We’re in the midst of our home-study, investigating every aspect of who we were, who we are, and who we hope to be – as individuals, as a married couple, and as a family. I’ve got a few interesting curves in my family history, including the change of all 3 of my names…so we want to make sure they understand the “why” for each of these things. God has definitely been faithful to bring us through so much, and it’s good to be reminded of it.
I had my first “Physical” in quite a while yesterday. Generally when we’ve found out we’re expecting a new child, my wife ends up seeing doctors, getting blood drawn, and having tests run. Sure, there was that time I passed out during her first ultrasound, and nurses had to care for me, but I blame my knees being locked.
So it’s a new experience, as we’re moving forward in the adoption process, to have a physical and have blood drawn. All of this to ensure that, objectively at least, I’m “fit” to be a parent. It was an interesting experience, primarily due to the awkward conversation:
Blood-taker: “So I see your diagnosis is “adoption”, that’s a new one.” (smile)
Me: (polite laugh) “Yup”
Blood-taker: “So, you adopting from around here?”
Me: “We’re actually adopting from the D.R. Congo.”
Blood-taker: (briefly wide-eyed) “Oh, that’s…cool. Sorry, I didn’t mean to seem surprised…I just, had a late night last night. So uh…are you guys….going for an African child….or a white…?”
Me: (hardly believing what I’m being asked) “Well, I didn’t see that on the order form…(smiling to help her feel less embarrassed)…yes, she’ll most likely be African.”
Blood-taker: “Ah, that’s cool. I just…know that they have both over there, ya’ know?”
I wasn’t entire sure where she was coming from, but I chalked it up to just not having a life context to place our conversation in. I felt awkward on her behalf, and can only hope that reflecting on our brief conversation, next time she may be ready to at least just say “congrats”. But it reminded me of something important.
Even though we are the ones bringing a new daughter into our home, it is taking place in the context of a community. It’s why the physical health checks are required. It’s why there’s a home-study that goes into the details of our families of origin, and our plans for our own home. We’ve chosen to adopt because we’ve felt God’s call on our family and home to wrap our identities around His Love in this way. But the impact of that flows out to anyone we share community with.
It’s the same for any choice a family and home makes to respond to God’s call. When we allow our homes to be shaped and molded by His Love, it will bump up against people in a world who don’t have a context for these types of choices. Whether it’s choosing to live simply, saying “no” to something in your home that you could totally say “yes” to, or giving a home to someone in need. May we continue to live in such a way that surprises/confuses the world around us – forcing others to create a context within with such things take place. Such a “place” certainly seems Kingdom-ish…