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Be A Real Man: Adopt

Posted by on August 17, 2011

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I recently finished reading (actually, listening to) Russell Moore’s 2009 book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches. Dr. Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology  at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church.

Given his background you would expect this book to successfully deliver on the theological aspects of adoption, and it does. A far smarter man than me,  put it this way:

“Thankfully, there are good books on adoption and good books on the gospel. But until the arrival of Adopted for Life, there has never been a book that puts the adoption of children so clearly within the context of the gospel of Christ. Adopted for Life is one of the most compelling books I have ever read-both deeply touching and richly theological. You will never look at adoption or the gospel in quite the same way after reading this book. How could the church have been missing this for so long?”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

When there so many others who are more qualified than me to comment on this aspect of the book, my two cents will only consist of…

“Ditto”

But the book is far from exclusively theological in content. The book thoroughly explores the hands-on, emotional, social and even the paperwork nuts and bolts of adoption.

I’m an adoptive father four times over. First with my wife’s biological daughter and then our three sons. I came to the book hoping that the author would do right by those of us in the adoption world and did he ever. After I finished this book I wanted to shake the man’s hand, pat him on the back and say, “You done good, brother. Real good.” Dr. Moore is a preacher, but the book doesn’t have an ounce of “preaching” in it. As I listened to the book I wasn’t hearing a preacher; I was hearing another Christian dad share his adoption story.

Since my wife and I began adopting we have had hundreds of discussions with parents considering adoption, offering our experiences for their benefit and encouragement. Listening to this book felt like one of those conversations, albeit much more encompassing. Like I said, the book was one Christian dad sharing with a friend.

Who should read this book?

  • Adoptive parents and couples considering adoption. In fact, you must read this book.
  • Families of adoptive and potentially adoptive parents. Want to give the kind of support these couples need? Do you want to avoid putting your foot in your mouth? Read this book.
  • Christians seeking a deeper understanding of adoption in the context of the gospel of Christ. This book is a humbling and God glorifying eye opener.

The Old School Rules Addendum to Adopted For Life

As much as I love this book — and I do because the subject is so close to my soul — I couldn’t resist some mental kibitzing (“kibitzing” — good word).  In other words, as I listened to the book I kept adding my own two cents inside my head. This is not to detract from the book. To the contrary, it only further stresses how much this book involves the reader. My additions won’t be as eloquent as Dr. Moore’s book. He is a gentle and sober-minded pastor. Me? Well, if bluntness and quirkiness were fruits of the spirit I’d be an evangelist. (They’re not works of the flesh, either, by the way.) So, I’ll “dance with the one that brung ya” and comment along those lines.

Old School Men identify & solve their problems.

My wife and I weren’t able to biologically have kids and had gone through a painful miscarriage. It was a very rough time. So how did I react to this situation? For months I did nothing but stew in my own sadness. My wife wanted to adopt long before I did. Finally, one day my wife and I were at a coffee shop and I finally caught up with where she had been for months. I looked at her and said, “Let’s do it.”  We had two choices. Not have more kids and continue hurting. Or we could fix the situation and adopt. It really is that simple. The problem: we wanted more children and didn’t have them. There are generally two solutions to this: biology or adoption. Biology wasn’t happening so adoption it is. So we adopted and — happy happy joy joy – life rocks!

But here’s what many men do (including me): they identify that problem and then instead of solving it they stew in it. Suffering and hurting. It’s like the old joke…

A man is in his home and a flash flood hits. He climbs up to the roof of his home and sits there. A fire truck drives by his home. The fireman says, “Climb down this ladder and I’ll save you.”

The man replies, “No. I’ll trust in God to save me.”

The truck leaves. The waters rise. The road is flooded. Then a boat comes by. The boater says, “Climb down and I’ll save you.”

The man replies, “No. I’ll trust in God to save me.”

Then the water rises higher. A helicopter flies above his house and lowers a ladder. The pilot says, “Climb up this ladder and I’ll save you.”

The man replies, “No. I’ll trust in God to save me.”

Finally the house collapses from the flood and the man dies. He goes to heaven and asks the Lord, “Why did you let me die?”

