Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blessed to be a weirdo


I have often thought that, while on the whole I believe the internet to be a wonderful invention, one of the negatives about it is that it decreases one's comprehension of the normative. What I mean is this: it used to be, if you were a weirdo, you knew it. It was obvious that you were different from the people in your family and your community. You stuck out like a sore thumb. Folks called you 'black sheep' or 'oddball'.

But now, due to chat boards and blogs and so forth, no matter how unusual or even deviant your weirdness might be, within minutes you can find a group of people who will not only accept but encourage you in your proclivity. Soon, you don't feel weird at all. Soon, you might even start to believe that you are the normal one.

It's an illusion. A busy chatroom is no indicator of the status quo.

It can be a very dangerous illusion depending upon the status of your weirdness. Just because some yahoo in Peoria is as perverted as you are, it doesn't make your perversion acceptable.

Or, it can just be deceiving.

I first joined an online community of moms when Shepherd was born. Nothing unusual, I knew plenty of moms in real life. When I began blogging - completely ignorant of what I was getting myself into - I naturally fell into the 'Christian mommy blog' community. And that was fine. I also know lots of Christian mommies in real life. Life imitated internet.

But, now, things have changed.

And I've just discovered I'm one of those online weirdos.
Who thought she was normal.

I was adopted, my brother was adopted, my closest-thing-to-a-sister was adopted, many of my childhood playmates were adopted. It seemed normal. I always knew that if I could not conceive, I would no doubt adopt. Then years ago, I was made aware of the orphan situation in China and vowed to adopt whether I could conceive a child or not. Before I married my husband, I made sure he was on board with the plan (his response: "Awesome. Adoption is so freaking biblical." Yup, he was The One.) Throughout our marriage, the question has never been if we would adopt, only when.

Silly me, I still thought I was normal.
Thought my cute new husband was normal too.

Once the timing became right, and we began the process, I immediately found a huge online community. Not just for adoption in general or even international adoption, but for Ethiopian adoption specifically. There are so many blogs of families at every stage of the process. I also joined no less than three yahoo chat boards for those adopting from Ethiopia.

It started to seem like everyone was adopting internationally.

It seemed - you know what - normal.

It was a humongous illusion.

The reactions we have received from some in our tangible community - the minority, blessedly, the minority - have slapped me out of my internet bubble and forced me to confront reality. Slapped me hard. My cheeks bear invisible bruises from various criticizing palms.

We've been called everything from foolish and naive to selfish with bad priorities to neglectful parents to trying to be fashionable by adopting a black child (the latest stinging accusation.) It's even been insinuated that we are racist - though I'm still not sure how that one works.

And these are the things that have been said to our faces. I don't care to imagine what some are saying behind out backs.

Guess what y'all? Turns out it's not one bit normal to adopt an orphan!
We're the oddballs! We're the black sheep!

I should have known.

I knew the statistics: that if only 3% of the world's self professed Christians adopted a child, there would be no more orphans in the world. That if only one family out of each church in our country adopted one child from foster care, there would be no more adoptable foster children in America.

And yet most Christians don't adopt. Many - dare I say most? - churches don't do one thing to protect the fatherless in America or anywhere else. The result: there are still approximately 143 million orphans in the world, and over 120,000 orphans in America (in addition to another half million foster children ineligible for adoption.)

Only 2,277 Ethiopian children were adopted by Americans last year.

But because every single one of them seems to have a blog, I got hoodwinked into thinking it was more, much more.

I kind of shocked myself today with the revelation that, when I discount a couple of acquaintances and people whom I have met only because of our impending adoption, I have only one real friend who has adopted internationally. One. I've never ever met another family who has adopted from Africa, let alone Ethiopia. In my own good-sized church, I can think of only three families who have adopted period.

We are weird. We are super weird.
And we are gonna have at least five super duper weird kids who think that sacrificing all you have to pay the ransom for a child you've never met from an orphanage in a country that previously you couldn't find on a map is normal.

And, for the first time in my life, I feel so unbelievably blessed to be a weirdo.

92 comments:

  1. i'm a semi-lurker, and i just have to say what a great writer i think you are! you have a way with words for sure. i'm sorry about the negativity y'all are dealing with. but how blessed in it all, at the same time--one might say Jesus was considered a weirdo. and HE is some good company. :0)

    i'll be praying for you here in dallas! what an exciting journey you are on. and some sobering statistics to chew on!

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  2. Missy. You are weird. Christ followers are. There's no two ways about it.

    As a believer, I believe many things. One of those things is that since as Christ followers, WE ARE ALL ADOPTED, I believe it is imparative to at minimum pray and consider adoption when considering adding children to your family.

