My Response to a Critic

really Tina do you think you can care for all of these kids?
They have some severe issues and the Ukraine is looking forward to dumping them off. So sad for your bio kids and the American children that lanquish in foster homes waiting to be adopted in the USA that you have turned your back on.
      - Anonymous

The response:

Dear  Anonymous:

    You might be my neighbor, my relative, an acquaintance, or a complete stranger.  You might smile to my face or avoid me when you see me coming.  But whoever you are, I want to thank you for speaking your words even if you could not reveal your identity to me.  I assume it is for reasons of fear that you do not feel comfortable letting me know.  Thank you for the opportunity to address you and I am sharing my response here because I think you are one of several who harbor feelings similarly.   At first, as I read these thoughts I nearly passed on determined not to let this become a distraction by an enemy but then I remembered something written in the Bible.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  1 Peter 3:15-17

   Anonymous, I do not address from a place of defense but from an angle of edifying my other brothers and sisters who are walking with me or who are just now hearing the Lord call on them to adopt.   I want to strengthen them and encourage them that while on this walk there will be those who will come against them and question their abilities and condemn them for loving children most do not.  I want them to know that days like this will come.  Days when everything seems to go wrong and you receive a report that your child is sick or dying- this will be the day that an email or message like yours will come to them.  And these are the days, they will need to know full well what they were called for and who sent them. 

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.  Romans 6:11-14

  I do not believe that I am able to do all things in my own strength.  I do believe that I have been given every provision necessary to care for my children- the children God has entrusted to me and planned for me from before my very body was formed.  I am thankful to have experienced the joy of watching my biological children become transformed in His grace through the blessing of our adopted children with special needs.  Just coming off of a Mother/Son retreat this last weekend, I am refreshed in seeing the attributes my oldest biological sons carry because they have understood the difference between want and need.  They have seen those who have suffered and gone without.  They know that when they receive a gift- it is something to cherish.  They have learned to wait.  They have learned that in waiting- God will answer.  They have learned that perfection is not something to be seen with the naked eye but through the lens of mercy and grace.  While they have given up vacation times so their brother and sister could join our family- they have experienced an enlargement of the heart that only comes when we say no to pleasure for a temporary "high" and trade it in for joy that comes through love of acceptance of family.  My children, biological or not may only experience Disney World once in their life and they might be doomed to sales racks and second hand wear but my children will not suffer for loving more.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.  Matthew 28:19 

    My children were chosen not because of where they live.  If my children were in the U.S. foster system the Lord would lead me there.  I have also not turned my back on the children of Africa, China, South America, Russia, Haiti or any other place on the planet.  In fact, because I know we cannot care for every child, we have made it our mission to bless others and pray for others who are called to care for children in every part of God's world.  We do not hinder others by condemnation because they do not adopt from the same place as us.  We understand that all children are precious and therefore worthy of family and love.  I am so hopeful Anonymous, that because you have mentioned that we have turned our backs on the U.S. foster children, that it means your home is filled with them and that you are passionate in seeing them loved and cared for.  For this, I could only praise God more. 

    Anonymous, the irony of your message and the comment that Ukraine is eager to dump these kids on us is this-  I have walked this road before and have met up with some in Ukraine who actually believe that we Americans have no good motive for adopting their children.  Perhaps they think this because they do not see the future hopes that God has promised.  I have the experience of sneers of folks like you and sneers of those in Ukraine too- skeptical that love could be enough.  To this, I can only say that you are precious.  Your life is dear to God and you are priceless.  His love is so abundant it cannot be contained; it only grows.  So let us not limit God's love by location, or by what we think someone else should do, but let us be cheerleaders to one another who would be willing to run the race; those who understand that caring for the hurting, broken, the traumatized, the physically weak, is a marathon of grace to be ran in the power of Christ's word and with the fellowship of the body of Christ called the church. 

Redemption is too good to hinder others from experiencing.  Love too precious to withold.  Life too fragile to dismiss. 

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14


Bekahlynn said…
Bravo sweet Mama :) Praying tonight for you and your sweet family and for all those watching. What a beautiful response.
Excellent words! Thank you!
My friend Jeane sent me to your blog. I am so happy to read about your wonderful family! Praise the Lord!
Yvonne said…
A very gracious response! Much better than anything I would say....having met your beautiful children that will be joining you soon, I know they will be so blessed to be in your family. I know your son yearns for a family. I was with him more and know him better and I know his life is going to change so much in the next few months!!! Two children will find love and a home...what a wonderful beautiful thing! Yvonne Clanton
Aimee said…
Tina, I love your heart so much! Beautiful words. Of course you know where I stand on this subject...we were told several times in Ukraine that we were crazy to adopt that throw away kid, who at 15 was broken-hearted and had all but given up on God. Not so anymore!! He's a wonderful young man today, that loves his family, and we love him.
Debbie Michael said…
Tina, family members pleaded with us not to adopt, and then they threatened. I just published a book about the experience that gives all the glory to God. Moments when you believe God is speaking to you are difficult to describe. My moment hit me with the force of a hurricane! And I felt a "call" again to tell my story in a book that was just release about two weeks ago. I hope you will read it. I am not hoping to become rich or famous. I just want people to grasp the truth that God’s plan for our life is infinitely greater than the little lives we plan for ourselves. I want any profits to help with adoption grants. Take a look at the back cover, the introduction, and first chapter to see if it might appeal to you and your circle.