And God replies, “I sent a fire truck, a boat and a helicopter and you were just too stupid.”

I don’t mean to be insensitive, but because I’ve been there I think I’ve got the bona fides to be blunt. Quit being stupid. Adoption is your fire truck, boat and helicopter all rolled into one. I want happiness for you. Grab it!

Everybody thinks you’re a saint

This has happened to my wife and me hundreds of time when someone learns we adopted our kids.

Them: “God bless you. Those children are so blessed to have you. You two are saints.”
Us: Laughing, “We are blessed to have them. We were infertile. We wanted kids. WE are the blessed ones.”

This is so cool. You have the children you always wanted. You are the blessed one yet everybody thinks you are a saint. It’s like winning the lottery and people admire you because you spent the money on beers, big hats and Cadillacs.

If you adopt older children, you’ll never have to change their diapers, but when you’re old and decrepit they will have to change yours.

I adopted my daughter Chelsea when she was nine; that means I missed the entire diaper time of her life. Of course, some day I’ll be a blithering, drooling old man in diapers… and she’ll have to change mine! Chelsea, now twenty-one, still doesn’t think this joke is funny.

If you’re a mom with an adoptive newborn, you get credit for working out.

Stranger: He’s adorable. How old is he?
My wife: Two weeks old.
Stranger: Wow, and look at you! You’ve already got your figure back!!

This happened to my wife several times. And every time I gave her a look that said, “Honey, don’t you dare say a word. Just enjoy.”

Of course it can turn around and kick you in the backside. After one lady said, “You’ve already got your figure back,” the woman turned to me and said, “But I see daddy still has a little baby belly.”

So I hit her… or at least I tried to hit her, but she blocked my punch… with her walker. So I kicked her.
(Just kidding.)

Avoid the risk of ugly kids☺

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have both been named #1 on the “sexy list” in the grocery store checkout magazines. Even with this high level attractiveness, I guessing they knew an uggo biological kid was a possibility. So what do they do? Adopt some kids. Good lookin’ kids.

Though I have a Smokin’ Hot Wife, I am less attractive than Brad Pitt. (Please, try hard to ignore the chorus of “Oh, no” as you read this… anyone… just one “Oh, no”?  Bueller… Bueller.)

Let’s face it. There are some good lookin’ people out there with some goomer lookin’ biological kids. Don’t take the chance, my brothers and sisters. Adopt!

“I don’t have the money!” Think again.

See the picture of the two pennies? That was two cents more than it cost me to adopt my three sons. It was free. Not one thin dime. We adopted our three boys through a program commonly known as foster adoption. Basically, we became foster parents and were placed with children who had biological situations that gave us a very high probability of being able to adopt them.

Again, the cost is nada. Through foster adoption we now have three incredibly handsome & charming sons who have been with us since they were two days old. And the adoption cost is zilch. If you want to adopt, money is not a barrier.

Finally, do not hand me, “But I want to pass on my seed” pseudo-macho horse dung

We have friends who are considering adoption. The potential dad is hesitant because, and I quote, he wants to continue his “seed”. This is misplaced pseudo-macho skubalon. When I hear a man say this I feel like I’m looking at a crack addict denying himself the joys of a drug-free life. Like a crack addict, a man who holds on tight to a foolish idea that keeps him from adoption is denying himself the joys of children.

It’s stupid.

Do you think once you hold that child in your arms that the one fraction of a gram of your dna that wasn’t kicked in at the start will matter a hill of beans? It won’t matter to you and it won’t matter to the child.

If you met me face to face and saw me with my sons, you wouldn’t have the gall to tell me a lack of dna connection makes our bond weaker. Then why have the foolishness to say that to yourself?

I don’t have “adoptive children”. I have children. Like Dr. Moore put so well, if I had a biological child who was born via Caesarean section, I wouldn’t introduce him as, “This is Junior, my Caesarean child.” Adoption is an event, not a condition.

Get over the pseudo-macho foolishness. And besides, I’ve seen some of your relatives; what makes you think your “seed” is so great?☺

Keep it Old School my friend,

The Old Man, Chris Dixon

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