Wednesday, March 20

God Doesn't See Borders

A commonly asked Question that seems to be popping up more and more is this:

Why International Adoption when there are many children here in the U.S. who need to be taken care of? 
What makes it so special to adopt kids outside of the U.S. when we have kids that need adopting here?
Why are so many people so concerned about kids from other countries and not our own? Shouldn't we be focusing on our own problems?

I would like to take a stab at responding/answering this question as an adoptive parent. An International Adoptive parent at that. Sometimes these questions can come across offensive as an adoptive parent and a defense tends to rise up in us. My intention and my voice behind this response is not that of a defensive tone nor does it come from an offended heart. It comes with Love and understanding of questions such as these. Questions that need not be ignored or over looked. They are very valid and important questions.

First I don't think that adopting a child from another country makes it more "special". It makes it hard, more time consuming, expensive, and risky, but I wouldn't say "special". Adoption in and of it's self is a blessing and is very special. Regardless of geography.

I love what my husband recently said in response to one of these questions:
"The  reason families adopt beyond the U.S. borders can be for a number of reasons. One of the primary reasons is need. In the U.S. at any given time there are roughly 500,000 children displaced from their home and within the foster care system. Of this 500,000 only roughly 80,000 - 100,000 are actually "adoptable". There are roughly 2 million families in the U.S. today looking to adopt a child within the U.S. This means that many families are on a waiting list. This also means that if you are a healthy and young child in the U.S. (and not part of a large sibling group) you will be adopted without delay."

In Ethiopia, where our daughter Emerson is from, there are approximately 5 Million orphans. According to U.S Inter-country Adoption webpage only 1732 were adopted into the U.S in 2011. This hardly makes a dent in the need. The statistics world wide for orphan care are overwhelming high.

I would certainly say that there's not anything more or less special about adoptions within or outside of the U.S. They are both important and necessary in order to "care for the orphans" that God commands us to care for. (See James 1:27 in the Bible) God did not command us to just care for the orphans where we live specifically but all orphans in need.

God does not see borders, He only sees children. With this command, He calls some to care for the orphans here in the U.S. and calls others to care for the orphans in countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, China, Ukraine, Liberia, Brazil, Haiti etc.

However if you look closely there is a difference in the needs of children (orphans) outside of the U.S. vs. the ones within the borders of the U.S. In the third world you will find orphans dying everyday by the thousands from lack of basics needs that are met here in the U.S. by the government and/or foster programs.

  • Shelter
  • An Abundance of food
  • Access to free Medical Care
  • Clean Water
  • Education

And so on...
Children in the third world do not get these things.

I was recently reading a string of comments on a local news page on Facebook concerning International vs. Domestic adoption. I felt sad and drained after reading through some of the things people say about families who adopt internationally.  I came to the result that most people don't really know what they are talking about. People just need to be informed and educated and made aware. People need to understand the different needs and where exactly the needs are and how to meet those needs. And it's up to us adoptive parents to love and educate those that just don't know.

There are thousands of resources out there concerning adoptions both international and domestic. If you have questions on either I want to encourage you to look into it your self and find answers or helpful articles to understand each process.

Ultimately we all need to be praying about what our roll looks like in the relieving the world wide orphan and poverty crisis. Instead of pointing fingers and saying mean things to each other we need to love, encourage and help one another out. I was once asked "Why are you spending thousands to adopt from Ethiopia when there are orphans in your city's foster care program? Why not take care of your own first. "My response was simply "How many foster children do you have? How many children have you adopted?" For us, we felt called by God to adopt from Ethiopia. God calls some there, God calls some here and God calls some to both. God's ways are great.

God doesn't see borders, He sees children. And he is faithful in setting the lonely in homes. He cares for the orphans, He sees them in their distress and he deploys families from all races, economical positions and countries to care for them and to meet their needs. How is God calling you to play a roll in His story of redemption?
Click image above to be directed to a super cute adoption fundraiser. 


  1. YES! I share your thoughts completely! Thank you for such a thorough answer.

  2. Great post Jenna! My heart breaks for orphans in both the US and abroad! None are more deserving than the other, just as I'm not more deserving of God's grace than anyone else. I pray that more people would respond to the call.

  3. Amen! Thank you for addressing this, Jenna. We need loving and informed voices responding. :)

  4. Love this! Our hearts are currently being called to domestic adoption, but we are certainly proponents of adoption. Period. No matter where they originate.

  5. I really love this post. I definitely don't know much about adoption and being a single parent, I am in NO position to look into it, but I find the heart behind all you adoptive parents so encouraging, and I've loved praying for you all :)

    1. Thank you!!! Prayers and encouragement are what get us adoptive mommas through. We cherish friends like you!

  6. Thank you for the way you tackled this topic with grace.

    Would you be willing to let us feature this post on "We Are Grafted In"? ( It is a Christian adoption website that seeks to encourage adoptive parents and those considering adoption as well as those with a passion for orphan care and foster care.

    If you are willing, I'd just need a brief bio and a picture to use when it is featured so we can direct our readers back to your blog.

    Just let me know!

    co-administrator of WAGI
    smurphy28 @ juno . com

  7. Yes! This brought tears to my eyes because it is so simple, so accurate, and so kind. I will be sharing it!


  8. a big A.MEN.

    b/c EVERY child without a mommy and daddy should have one.

    "God calls some here, some there, and some both."
    I'm not going to be the one to question The One.

  9. What a wonderful post and so true! God sees children .... That need us!

    Kim o


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, love and encouragement.
It is always so appreciated.