    (I once heard a preacher preach that since we are called to follow Him, we are all missionaries. And, hence, our first thought should be where does He want me to serve. If I don't go, who will? And, I should not consider "will He call me into the mission field?" He already has. Instead, I should consider, "will He call me to the secular workplace?" I personally think adoption is along those lines.)

    As I wait on the Lord and pray for my (hopefully) future husband, I pray (among many things) that he is being prepared to adopt. (And goodness gracious if he ever said what Walker said! Lord have mercy!)

    I have some very good friends who have a daughter from S. Korea and are in the process (not far behind you) of adopting a boy from Ethiopia- they don't blog much about it though I personally have many friends who have adopted and I will stand in that gap for you.

    Also? I mentioned to a friend your blog and that some "friends" said some awful and hurtful things about your adoption. Maybe my friend and I are naiive, maybe we are sheltered; but neither of us could a) fathom what someone would have/could have said (we assumed it was mabye racist but that took us a while to get to) and b) why would someone even care to say those things? It is beyond me to undertand this. I am SO sorry for you.

    I'm praying.

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  3. I think what you are doing by adopting is so amazing. People think I'm weird because I homeschool. Ha! I think that if the world had more 'weirdos' like you, it would be a much better place. xo

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  4. Missy, you KNOW you're doing what God wants you to do. It makes me sad that folks would say such horrible things to a wacky, wonderful woman who is such a blessing to me and many, many others through this blog! Thank you for sharing your life with us, and thank you for giving little Bethie a better life.

    Hang in there, girlfriend! (Can I call you "girlfriend" even though we've never met??)

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  5. wow I never would have taught that you could get these kind of statements about adoption, but I might be a bit naive that way!

    I long to adopt and people think that is weird because we are "very fertile" (in 4 years of being married to my wonderful husband I got preggo 4 time, we have 1 precious little one that when to the Lord after 10 weeks, 2 beautiful toddlers and baby#3 is due anytime now!)

    Because of our "fertility" adoption agencies are not looking at us with a positive eyes not take us seriously!!!! Plus because we are not "well off financially" according to the society standard adoption is not a option right now!

    But I husband always provides for all of us with more then we need and are able to bless other with what we got!

    If someone would leave a baby on our door step we would be taking care of him/her as our own. So why making adoption so complicated???

    Thanks for sharing this post!

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  6. As an adoptive mom, I've heard similar criticisms, but it is well worth the criticism to adopt a child who needs you. May the Lord bless you for taking James 1:27 so seriously!!!

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  7. From one weirdo to another - this post rocks! You're on a roll darlin. And here I was going to write and ask about your feelings on nursing an adoptive baby? Since I'm thinking weird like that. But wouldn't want to have your weird-o-meter go through the roof with a post regarding that, so feel free to private message me. Love, one of two (that we know of) mommies adopting from Ethiopia in the STATE of SC. How rare is that????

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  8. I've been a lurker, but just had to tell you that any time you want to let your freak-flag fly, your family is always welcome in our little corner in Arkansas. We just brought our little man home from Ethiopia 6 weeks ago and he joins 6 or 7 other precious Ethiopian kiddos just in our region.

    So sorry you've received hurtful comments, but glad you're not letting them get you down!

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  9. While we were in the process of adopting from Thailand, we only got one less-than-supportive comment (besides old, racist relatives in Iowa, most of whom changed their tune quickly) and that was of the "why don't you adopt domestically?" variety. Once I explained, she backed off.

    Our church of 80 has one kid from Thailand, two from Guatemala, and one from the Ukraine.

    Funny how white parents adopting a baby of African heritage will get flack, but all we got was, "Oh, he'll be so lucky!"

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  10. Why be normal?!

    Normal is overrated.

    Jesus was a weirdo. I'm with HIM:)

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  11. Missy, I've been reading your blog with a lot of interest, because I'm feel I'm being directed to adopt as well. When I mentioned to my dad that I felt particularly drawn towards China or Haiti, I got the same kind of statements. Mind you, we haven't even started the process. We're still talking about it! I want you to know that you are sort of my hero in what you are doing. Keep your chin up.

    Weirdos of Christ, Unite! :D

    Hugs,
    Melinda

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  12. You need to hang out a bit with Lysa TerKeurst - her two boys are from Africa. And I believe Renee Swope's new baby is from Ethiopia.

    I have some friends whose daughter was adopted from Russia. I keep forgetting that, though! She's always just been their child to me.

    Blessed are the weird.

