A few days ago, I posted an update on The Compound and received a comment that I chose not to publish because I wasn’t sure it was a discussion I wanted to get into in this public forum. Instead, I emailed the writer directly (I do not know them personally), but the email bounced back.
Since then, I’ve talked it over with Kelsey, and we decided to go ahead and post both the comment and my response. I’m hoping that it will help you frame a more complete picture of who we are, what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it.
I’m printing the comment in its entirety in order to insure that I’m not coloring the question by creative editing.
Hi! I read your blog sometimes and enjoy it and am challanged by it too. Challanged to be God’s in everyway and put loving others above posessions etc. Which is hard to do! I guess I’m trying to understand the notion of obedience and blessing…know what I mean. We are in ministry full time, my husband and I, and our son is begging us to paint his room orange and we have a hard time finding money in the budget for that. I guess I’m just trying to understand how or why you ask for donations to fund your adoptons when you can afford to build/renovate a new home especially in these times. I’m not questioning you or your morals but well, I guess its just a question. – Trac
Unable to answer via email, here is my response.
One of the downfalls of blogging is that a reader feels they get an understanding of a situation when in reality, they’re only seeing parts. There are a lot of factors involved here that you couldn’t know unless you were close friends of ours. I’ll only go into a few.
The house is far from a ‘new’ house. In fact, I laughed about that – it’s about 80 years old. It boasted a furnace that was installed when John F. Kennedy was the President. The massive renovations I’m talking about are not simply upgrades – they were to make it liveable. Things like toilets that work, windows that seal, an oven that cooks, etc. Perhaps I’ve made it sound opulent in this forum…if so, it’s because I’m incredibly grateful to the Lord for giving it to us. I feel rich, not because of what we have, but because I know where it came from.
This house wasn’t a whim. It’s part of a multi year track we’ve been on that includes having a senior family member live with us for the past ten years, sharing expenses, etc. That family member will continue to live with us in a studio apartment in the house. Without their participation, we would not have this home. We’re blessed to have them with us on a multitude of levels. Not knowing this might have skewed your perspective.
This old house was purchased simply because we needed the room, having gone from 3 children to 7 in under 3 years. We got a great deal in this market, if that is important to people or not I’m not sure. I do know the soft market and good interest rates allowed us to get into it without increasing the mortgage payment from our previous (much smaller) house.
Truth be told, we live pretty simply. We have bare bones health insurance. We budget and we make do. We own two old SUV’s – the newer one has 120,000 miles and the one I drive has 175,000. The wipers quit at about 150,000, but we haven’t had a car payment in about 7 years. I could tell you more about our financial situation, but I’ve already told you more than my closer friends know or have cared to asked about.
Even so, if our house was a palace and our cars were new….there are factors at work that you’re not aware of.
You might not know that the twins were adopted in a 24 hour period when the opportunity dropped in our lap. There was no ramp up, no time to plan, only a sudden window of time to move to save two little girls. The house may have been years in the doing, but we had hours to say yes to this. In asking for people to join with that, we’re inviting them in to the miracle.
A lot of people have a heart for adoption but are not in a life-station where they can do it. Our girls’ adoptions have been financed by people who knew in their heart adoption was right and cared enough to want to do something about it. We have received $1000 checks from business people and jars of change from children. Many have chosen to partner with us, and I’d do it again in a second and I’d ask people with like-hearts to help, without shame.
I’d go so far as to say that adoption funding is the work of the church. Everyone who adopts should consider inviting friends and family into the game, even if they can afford to write the check themselves. It allows a community to be involved in redeeming a life. Watch for this idea to be developed further in a coming post.
Ironically, we are founders and directors of The Zoe Foundation, which last year funneled about $50,000 into other peoples’ adoptions and will do far more this year – none which goes to our adoptions because legally, we can’t direct the foundation and receive adoption funds from it, and we’re too committed to the vision to sidestep the rules……so we’re helping pay for others while asking people to help pay for ours.
I hope this helps put it in perspective.
Now, I’ll be even more honest (honester?). I didn’t want to post this. Not because I didn’t feel like I had a good response, but rather because I don’t like feeling as if I answer to strangers.
When the email bounced back, I figured I’d just let it die….but when Kelsey saw it, she encouraged me to post it here, not because we felt compelled to defend ourselves, but because many people look towards this forum for input on adoption, ministry, and other things.
Our hope is that no one reading this would ever question supporting someone’s adoption based on a skewed perspective of who we are or what we’re doing.…and if that means telling you more than you need to know at times, then I guess we’re in this together.
Filed under: Uncategorized |