Blue Ridge Christian News

[The following article was published in the 'Carolina Christian News' newspaper]

Adoption from a Child's Perspective

By Ed Rosella

One day, as I was spending time at a children's home in Romania, Ioana, a nine-year-old girl, came dancing into the room. She sat down next to me and said, "Ed, my parents are coming to get me next week! I'm going to Italy; Mama and Papa are coming soon!" She was so thrilled about being adopted.

I asked, "What will you do in Italy?" She said, "I'm going to ride my bike, play, and be with Mama and Papa." She continued, "I have my own room; I don't have brothers or sisters, but I have lots of cousins." I asked if she liked spaghetti? She said, "Oh, yes!" She was happy to hear they eat a lot of spaghetti in Italy. She eagerly took in any information I had about her new country. She was even trying to learn Italian so she could speak with her new parents.

As I talked to Ioana, tears came to my eyes. I had the privilege, in those few minutes, to see adoption from a child's perspective. Her dream of finding a mom and dad was coming true. Ioana exclaimed, "See! I prayed and God gave me a family!"

As adoptive parents, we mostly think about adoption from our perspective. We consider how a child will fit into our family, our budget, etc. A foster child waiting for adoption thinks about one thing - parents! They don't care where they'll live, what they'll eat, etc.; they just want a mom and dad who will love and care for them.

Shortly after my wife and I adopted three biological siblings, my daughter wrote a story about her adoption. It began, "Once upon a time there lived three children that a family wanted to adopt. They liked to play with toys, but mostly they wanted a family. They waited a long time, but didn't complain."

One day I was joking with my daughter and said, "Let's adopt a few more kids!" Her face saddened and she said, "Daddy, I don't want an orphanage. I want a family!" Another day she saw a boy wearing a t-shirt that said, "Parents for sale." She remarked, "That boy should learn what it feels like to be without parents." Comments like these have given me a glimpse into adoption from a child's perspective.

The Bible says, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…" (Psalm 68:5-6). Foster children are lonely! Even in the best foster homes - they can be lonely. They know it's only temporary; they long for permanent families. God created family as the place where orphan children find acceptance and security.

A social worker once wrote the following about a nine-year-old foster girl, "Linda stores her artwork in her drawer. On the watercolor of flowers she inscribed, 'To Linda, from Linda.' Her favorite is the sunset beach with the peaceful boats. She said in a shy whisper. 'This one I'm keeping to give to the family that adopts me'" Linda, like many American foster children, sits in her foster home waiting for new parents to come. Adoption from Linda's perspective means everything!

There are over 100,000 foster children waiting for adoption in America. Their pictures and stories are available on your state's website. I believe if we start to see adoption from the child's perspective, God will inspire our churches with a new passion to provide families for them.