Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pearls, anyone?

I've been thinking about orphans lately.
Shocking, I know.
I talk often with people about all aspects of adoption, and cost is something that always comes up.


So today I'm thinking about orphans and cost.

I will tell you that cost is a widely misunderstood concept; most often because its scope has been minimized to something as inconsequential as dollars and cents.

As in: How much does the typical adoption cost?

In monetary terms, one could say that the average eastern European adoption of an HIV+ child lands right around $24,000 to $27,000.

Is that it?
Is that the cost in its entirety?

I recently heard a TV evangelist caution people considering adoption to "count the cost."
He eluded to mental illness, sexual abuse, and behavioral issues as things to very carefully consider. It was clear that he considered it far to high a price to pay; the underlying message was that in his mind, these children weren't worth the cost.

Here's the thing.
He wasn't wrong to identify those areas as areas that cost something.
They do.
Where he was absolutely wrong was in assuming that the price was too high.

The true answer to what an adoption costs is:




What we all need to understand is that every person,
every child,
every orphan
is worthy of the cost.

We know this because Jesus paid for our salvation with his life.
How can the redemption of someone else not cost us the same?

He died to redeem us.

In adoption, we live to redeem them.

Matthew 13:45
The kingdom if Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all he had and bought it.

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Matthew 6:21
Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

When considering the cost of adoption, it's not:
How can I ever pay it?

How can I not?


Aislinn said...

Love this post.

These kids are totally worth it.

How can we, who have been bathed in His Grace, offer anything less than our whole selves, our whole lives, our the great God we serve...

So worth it.

Jennifer said...

Thank you. I've been trying to explain - not quite as well as you just did - that the question is not "how can we afford to adopt?" but "how can we afford NOT to adopt?"

Shannon Wheeler said...

The "cost" in dollars is always the first roadblock the enemy tries to throw up at families desiring to adopt. And we have to remember, our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and it is HIS job to provide for our needs, and He is so faithful. And the other costs... the cost of loving so deeply, of giving of ourselves, of being willing to embrace the unknown in a child forever... how can we, who were bought by the blood of Jesus, when we were so unlovable and so unthankful and so unworthy... how can we possibly consider that we have the right to refuse giving love that costs us?

Heather said...

Today I went to the Buddy Walk in Charlotte and met a young man who was, several months ago, an orphan in China. (I followed his family's blog!) He came over to us and shyly handed us our info for Reece's Rainbow. I totally felt like bawling in thanks to God that he was home but felt it was inappropriate. ;)

Left a post on my blog today that you had something to do with. Traci - everything is changing and I feel my God moving in such direct ways. Please pray for my comprehension of God's plans, as I'm a new Christian and don't quite understand some things quite yet.

Much love to you and yours from NC,

Susanna said...

Thank you for this excellent post!

Aaron & Elizabeth said...

I think it is worth noting that with all the employer benefits and tax credits what you put in up front can be given back at the end. We adopted two from Ukraine, cost was about 32K. With our employer adoption benefits and the current tax credit we received every single penny back.

Susanna said...

Elizabeth, it can work as you described, but I'm afraid it can sometimes be more complicated than that. For instance, money given through RR cannot be reimbursed with the tax credit. Self-employed or small business-owner parents don't get employer adoption benefits. And so on. I do know that for families whose incomes are not much over the borderline, and who have adopted children *with special needs,* receiving money back has helped them with the necessary extra expenses that come with their child's special needs, it doesn't go for fun or frivolous extra expenses. There are always costs that are not covered by the health plan. I haven't personally seen adoption of children *with special needs* be without cost to the families.