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  13. I totally understand how ugly people can act. My husband and I are Christian and have chosen to adopt older children with profound special needs. So far we have two girls, ages 20 and 21. The response from our church was less than encouraging and we got many comments and dirty looks. Eventually we changed churches and helped begin a SS class for adults with special needs. Our new church accepts our kids just as if I had given birth to them.
    It helps to remember that those people who are critical will never feel that incredible joy that we feel. They'll never have the peace that we feel, knowing that our children were chosen for us by God. And maybe, just maybe, they'll develop an annoying rash. :-)

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  14. One of my college professors adopted two little Ethiopian princesses. They live in a VERY VERY blond/blue eyes area of the States and their girls are gorgeous! They've also adopted some Ethiopian dishes and cultures to their home which can't be easy in the area they live in (how do you find injerra in a small town grocery store???)

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  15. Missy, I am another lurker coming clean.... I am a weirdo!
    We have been blessed with three gifts from God through adoption. We just brought our latest home 4 mos ago and we have been the recipients of some not so nice comments also. We now have 6 children from the age of 30 to 4 yrs old (two 4 yr olds!) and we are in our early 50's.
    The most hurtful was a "friend" who asked us what were we thinking, weren't we afraid we would die and leave them alone? HELLO!!! Aren't they ALONE NOW?? Does no one under the age of 50 die??
    A families love for a day is greater than none at all!
    So happy to be in your and His group of weirdos.
    Sorry for rambling! :)

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  16. Thanks for giving words to how I often feel. Even the act of living a life for Christ (or attempting to) is just weird, even amongst "Christians."

    I still cannot get over those horrible reactions. I think people must feel threatened that you all have the courage and faith to do something they didn't.

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  17. Sandy, Exactly. The most common criticism we have gotten is that we won't be able to afford to send them to college.

    Gee, that's right. I'm sure instead of applying for school loans they'd rather stay IN AN ORPHANAGE.

    Thaaaaaat makes sense.

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  18. Missy, come on down to our church in Metro Atlanta, and you'll fit right in with the rest of the weirdos. We have so many internationally adopted kids in our church of about 200 that I can't even think of them all. In several situations, the adoptions created multiracial families, too, including a gorgeous brother and sister from Ethiopia. We teach them in the 3-4 year old class, and I love them to pieces. In fact, the high level of adoptive families is one of my favorite aspects of our church. Adoption has been on my heart since I was a teenager, but then I got married and immediately had 5 kids in 7 yrs. Then, our finances went haywire and we're just now coming up for air. And I'm pregnant with #6. And still I dream. Already, we've offered to adopt 3 different children domestically, but it never came to pass. So, I just keep dreaming of the day and praying that God would give us the privilege to "do unto the least of these" what He put on my heart so many years ago.

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  19. If people say those things to you, just imagine what they must have said to the ultimate weirdo--Christ Himself. People criticize that which they don't understand. It makes them feel better about themselves. May I suggest that you pray for them? It's hard to do, I'm sure, but those who criticize you are the ones who need your prayers the most. And what better way to be Christ-like in this situation than to turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute you?

    I have been following your blog because I hear God calling me to adoption. I appreciate your honesty about how hard it can be at times, and I look forward to (someday) being a weirdo too!

    Love in Christ,
    Katina

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  20. Missy...I think you guys need new "friends." These people are all so busy trying to pick apart your decision that they can't/won't see how wrong they are. As humans, when we feel threatened we get defensive...these folks sound like just that. Defensive. If I were you, I would print out pictures of these sweet baby orphans and email one picture to each of these crazies that keep giving you crap. Tell them to take a long hard look into that childs face and tell him/her that they don't deserve to be loved because it will cost too much money and because your neighbors don't think it's right to adopt an African baby...or an Asian baby...or a Mexican baby because your white. If they still fuss at you after that, then need medication because their heart is broken. :)

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  21. I know what you're saying.

    Believe me, there are as many different attitudes toward your adoption as people, and it's not predictable based on religion or race.

    A little nicer than the negative is the old, "What you're doing is so GREAT!" , making a hero out of you, when orphan care for Christians ought to be NORMAL.

    The "fashionable" thing is what I call the Angelina Jolie effect. Our Ethiopian daughter came home to us right around the time Ms. Jolie's Ethiopian daughter came to her, so we got that kind of remark (um, hello? We started the process and adopted long before we'd ever heard of her... and do you realize that you're calling me a vain, selfish, shallow follower of a person who thinks of children as fashion accessories when you say that?) She is our 4th child, 1st girl, so everyone assumes that we chose to adopt to "get our girl" (see above -- um, hello? we originally specified that we preferred a boy).
    I had one woman (who didn't know a thing about our adoption or our daughter's circumstances) furious because we "exploited and stole a child from the Ethiopian culture and from her people, who would LOVE to adopt her, but just aren't given the chance because of their poverty", no matter what else you personally do to alleviate poverty or what the scope of the problem is. Others, totally unfamiliar with attachment and the fact that staff do not equal parents who believe that building more orphanages is the answer... and on and on. People who would like to enforce plans for a PC utopia that doesn't exist NOW, when there are little people NOW who just need parents and a shot at life.
    And then, because we very much live in an inter-racial community, are the reactions of people of color. SO much baggage can come with a reaction (maybe someone feels that their sister's kid was taken away by CYS in a racially biased way, and you represent those who did it). The there's the HAIR inspection. Others do the gush. Every African-born person I have met has expressed genuine gratefulness. Then again, I've been given the evil eye, called a b****, and somethin-somethin about my white a**, all of those just based on my anonymous presence with a black child.

