So, Pat Robertson broke my heart a little tonight.
Televangelist Pat Robertson has said on Thursday's edition of The 700 Club with co-host Kristi Watts that people thinking of adopting children should be cautious about taking in those that have been sexually abused or deprived of food for risk that they may turn out to be weird."
Yes, he said that. Among other things.
You can read the full article here.
It breaks my heart for many reasons.
I was one of those sexually abused [neglected....abandoned child of a drug addict] kids. Should I have been cast aside by society, for fear that I'd turn out weird?
And... Okay, so I did turn out pretty messed up. Or "weird". After an entire childhood of heartache, I developed coping mechanisms that were not healthy. And I had a no self-esteem and a fairly skewed moral compass. In my late teens/early 20's, I made some unwise and hurtful decisions that I will forever regret.
And, oddly enough, I'd felt called to adopt the unloveables when I was nine years old.
But, clearly, I was not yet ready ... and I knew it.
Thankfully, by my later 20's, I was piecing my life back together and found a church family that helped guide me into healing and wholeness through a sincere relationship with the Lord. I thank God for his grace, mercy and forgiveness!
And it breaks my heart that Pat Robertson is a Christian leader who has influence over others. Did someone hear his message and decide against adoption because of his fear-filled, faith-less, self-centered message? Will a child go without a forever family because their potential parents found the justification they needed to ignore God's call?
Don't get me wrong. The fears are real. And justified.
Kids are hard. Wounded kids are harder.
And change is hard. Adapting to someone else' habits, style, needs, etc. is difficult. Always. This is why the first year of marriage is often not a picnic.
And, because it cannot be undersold, adding kids - especially wounded kids - to your already-settled family is definitely complicated, hard, taxing, stressful, expensive, risky... Add whatever adjective you want, and it'll probably fit.
But those little people deserve a family to call their own. They deserve loving, protective arms to be wrapped around them. They deserve a note written on their lunch banana that simply says, "Love, Mom." They deserve a hand to hold in the dark. They deserve the prayers of a father whispered over them at bedtime. They deserve a parent to attend parent teacher conferences. They deserve a visit over family weekend at college. And ... one day ... their children will deserve loving grandparents.
And it breaks my heart that non-believers might read what Pat Robertson said and chalk it up to just one more reason to believe that all Christians are self-serving, ill-informed, narrow-minded, self-righteous hypocrites.
Pat Robertson doesn't speak for all Christians. And Pat Robertson is human. Perhaps this is an area where fear takes over for Mr. Robertson... I shudder to think of how many opportunities that my family misses simply because we allowed fear (or our desire for comfort) to win.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5-6
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
God was not only the founder of adoption; he was the first adoptive parent.
Nearly 30 years after the first seed was planted in my heart, it is still my prayer to one day be an adoptive parent. There are so many precious children waiting, aging, crying, longing ... missing out on all of the blessings that come with a forever family.