You know how cute Dasha is. As you may well guess, she is still the most amazing cutie. Seeing as that is not going to change any time soon, I thought I'd venture off onto a topic that has been on my heart for a little while. I hope this is recieved in the spirit it is written, and it is just my opinion. As much as I like to believe I am always right, I know that is not the case.
So this is just what has been rankling around in my head. What do you think? Am I off, or what?
During our Church service, my church prayed for my family before we left. I was and am very grateful for all the sustaining prayers then and while we were away. However, one aspect of the prayer left me bristling a little. It took me a bit to figure out what is was that didn't sit right with me. they prayed for our trip as we embarked on our ministry of adoption. So what's wrong with that?
Well, I guess I don't view the fact that we have adopted 6 children as my "ministry".
Adoption is simply how God has chosen to fill my quiver.
They are my children.
I parent them.
They are not a ministry.
Maybe I am wrong here, but here's how I see it.
I mean, do families with only birth children view their children as their ministry?
Does the husband come downstairs and say, "Honey, I've been going over the numbers, reviewing our ministry, and I think it's time we expand. Take a look at these projections and let me know what you think."
"OOOOh, this does look good. You're right. Come on, let's go and PUT A BABY IN ME!"
I am being purposefully silly here, but I think you get my point. Your children aren't a ministry.
They are family. My friends have always told me that they kind of got the itch for another child and went for it. Sometimes it was a bit of a suprise, but no one has ever said that as a ministry, they were deciding to have another child. Even within our own adoption dicisions, we never chose to adopt because it was a ministry move. Definately the Holy Spirit moved within us, showing us that there were children who needed a family and we were to be that family, but it was us saying yes to the blessing the Lord had for us. In acting in obedience to the Holy Spirit's guidance, we met the needs of orphans and our need to obey, but we didn't take on more ministry. While we all definately minister to our children, they aren't a ministry.
I am rambling, but continuing on:
There are aspects of adoption that fall under orphan care, no doubt. In fact, everything up until the judge says they are yours IS orphan care. After that, it is parenting the kids God blessed you with. I have 6 children by adoption in my home, but there aren't any orphans here.
Adoption agencies are ministries. Orphan advocacy groups are ministries. Adoption grant funds are ministries.
Me parenting my children is not a ministry.
I have issues about thinking that way. Ministries are not forever. You can scale back on your ministry. You can quit a ministry. You can turn it over to someone else. You can't do that with a family. If I were to view my children as a ministry it would imply that it was not quite permanent. That if I got tired, or sick or felt under appreciated, I could step out. With family, that is not an option.
I do have an adoption related ministry. Whenever I am asked to share our family's story and it inspires someone to action, every time someone asks me how to go about starting the adoption process, or asks for a referral of an agency, or asks for support or advice once their child is home, or I prepare a meal for when they get home, or get their mail, mow their lawn, watch their other children while they are gone, that's my ministry.
As for us and our 2 Russian, 3 Ethiopian, and 1 Ukrainian born children, well, they are my family.
Psalms 113:9 (new century version)
He gives children to the woman who has none and makes her a happy mother.