    The trick is to get a thick skin while remaining soft and gracious. (As the mom of an adolescent with autism and mental health issues who is constantly being judged, a trans-racial parent in a somewhat racially-charged city, and other things, I'm not sure i've perfected the art...)

    Great post!

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  22. Missy - I am going to pray that your adoption turns your church/community upside down and in a few years you will know MANY people who have adopted, because they were influenced by yours!

    Nothing worth doing is every easy. Praying for you bloggy friend!

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  23. greetings from one weirdo to another. this was a well-written and insightful post.

    i am sorry for the criticism you have faced, and unfortunately there will probably be more. though i think when you have your child with you, the comments can be a bit more guarded and motivated by curiousity. it's like when you are thinking about baby names and everyone feels so free to say how much they hate a name you like, but MOST people will refrain once the child has the name and is in front of them.

    though i am sure it will be a challenge to be one of the first in your community, there is also something about the opportunity to educate by example. carry on, weirdo.:) it's way weirder to be "normal".

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  24. What??!!

    Are you telling me --- I'm weird!!! haha!

    You are so right, sometimes I feel totally normal because I live in this virtual blog community of Ethiopian adoption blogs. And then I go out into the real world and tell people that we are adopting from Ethiopia and I just want to say.... "I'm not weird, I promise....you should see all these other people that are doing it!"

    Great post Missy, as always!

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  25. I love this post! I didn't realize i was a weirdo, either! LOVE IT! African adoption has been my dream for as long as I can remember. But, since I am 29, single as can be, and living in EGYPT...not really an option for me! My roommate and I are teachers originally from Houston and we stalk your blog on a daily basis! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you, Missy :)

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  26. We are so blessed to have a church that celebrates adoption -- we don't have an official ministry, but two of our pastors and lots of families have adopted internationally or from the US.

    Only one other thing to say -- weirdo power!! We need a secret handshake or something.

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  27. I've been reading here for a while, but have never commented. We are also an adoptive family through international adoption. We have started the process to adopt again. I have told a total of 3 people because I just don't want to hear the comments yet. I feel weird almost every day. I want so much MORE than a better house, a better car, a better whatever. ALl that seems empty after being allowed to parent one of the fatherless. I know that's not from me - that is God's change in my heart. He has allowed me to be a weirdo too.
    Thanks for sharing your heart - weirdos love company.

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  28. I am so blessed by this post. We weird-o's need to know that there are others out there like us.

    My husband and I are about 4 years behind you in the adoption process (if that's even possible), and I love love love your honesty here.

    And honestly, I think anyone who every really impacted the world was a total weird-o. You're in good company.

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  29. Missy, I, too, was hurt greatly by someone I thought was a friend this week and your post came in the perfect time...go figure! haha Isn't that just GOD'S way?? Thank you for the gentle reminder that we are to please Him, not the world. NEVER forget you are doing so in adoption as well! Our son is adopted from Guat, I am sure there are people who think we were/are crazy, but his three blond hair, blue eyed siblings and my husband and myself KNOW he is a gift form the Lord!! Hold your head high and know you are awesome...and maybe a little weird like the rest of us called to adoption! It's a great group to be a part of!

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  30. Missy, you inspire me to more weirdness every day.

    Much love, from one weirdo to another.

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  31. Hail Weirdos!! The world needs more weirdos.

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  32. Sadly, "Weird" should be "Normal" and it's not. If there were more people who did this "weird" thing, the world would be a much better place. My husband and I have been praying about adopting one day. For the record, we appreciate your families willingness to love and care for an adopted child, regardless of her skin color, race or country of origin.

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  33. I am blessed to be a weirdo too and so thankful that Father has allowed me the opportunity!!
    I LOVE your writing! You so eloquently verbalize so many thoughts I've had and couldn't even put into words, and many more thoughts I wish I'd thought...LOL!
    Keep on keepin' on! Your blog is full of His truth and He is using you in mightier ways than you probably realize! :)

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  34. I adore you, and your weirdnesses.

