Husband and I spent three days in D.C. with the sole purpose of the trip being to visit with our nieces and nephew. The kids belong to one of my husband's brothers and wife who live a two days drive away so when they announced that they would be taking a family vacation only a few hours from us, we jumped at the opportunity to visit. I've known my husband for over five years now, but this is only the second time we have met. They are also the family members who have adopted before and are huge adoption & foster care advocates. It is nice to have someone to ask questions of and who understands this whole process, even if they lived in another state when they did it.
But these people are also super Christians with a very different idea of what adoption should look like than us. For example: They recently took in a nineteen-year-old they had worked with while working in a group home many years ago. He was welcomed with open arms...although their home and love were contingent on two things: He needed to get a job and he had to attend church with them. That's right, in order to move in with a family and receive the love that you so desperately crave, he is required to go to church with them. This is all kinds of messed up to me, but for them it was a no-brainer. They didn't even think twice about it. Any kid of theirs has to attend church with them. This was the requirement when I was a kid living with my parents too. Skipping church simply wasn't an option.
While touring one of the D.C. museums by brother-in-law and sister-in-law were approached by a man who recognized them through their various work with foster care and adoption. I thought it was super cool that they have earned a bit of celebrity status and were actually recognized on "the street" by one of their fans. As they talked, I entertained some of the littler ones with Snapchat...as you do. But my ears perked up when I heard my SIL say, "I am just so glad you are here and doing this work. We need more Christians in this. There just aren't enough of us advocating for these kids."
What the fuck are you talking about? The adoption community is FULL of Christians. Full. There isn't a single adoption or foster care support group in my immediate area that isn't Christian based. Some are basically Bible studied veiled as a support group. Every single conference I have been to has been chock-full of language like, "God blessed us" and "We are blessed" and "We prayed and..." All of them. Even though our adoption agency is not religious, I have yet to meet a single other foster or adoptive parent who doesn't profess to believe in a god.
I mentioned it to my husband later and he scoffed at this too. I know I have had some complaints concerning my husband's faith, but really, most of the time we are on the same page. He agrees that not only is it stupid to think there aren't enough Christians in the adoption/foster care world, but also thinks it is insufferable that something that shouldn't be so wrapped up in religion--is. For example: After a county run adoption conference where God was praised throughout the day by social workers who work for the state, my husband was quite annoyed. "It's just inappropriate." Nevermind that we both believe that such an environment will deter people who are not religious or Christian from doing foster care or adopting.
No sister-in-law, we do not need more religious people in adoption. What we need are more people of many different kinds of backgrounds because, contrary to their beliefs, not every kid should be dragged to church. And not every kid is religious or Christian.
Side note: BIL & SIL have had a rocky relationship over the past few years due to stress, starting a new business, the belief that porn is the equivalent to cheating, and six kids under the age of 10. When husband and his brother were alone, BIL kind of assumed that husband and I were having marital problems because why else would we want to hang out with them besides to get advice. Husband's family is dysfunctional, but seriously? I don't think BIL understands at all how important family is to me and how important it is that our nieces and nephews know us and hang out with us. I honestly don't give a shit about the adults. I mean, it would be nice to have a good relationship with my brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, but I am perfectly okay with the children being the buffer of the relationship. Also, our marriage is fine thank you very much. The one major issue we have had has been sorted and we wouldn't tell them about it anyway. I am pleased to report that we are four years in and although marriage is certainly a careful balance of two individuals, we are very happy and comfortable.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.