Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Brotherhood of Sons

The Wonderful Sharon Lowery sent this article excerpt to me, and I'm posting it here in full support of her request. The whole article can be found here. Sharon says that all are welcome at the Lowery home Sunday night to further discuss this topic and the article mentioned recently by my husband on "The Golden Compass."

So for all our dear friends and family that have shown a picture of God's loving plan for us through adoption...
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What Some Rude Questions About Adoption Taught Me About the Gospel of Christ
by Russell D. Moore

“So, are they brothers?” the woman asked. My wife Maria and I, jet-lagged from just returning from Russia, looked at each other wearily. This was the twelfth time since we returned that we’d been asked this question. This lady was looking at the grainy pictures, printed off a computer from some digital photographs, of two one-year-old boys in a Russian orphanage, boys who had only days earlier been pronounced by a Russian court to be our children, after the legally mandated waiting period had elapsed for the paperwork to be filed.Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children, and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking: “Are they brothers?”

Now Brothers
“They are now,” I replied. “Yes,” the lady snapped, “I know. But are they really brothers?” Clenching my jaw, I coolly responded, “Yes, now they are both our children so they are now really brothers.” The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, you know what I mean.”

Of course, we did know what she meant. She meant did these two boys—born three weeks apart—share a common biological ancestry, a common bloodline, some common DNA. It struck me that this question betrayed what most of us tend to view as really important when it comes to sonship: traceable genetic material.

This is the reason people would also ask us, “So do you also have any children of your own?” And it is the reason newspaper obituaries will often refer to the deceased’s “adopted child,” as though this were the equivalent of a stepchild or a protégé, rather than a real offspring....

This newness of identity also informed the way we responded to questions, whether from social workers or friends, about whether we planned to “teach the children about their cultural heritage.” We assured everyone we would, and we have.Now, what most people meant by this question is whether we would teach our boys Russian folk-tales and Russian songs, observing Russian holidays, and so forth. But as we see it, that’s not their heritage anymore, and we hardly want to signal to them that they are strangers and aliens, even welcome ones, in our home.

We teach them about their heritage, but their heritage as Mississippians. They learn about their great-grandfather, the faithful Baptist pastor, about their countrymen before them in the Confederate army and the civil rights movement.... Whether our background is Norwegian or Haitian or Indonesian, if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is found not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside its pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew....

We don’t think we were adopted. In our persistent Pelagianism, we assume we’re natural-born children, with a right to all of this grace, to all of this glory. We’re ashamed to think of ourselves as adopted, because to do so would focus our minds on the bloody truth that all of us in Christ, like my sons, once were lost but now we’re found, once were strangers and now we’re children, once were slaves and now we’re heirs.

1 comment:

Sharon L said...

Thanks, Christina!

I pray we can all love our "real" Father and "real" family more and more!