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  35. As a fellow advocate/lover of adoption weirdo myself, I really appreciated this post!

    Have you heard the song "Uncommon" by Greg Long and Kristy Starling? It's amazing and completely speaks to the idea of being an oddball Christian. Look it up if you get the chance!

    GOD BLESS YOU for being an uncommon weirdo! If only more Christians accepted that mantle and accepted it as proudly as you do.

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  36. awesome...i too LOVE to be a weirdo if that means I get to parent my Lucy lane...Now that i'm on the other side...CAn you imagine looking at our family and thinking having LL in it IS WEIRD?? All those around you will change..i promise...God is just that good :) kj

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  37. I just found you! I was carried over here by the "I don't want my kids to be happy post" I clicked on that link because I say that all the time. LOL
    We are a little backwards here. I am adopted and my little brother is adopted. I also knew I wanted to adopt. I thought I would have some kids and then adopt.
    God thought I should adopt some kids first. By the way I love your tag line. We went from being a family of two to a family of 7 in two years. We started fostering in 2004 and ended (I like to think temporarily) in 2006 when we adopted all five of our children.
    In December of last year we found out that we were miraculously expecting our first bio in June of this year.
    All of my kids are so excited!
    Here is our weird family, each one of my five kids talks about the five kids they can't wait to adopt. LOL
    Yep, Christmas at Grandma's is going to be something one day! :)
    I keep telling my husband that this baby is our freebie. Everyone is happy because they know we longed for a bio. Any that come after this one.. well we better get the shields ready. LOL
    I love your blog. I would love to adopt internationally but we just don't have the funds.
    I agree that more Christians should understand how Biblical adoption is. Even if they think they can't do it, they can sure help out others who "can".
    I'm excited to read more here.

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  38. Welcome to the weirdo club:) We are blessed to have you. Thank you for keeping your eyes fixed on what really matters.

    www.raising3babesinthe3rdworld.blogspot.com

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  39. I'm a lurker, but just so you can be more aware of all the other "weirdos" out there, I'll make myself known.
    We're waiting for a referral from Ethiopia as well. We adopted domestically in December (the most ADORable AA boy you've ever seen. Seriously.) and I'm getting used to being the weirdo. International and transracial adoption is slowly becoming more and more "normal" around here (at least in Utah) and I couldn't be happier.

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  40. I find it mind boggling that your friends and family have felt free to air their "wisdom" when you yourself are adopted. This was a very great and thought provoking post. You are such a great writer, Missy.

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  41. I WANNA BE A WEIRDO!! At least it's good to know that there are men out there who think adoption is biblical too. :)
    My roommate (who posted above) and I stalk your blog longingly from Egypt and are hoping to see the day where we can celebrate our Ethiopian adoptions as well! Keep it up!

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  42. I have another "weirdo" friend! She is a single mom in Mississippi (never married) who has adopted THREE children from China. So Missy, I'd say you're in pretty good company! You go, girl!

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  43. Missy - Thanks for being so transparent! Jesus called us to care for the orphans of the world...thanks for answering that call!

    MJ

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  44. good for you being weird! Thank God! We need more weirdos! I got hoodwinked into thinking homeschooling my kids was absolutely normal--hahaha!

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  45. Something my Mom taught me:
    Wonderful
    Excellent
    Intelligent
    Radical
    Delightful

    Yup, you are weird. And I'm glad to cyber-know you.

    And I have several cousins who are adopted, and many students at my school. My first year teaching half my class was adopted (granted, there were only 6 students).

    Blessings on your adoption process!

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  46. If you're weird, I'm pretty sure I'm mentally unstable.

    I'm adopting internationally, out of birth order, a child who is over 3, does not speak English, has developmental delays, and will need multiple surgeries to repair a birth defect. With three other children at home. There's no book that recommends doing that. Praise God that He alone knows who is supposed to be in my family.

    I'd love to say that "I can't believe people have said those things to you", but I have heard the same. I have to remind myself that 10 or 15 years ago, I may have looked at other families and thought (not SAID, but thought) "better you than me", unaware of the journey that God would bring me on to prepare my heart for our own adoption.

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  47. I belong to a mega church where international adoption is rife - mixed race familes everywhere...thank you for reminding me what a BLESSING it is to see that every week - to see right in front of me the message that Jesus adopted ME lived out by these amazing families.
    Missy, YOU are starting a movement in your church - living out the gospel - your adoption journey and your parenting life is on show for us to see Jesus.
    Be encourged, sister.
    And keep writing...your blogs are a joy.

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  48. If by weird you mean awesome, then yes, you are SOOOO weird.

