A Gentle Plea for Chaos


I hadn’t planned to post today. My thoughts on the significance of January 22 are already documented here.

But each time I catch a glimpse of the calendar, I feel an unmistakable tug to say something about today. And since I’ve eaten nothing in the past 24 hours that should induce heartburn, I can only assume the urge is legitimate. So here I am.

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision by the Supreme Court to make abortion a fundamental right in the United States. I could list statistics here, but you can find those ad nauseam from people and websites with more credentials than I.

So I will share what I know best.

My earliest memory in life is the one where my parents told me I was going to have a brother. Being an only child at the time, I have no idea how I understood the significance of the news, but I did. For weeks leading up to my brother’s adoption, I carried a tiny Polaroid snapshot of him with me everywhere I went. I can remember wearing my high gloss patent leather shoes to court, and I can still recall in vivid detail the room at the adoption agency where we sat and waited for my brother to be handed to us (or, more specifically, my parents. At 3 years of age, I’m certain I was as helpful as a screen door on a submarine.)

The room was immediately to the left when you entered the agency.
The walls were powder blue.
A bank of folding chairs lined one side.

FYI: The room at the adoption agency hasn’t changed much in 30 years. I know this because my husband and I went back to the same room a few years ago to adopt our own little boy.

Now we are beginning the process to become licensed foster parents. The future is chaotic and bright.

Every week I meet people who say they want to adopt or foster someday. And I get it. Life is crazy busy. I believe each person who tells me she wants to get involved someday. And it’s noble. I applaud the desire. But I beg you–please, just do something.

Just DO something. Life isn’t going to settle down. The process isn’t going to become less intimidating with time. You’re probably not going to win the jackpot or score that dream house. What do you need (in order to start) that you don’t have now?

Just do SOMETHING. In recent years I’ve toned down my everyone-should-adopt message. I *get* that not everyone is meant to do it. I really do. But I also believe everyone who stands opposed to January 22, 1973, and stands with James 1:27 should do something. I’m not going to tell you what that is because you alone know what you are called to do.

Adoption and foster care are chaotic. It can feel overwhelming, but it is a spectacular privilege I wouldn’t trade for the world.

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