Last year was our fifth anniversary, and it was a special one. We’ve previously touched on how we started on this adoption journey, and shared a brief overview of our timeline, but in this long overdue post, I want to give some more background that led to our decision to adopt.
Tiffany and I have now been parents for nearly nine months to the most precious toddler. Sometimes we really can’t remember what our lives were like before him, and even though some days can be challenging, we feel fortunate that we’ve been given this gift of parenting our little boy. Still, one of the questions we get asked the most is, “Why adopt instead of having your ‘own’ children?” Both ways of adding to a family are completely valid, but this is simply a personal sharing of our own choice to adopt first.
Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was told to study hard and get a good job because financial security was the most important thing in a lot of Asian parents’ minds. I dreamed of becoming an astronaut but like a lot of my other dreams, it was dismissed as too unrealistic and not practical enough. I was conditioned to never do anything risky.
After graduating college, I found a job, and then married the most wonderful girl in the whole world. And we lived happily ever after…until I started to to feel like my life was maybe too comfortable (Isn’t it ironic that my parents worked so hard and sacrificed so much for me to have a comfortable life, but I end up feeling restless because my life is too comfortable?). All my life, I was expected to study hard, get a well-paying job, buy a nice car, buy a big house, get married, have kids…This was defined as success. I started to wonder, is that really what life is all about?
As I pondered this, I remembered times when I was younger, whenever there was a missionary sharing at church, I always prayed, “God, if you really call me to go be a missionary in remote places, I will go”. I never heard a response from God, and I was always secretly relieved. In reality, I was terrified that God would actually tell me to go. By adulthood, I’d gotten so used to playing it safe that I never seriously considered putting God’s kingdom at the top of my priorities. I hid behind the excuse that “I’m waiting for a calling from God,” but God’s calling for his followers has already been laid out clearly in the Bible. Go and make disciples of the nations, help the poor and vulnerable. Oftentimes, we think we need God’s audible voice to speak to us before we even consider taking some risk for him. Yet we never think twice about pursuing our own goals and agendas in life. I certainly never asked God what he thought about me buying a house.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Adoption was a first choice for us, not an alternative or backup plan. We want our son to always know this so he never has to wonder about his place in our family.
Choosing to adopt was our leap of faith. We didn’t do it because we are special people. We didn’t do it because we’re somehow holier than thou. We didn’t do it because we’re more loving than others. We did it out of obedience, in spite of very real, deep fears, because we are trusting in a God whom we believe is greater than us.
Photo Credit: Jenny Thai