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  49. Oh Missy -- i have yet to venture personally on the journey through international adoption (although it is coming in the future) but i am also adopted, and totally get the wierdo look from time to time. . .especially when i say things (and mean them) like "i would be okay to only adopt children and not do the biological child thing". i am 100% in with the wierdo gang, and i love it. adoption is beautiful and i am getting to watch the journey as an adopted child watching my mentor's family adopt a precious baby boy from ethiopia and it is warming my heart daily. adoption is love, period.

    when i was a baby, my parents kept a framed picture in my room that said:

    "Not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone, but nevertheless still my own, never forget for a single minute that you weren't born under my heart but in it."

    thought you might find this encouraging too: http://www.stevenfurtick.com/motivation/weird-work/

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  50. You are not alone Missy! Wirdos unite! And even if you didn't have all of us supporting you...you're still not alone! HE is on your side. And after all...He is all that matters!

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  51. Well, if you are truely a weirdo-? then I guess it's cool to be weird-:) - cause it seems to me~ that your commenters like it here...
    I love it here... I love the humor the honesty and I love learning about how ya' all are navigating this adoption process. Keep doing what you are doing! PLEASE!

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  52. ha - I just did a post about how weird adoption is the other day.... :)

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  53. I was sent your blog address by a friend that is also adopting from Ethiopia. I was lamenting on my blog this morn that I have encountered more questioning as of late and my struggle to articulate some of my answers. I continue to be shocked by the number of people that criticize our decision to be a forever family to children that do not have a mommy and daddy to love them. I appreciate your sweet and funny post.

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  54. Great post. My hubby and I were having a similar conversation the other day when we read that IA is in a 40% decline. WHAT?? We know SO many people that are adopting. :)

    I had a dear friend say to me the other day, after I had a brief ditzy moment and forgot something, that I really shouldn't adopt again--what might my brain come to then. KInda made me want to start the paperwork that day. :)

    Feel so blessed to have been apart of this amazing community of complete weirdos!

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  55. From one weirdo to another . . . I like you. You are cool. Your husband is cool. Your family is cool. Keep up the weirdo-ness!

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  57. I wanted to come over hear and say something utterly brilliant- well, I don't have that. If being weird is what it takes to walk God's path, then we'll all just be weird together! {And pray for those who don't understand how to walk it out.} I want to say something to encourage you, but I have to tell you that your post has encouraged me more than I can say!

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  58. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I think this one is my favorite. My husband and I are in the process of adopting through the Foster Care system. I find it to be amazing that so many "Christians" find adoption so foregin. Seriously. I can't understand where our churches went wrong in understanding and supporting adoption. Any how, I love your blog, I love that you are so honest. Thanks for being you!

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  59. Love it. love that you are weird, love that I can be weird with you! After all, we're in good company...most people thought Jesus was pretty weird too!

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  60. Missy,

    I have to say I'm really shocked about all the negative comments you've gotten. I think it's fantastic that you're adopting. My husband and I are praying about adopting from Ethiopia too. We just want to be open to what God wants us to do. I'll continue to pray for this journey you're on.

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  61. OH girl, I LOVE being a totally uncool weirdo. And I CAN'T WAIT til we get home with our little girl and see the heads turn! Don't let the comments get ya down. Dealing with it gets easier with time. Even when it's family members, like mine. I have been wanting to do a "Top Ten Rudest Comments Made Since Announcing Our Adoption" on my blog. It would be sweeeeeeet. And after I narrowed it down to JUST ten and typed it up, my hubby wouldn't let me post it! UGH! It was a grrrrreat post! But granted, the people who made those comments actually read my blog, so it would be obvious to them. Oh well!!! Keep yo' head up, girl!
    Amanda
    www.TotallyCrazy4Him.blogspot.com

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  62. Missy, I can think of four families in our church who have adopted children, but I agree that is not nearly the percentage that it should be. I have often wondered myself why more families in our church have not adopted, but I have not been bold enough to ask anyone. The church should look different from the rest of the world, and most of the time, it doesn't look very different, at least to me.

    I think part of the problem with looking at the stats is that many people who call themselves Christians are not really Christians. Many people who claim to be Christians do not even believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. And I heard a stat last year that over 50% of pastors in evangelical churches in the U.S. do NOT have a biblical worldview (as in, don't believe things like Jesus never sinned, Jesus is God, Jesus rose from the dead, the only way to heaven is by grace through faith in Him alone, etc). How sad is that? If that is the case among pastors, just think how the numbers must rise among the churchgoers.

    My cousin just got certified for foster care this April and just got her first placement of three children a few weeks ago. She has a heart for caring for orphans, much like you do, and would love to end up adopting at least one child from each continent. She is always talking to people and trying to make them aware of the need, and asking them why they are not fostering or adopting. The answers are interesting...mostly it boils down to an unwillingness to take risks, make sacrifices, and be uncomfortable. She admits (and I agree) that there are legitimate reasons not to adopt, but that NOT adopting should be the exception, not the norm. I think you should pose the question on FB: "What reasons do you have for not adopting?" and see what you get. A great way to challenge people and make them think!

