— Question: My husband and I are in the process of adopting a child of another race. A well-meaning family member is telling us we are making a mistake and that we should only adopt a child of our race. This family member is saying that people in the community might not accept our blended family. However, my husband and I really believe this is the child God is leading us to adopt. I have tried to tell my dissenting relative these things, but she won't listen to me. We are proceeding with the adoption, no matter what. But do you have some thoughts on how we can deal with this negative family feedback?
Answer: First, I commend you for adopting the child you believe the Lord has chosen for you to make your own. There are so many children who need homes. Adoption is one way to make a difference in the world of a needy child.
I recall the season of life when my husband and I were adopting a child of another race. Our adoption process was almost complete by the time we flew all the way to South Vietnam to claim our beautiful daughter. I was standing in an airport in what used to be Saigon, waiting for my luggage to appear on the luggage belt, and I was praying, “Lord, why did you choose us to adopt this child?” And I had a “moment” with God when a thought came strongly into my mind, “Because she needed a home, and you were willing.” That's when I realized that many, many children of all races need homes, and God is just waiting for people who are willing to answer the call to adopt.
However, we didn't get near the negative feedback it sounds like you are receiving. Nevertheless, during our whole adoption process my attitude was, “Why should I base my life choices on the wrong attitudes of other people?” If the community didn't support our adoption, then I was determined to obey God anyway.
In dealing with your negative family member, first, remind them of the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.” My favorite line is, “…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight…” Truly, all children are precious in the sight of our heavenly father, and all children deserve a good, loving home.
If that doesn't stop the negative feedback, then explain to the person that you aren't basing your life choices upon the bad attitudes of other people, but on what you believe is God's will for your life.
If the family member still persists in her negative nagging, then try placing some firm boundaries on the conversations you have with her. Simply explain that you have made your decision, based on what you believe is God's will and that you are not interested in discussing it further.
Finally, pray that this very family member will fall in love with your child once you make him or her part of your family. God has a way of miraculously changing hearts in a way all our words and facts never can.
The author of 54 books, Debra White Smith holds an M.A. from U.T. and is the featured relationship specialist on the Fox News Radio Show, “Plain Jane Wisdom.” She and her husband, Daniel, co-pastor Palestine Church of the Nazarene. For more information, visit www.debrawhitesmith.com. Got a problem? E-mail Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org