Why I want to adopt – Part 1

When I first sat down to write up a list of reasons I want to adopt, I ended up staying up most of the night and still never finished. I kept getting distracted, as one reason blended into another, creating a whole complex web of why adoption fits into who I am.

That’s when I realized I should forget about trying to figure it out, and just move forward with it.

Now I feel like I’m back where I was that night, trying to explain myself for some reason. I think it’s important to know the motivation behind why I do what I do, especially if I’m asking others to join the cause. At the same time, though, I think there comes a point where it’s just a matter of trust – or faith – because the reasons are so tangled into who I am that it’s tough to explain them to anyone, myself included.

I say this not because I’m giving up on trying to explain the motivation but because I want to warn you that it might not make a whole heap of sense.

I’m breaking this into three chunks to help give this some structure. In reality, though, like I said, they’re all intertwined.

The first chunk, which I’ll cover in this post, will deal with the social motivations. The second chunk will cover the parental motivations. The third chunk will try to explain the personal motivations. This series will begin broad with reasons I think many people should adopt and then go more individual into some of the reasons that personally motivate me but might not relate to anyone else.

So with that, let’s jump in…

Social reasons why I want to adopt

There’s a passage in the Bible where it says, among other things, that pure religion is taking care of orphans (James 1:27). I like that, that idea of pure religion. I like it, but I don’t see the average Christian, at least in America, really embracing that. So I’d like to provide that example, some inspiration for others, especially other young people (looking at you, guys!).

I know not all orphans in the system are in super difficult situations. Some have lots of love and lots of care. The average, though, isn’t all that great. And there are far too many cases where they’re way less than “not all that great.”

I grew up in an amazing family. I wonder how my life would have turned out if that hadn’t been the case. It kills me to think there are kids out there, not in some other country or whatever, but living in the same city I lived in but without a single person who really loves them individually.

Not all kids in the foster system are like that. But they do exist, and they shouldn’t. I want to do what I can to change that. I want to care individually.

Another reason is that I want to remind friends to encourage others. I want to pursue the virtues most people think are crazy so people won’t think they’re so crazy (or more accurately, so people will go forward with them despite the craziness). Adoption is one of those crazy virtues.

I’d love to be part of a movement that helps people see that adoption is an awesome option, maybe even more than an “option.” I mean, who thinks of adoption? Who thinks of adoption as a single person? Who thinks of adoption as a young, single person? Who thinks of adoption as a young, single guy?

I’d like to change it so the stereotype isn’t limited to married couples who can’t have kids. I’d like to change it so a young, single guy interested in adoption doesn’t automatically equal pedophile. I’d like to change it so the conversation opens up.

Will what I’m doing change it? Maybe not across the board. But maybe it will spark something among the people I interact with, my friends. And maybe one of them will go on to be the big change. Who knows?

Or maybe nothing “social” will happen as a result. Regardless, I’d rather try and fail than never try at all.

Someone said that those who want to adopt for the sake of helping kids or raising awareness should consider foster parenting first. They said that might be a good way to test motivations. For what it’s worth, I’d totally be down for that. And I’m totally down for promoting that too, another point to discuss, another reason to move forward with this.

Finally, there’s one other huge, social reason I’d like to adopt: adoption is the closest practical substitute for abortion.

So adopting is a way align my actions with my beliefs, my life with my lips. I’m not against abortion in the sense that it’s a lousy experience, even if it’s the lessor of two evils. I’m against it in the sense that it’s never a good option, never the choice anyone should take. Ever.

And I can talk about that or run around with signs or whatever at universities or near abortion clinics, or I can actually provide a better option. Like okay, so you don’t want your kid or feel like you can’t have your kid, feel like you can’t shoulder the responsibility that goes with it. Maybe that’s completely legit. Instead of abortion then, I’ll take responsibility for you.

I can’t literally have your baby or go through the process of being pregnant. But to me adoption seems like the most purposeful action anyone can take to do something both meaningful and practical to help the situation. Count me in.

So that’s it, the social reasons anyway, as well as I can explain them for now. I want to adopt to help kids in the system, to encourage other people to get involved, and to provide a practical alternative to abortion.

That’s reason enough, I think. But for me, it’s just a start. In the next post, I’ll get into some of the parental reasons why I want to adopt.