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  63. Welcome to the weirdo club! We're currently adopting through the foster care system and have already started the process of adopting internationally from the Marshall Islands.

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  64. Missy, may more of us become Weird!!! Our church has recently started an Orphan Care ministry and it has been amazing to be a part of and watch people step up and out for our kids here and abroad. But it also gets discouraging to see the SEA of others who....? Don't see? Don't care? I don't know. God, open our eyes and break our hearts. Raise up more mommies and daddies for YOUR babies (red, and yellow, black and white...they ARE precious in YOUR sight).

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  65. I think you are amazing and hope to be as weird as you :) It's a lofty goal!

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  66. Wow! You really know how to express yourself with words and express how everyone, I mean adoption blog people, fell. I definitely have started to think that adoption is normal, or are we doing this because everyone else is? Oh and then I am reminded of reality the moment I step out of my house. But, I love your last paragraph. The fact that our family is going to think a trans-racial family is normal, is so beautiful! Thanks for putting words in my mouth and helping me to analyze myself. You truly have a gift.

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  67. I thought you may be interested in reading this post from another couple adopting from Ethiopia: http://flipflopsandlipgloss.blogspot.com/2010/05/fundraiser-t-shirts-are-here.html

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  68. Our niece came to us via foreign adoption and I can't imagine our life without her!! We lovingly tease my sister-in-law that her pregnancy was about 2 years long, start to finish. My only "cloud" about the day my niece came home was that a family tragedy had occured the very same day and I wasn't able to meet and greet at the airport (I had even gotten balloons the night before!!) - I always wish I could have been one of the very first family members to see her and give her a big hug. But now I can give that sweet 9 year old hugs anytime we see her:)

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  69. I love your kind of weird, Missy. It's the kind of weird I want to be. The kind that is REAL about dying to self and following Jesus. Love your heart, girl!

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  70. We adopted from Ethiopia this year. I guess I'm wierd, too! Yay!

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  71. Jesus was a weirdo too. That's pretty good company if you ask me! :)

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  72. Congrats on the impending adoption. Just found your blog somehow and I enjoy reading it. You are a very good writer.
    My husband and I have adopted two little girls and have not received the response you write about. Reading your post makes my blood boil, I can't imagine how you feel, esp with those words coming from "friends." I'll be praying for your adoptiong journey. Adoption is different, hard, but such a blessing.
    My blog is www.ourlittlehope.blogspot.com. Feel free to stop by (or not).

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  73. Well I couldn't agree more, You are weird and so am I.

    It's always nice to meet a fellow weirdie (:

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  74. I like you mostly because you are a weirdo :) Love you friend and I am so glad for how you are raising your kids!!

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  75. The family across the street adopted two girls from Ethiopia and brought them home this past September. They are doing great and guess what...their parents are white! They know no difference and they are loving their mommy and daddy - which they had never had before!

    You will always find those who have to bash everyone due to their own insecurities. Stick to your guns. You aren't a "weirdo" even though you feel like it. There are many families like you guys!

    God is good!

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  76. guess what? i'm not normal either! have always wanted to adopt, am a white lady, who dreamt of having her own colorful family. many have said, well now that you have your own (colorful) child, why adopt? well duh. because i want to. always have.
    but i must say, i am kind of shocked that it's viewed as a primarily "christian" thing to adopt. i've always thought of it as a compassion thing - something anyone from any religion is capable of. we totally cannot wait for out biracial and then...yes...hopefully ethiopian baby. my sister pointed me to your blog - she is linsey hasenbank. i hope for all of us that people stop saying silly things about adoption. so totally true that our experience makes our reality. you go girl.

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  77. Well I'm a self professed odd ball and we too are adopting from Ethiopia (of course I only "know" you through your blog so my connection is somewhat skewed I guess). I don't know a single soul who has adopted from Ethiopia either. The internet is a funny place. But I'm glad for the connections it provides...even to other weirdos like me ;)

    Jenn

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  78. I'm glad to see so many people have responded to your post! I haven't been by your blog in a while and just happened to stop by and read these few posts about the awful things people have said...

    I found myself thinking, "Are you kidding? People are that friggin' naive and mean and callous and ignorant that they actually come out and say things like that?"

    I AM SO SORRY you had to experience that!

    What your family is doing is amazing. I have a longing in my heart to adopt someday and when I read your statistics I felt even more affirmed that is is something we NEED to do, not just something we may want to do.

