurt, feeling unloved herself even though she was adopted. She felt that the only reason she was adopted was because these “white” people couldn’t have their own children so she was their second option, and a last resort. She felt she was like the child that was picked last.

    When I first watched that video, I felt angered. But then realizing that this lady had endured quite a bit and not knowing her background entirely, you have to assume that she went through so much.

    I can only speak for myself. We aren’t adopting because we are rich. We aren’t adopting because we feel we need to have more children. We simply feel called and are answering that call. And in all honesty, I sometimes feel like its a ton of work, so not sure where the selfish part comes in. I feel like I have to lay down my fears, desires, and wants to have this adoption happen. That’s not to say that there aren’t good things in store for adoption, but that it is anything but easy.

    And I also agree with the first comment. Borders have nothing to do with it. And I am so glad that each of us who hears the call to adopt, listens and endures. Christ has told us we will be persecuted for following Him. This is just one of those trials we need to endure, even though it is cutting. I have had many people say such mean things to me as well…even in my own family. It’s so hard. I am greatful that even though God is perfect and I am not and I don’t fit the mold of perfection or holiness, that He accepts me into His family as His daughter. I’m greatful that He adopted me. Hang in there. You listened to God’s call and obeyed and for that, I respect you and only hope I can endure this journey too.

  4. Point #1: There are hardly enough African children being adopted out of their “culture” to even come close to threatening “cultural genocide.” This is simply way too overblown of a statement and utterly incorrect no less to assume that there are enough people pursuing adoption of African kids from beyond its borders to even come close to the vast needs of kids to have parents.

    Point #2: Consider the culture of poverty that the vast number of orphans come from. I would like to say to this person, “Please look into the eyes of the 3-year-old child who lives in a landfill. Who eats trash to feel satiated. Who has no parents living and who has no future. Look into the eyes of the child who lives with continual affliction of infectious disease. And tell them this culture, this reality of life, is worth preserving.”

    Point #3: Such a comment speaks of the author’s ignorance and lack of real cross-cultural experience. Perhaps he or she should go see the side of Africa they are ignorant of…beyond the safaris and native dances and beautiful clothing and musical talents…And see the reality that is HIV/AIDS. The reality that is suffering. The reality of what it is to be an orphan under utterly tragic circumstances.

    Point #4: Adoption is a thoroughly Biblical, God-sanctioned thing. To care for the widow and the orphan is explicitly commanded (James 1)…As Christians we are obligated to do so. Do you really think Jesus would have put a stipulation such as “culture” on this commandment to stand up for the widow and orphan? In today’s society it is widely believed, “Anything that can be considered ‘culture’ is to be exulted and worth preserving.” Instead of thinking in terms of “right” and “wrong,” people say that if the whole package is considered “culture” than it must be right and it must be protected. There are many things I love about Uganda – About Africa – About many places. But just as there are the “cultural” things I love about Uganda there are “cultural” things that are utterly dismaying. And, yes, they are wrong. The thought of orphans growing up without anyone there to raise them and advocate for them is one of those things that I find utterly dismaying and I would love nothing more if through adoption this cultural aspect could be destroyed.

  5. Oh my goodness…I’m SO sorry that people are attacking you for your adoption. We are in FULL support of what you did, bringing those boys into your home! And we will continue to pray that God honors you for adopting your sons, just as He has adopted us. You answered a calling on your lives, and that is what many people probably will never understand…so sad. May He be glorified through your lives.

    We love you guys!!!

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