    I don't know if you saw the family on Oprah earlier this week- they adopted a little black girl from Haiti and have received a lot of criticism-- Oprah was right when she said children just want to be LOVED..it doesn't matter what color your skin is or their skin is...Your love for your child is all that matters.

    Great work!

    Perhaps the internet does alter our ideas of reality, but for the good I say!!!

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  79. Another weirdo present! I think we need T-shirts.

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  80. I am SO happy I somehow stumbled across your blog tonight!
    I love you. I don't know, but I love you. I feel like you and I might have had twin brains that were separated at birth. I don't know anyone else who uses the term "rock the casbah" like I do.

    In MY house we use the word "weird" as a GOOD descriptive tool. Weird is good around here. Who wants to be just like everyone else? BORING!

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  81. I'm thankful that my church is one of the weird ones...we have a huge orphan care ministry. I can name a handful of families that have or will adopt this year (Lord willing), and we're just getting started. Adoption has always been a big thing for me, and I recently realized that I would turn down "Mr. Right" if he wasn't at least open to adoption. I think you're right...the question should know be IF but WHEN. While there may be families it's simply not right for, I think most American Christian families CAN do it...we're incredibly blessed.

    While I don't believe that I should adopt single, I'm doing my part now in supporting the families that are!

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  82. stumbled across your blog today and had to let you know about some friends of mine who are in Ethiopia RIGHT NOW, and will be coming home with their daughter very soon.

    His blog is http://www.shawncoons.com/

    Besides - you shouldn't worry about being a weirdo. All the good people are!

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  83. Wow, thank you for writing this. SO much of this post is our experience as well. From the ugly comments, to only knowing three people who have adopted.

    Weird is good, God wants us to be weird in all sorts of ways!

    Hugs!

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  84. I read your blog pretty regularly, but somehow I missed this post the first time around. I came across it on the YWAM post.

    Loved this. Forwarded a link to my hubby, who liked it enough to bring it up in conversation later. :) Thanks for helping me realize how weird I am....and how super cool that is

    :)Melissa

    http://thelemanskis.blogspot.com

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  85. I'm a wiedo too. :) Both of my brothers are adopted (one domestic, one from Columbia), one cousin is from Peru and I was starting to plan to adopt a child myself while I was still single.

    My husband and I are currently doing foster care. We have 2 bio kids and 4 foster kids. Our teen is going to adopt us when she ages out, and we may adopt 2 of our younger kids if they become available.

    It's a wild ride, but I can't imagine not doing it anymore.

    - Dianne

    joshuanora.blogspot.com

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  86. Thank you so much for this! I'm a foster parent, a single foster parent. Before I became a foster mom, I was the only person I knew who even thought of doing this. God opened door after door for me, and finally blessed me with two little boys who have been with me for over a year. They are the most amazing little people!! I have learned so much from them. God uses them to teach me so very many lessons, and He has given me the best gift ever in them.

    I LOVE that there are other weirdos out there!!!! God calls Christians to do this, and so many just ignore it. Can you imagine how AMAZING it would be if we Christians would step up and take up His calling? There are those who adopt because they have to, but why wouldn't we want to? I hope and pray that this type of weirdness becomes contagious and spreads across this country!!!!

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  87. "Blessed are the weirdos... for they shall be in great company!"

    My mom was adopted, she gave her first daughter up for adoption, and we're in the midst of the adoption process. Not to mention that really, we're ALL adopted by God. Imagine if God only adopted "some" of us, because He didn't want anything to be uncomfortable, expensive or messy? Yeah, exactly!

    We've heard some strange comments so far about our adoption journey -- we know it's only the beginning. I pray that somehow, along the way, "radical" becomes the new normal. It shouldn't be radical to live by faith -- it should be radical not to.

    As for colors, I love the way my 9 year old daughter puts it -- "We're all colored -- skin colored -- how is that any different from anyone else?"

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  88. I am new to your blog, but am loving reading it. I cannot fathom these remarks you've been getting! I have always had a longing to adopt (my husband is not quite on my page...yet ;), and specifically a black baby. I guess I should face the reality that even in a world where so much perversion is now considered normal, the ultimate expression of love and sacrifice to a child of a different race might bring persecution. It makes me so mad, especially when it's in the church -the very ones who were far off, but have been brought near, predestined to adoption.

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  89. I have been following yur blog for about a year now and mostly I am just a lurker but today God used you to speak directly to my heart!! This was the best thing I have read in the new year and exactly what I needed! You described me perfectly and I am excited to move forward as a mommy of four and begin my journey for The orphan and the children in need! I have already contacted my local NM CASA agency and am anxious to begin helping them!! Thank you thank you thank you for your words!! Have a blessed New Year!!!!

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