May God continue to bless you.
Milena said…
You are good as gold. What a beautiful response!
Michelle said…
Thank you for your truth and faithfulness. Praying for your adoptions. Very well written - to God be the glory!
Kim and Ronnie said…
You are fantastic! Beautiful response. Praying for the safety and quick adoption of your newest sweethearts.
We have also felt the call to adopt from EE, and a close relative has confronted us with worries and of which was the one Anonymous said, that folks in developing countries hope that gullible Americans will adopt the kids they have thrown away...the relative loves us and is worried that we will are setting ourselves up for a lifetime of hurt and uncertainty and ridicule, and that people will (like Anonymous) wonder why we turned our eyes to someone outside of our country, while there is such need here. All I could offer is that whenever someone discovers they are pregnant, they too may be in for a lifetime of uncertainty! I believe it was Erma Bombeck who said that to have a child is to have your heart walk around outside of your body...definite possibility for hurt there. I know the spirit in which they spoke--love for us, and a wish to see us spared pain and heartache--but I have seen, and I cannot look away!

You answered Anonymous beautifully!
Julie said…
This is so beautiful - your gentle response (yet powerful) is full of love. So glad to have stumbled on your blog. God bless you in your current adoption journey.
WANTED said…
This is a fantastic response, Christ-honoring and "seasoned with grace". Thank you for taking the time to address a detractor. I have, too often, dismissed those sort of challenges on my own blog. I see clearly that your children, those currently in your home and those yet to come, are headed for life with a Mama who loves them fiercely and defends them graciously!
BrookeB said…
Thank you. Perfectly said from a Christ-centered mom.
Amy said…
Beautiful, beautiful response.
dramadonna said…
I too am a parent of bio kids (5) and 2 adopted (one from China and another from Cambodia, praise the Lord!) I love your gracious response. YSIC, DL
Amanda Nash said…
Best post ever! This post is so amazing.
Holly and David said…
Incredibly well-written! Thank you for the perspective. Yours is a paradigm I'd like to live from.
Beautiful post. You're amazing, as always! Praying for y'all on this adoption trip, knowing He will pour out every blessing and handle the details! <3 Love from Bama!
Jen said…
I have to wonder what would bring about such a response from your critic. I wandered over here from Smiles and Trials, and I am DAILY inspired by Christine's gigantic heart and the amount of love I see in her family. And I assume that this is the same for your family - these children come into an atmosphere of unconditional love, and they learn to give unconditional love. So not only are your adopted children getting an amazing gift - A FAMILY! - but your bio. children are learning that family is much larger than they can comprehend. Sometimes, when I read Christine's blog, I feel sad, or maybe even "guilty" that I don't think I'll ever be in a situation where I could adopt any more children, especially ones with special needs, but there is such a need. However, God has called me to my own service, and yes, even suffering. My husband had a stroke 2 years ago, and he is still trying to regain the full use of his left arm and leg. That may not nearly be as much as some of your orphan children deal with, but it's my cross, and I always have to work on loving my children and caring for my husband in a better, more Christ-like way. My point is, that when someone makes comments about your motives, I believe there is most likely something behind those comments - something in their own hearts that makes them desire the kind of love and selflessness you have for your family. May you continue to be such an inspiration and a witness to all of us!
Tina Kacirek said…
Jen, Thank you for your support and kindness. Each of us have our own unique purpose and its a blessing when we can see that in those around us. It's the beauty of life. I pray strength and joy over you as you walk out this healing journey with your hubby. I'm thankful he has such a tender wife and mother to his children. You are modeling faithfulness beautifully to those who are looking in. Your children are seeing such beautiful love as you have nurtured your husband. The words of critics might sting for a moment but the Truth of knowing His love in our lives is like salve to that sting. We know that not all will see as we do. Love to your beautiful family!!
Janet said…
My oldest bio son was severe special needs from the ages of 6 to 15 due tp a Rx drug reaction. It was suggested that I have him declared permanently disabled. I said I would not give up hope, not quit trying.....ever. I home schooled him all the way to college. Today he is a sweet husband and father. Today he is in Med school getting a doctorate in neuroscience! .......because God knew the plans He had for him, and because he had a mommy who NEVER gave up, no matter how difficult the road was for years and years.
You got the "speak the truth in love" thing down pat! Your response was so encouraging, thank you for sharing it. May God continue to bless your beautiful family!
Mattie Patterson
Thank you for saying this so much better than I can! We don't have biological children, I have parts that don't want to work and mental (creating a child in a lab disturbs me on a personal level, 9 months of strict bed rest is terrifying), physical (that much invasive treatment again bothers me more than I can explain) and financial (not covered by insurance, level I need is hideously expensive) reasons for not trying to change God's will because we can still wind up less offensive than the ideas that only x type of child is valuable and to do everything against God's will and plan and force the creation of a child when there are countless children who just want a home. I'm thrilled for those who are blessed with biological children, no matter how they join a family. But it's not for my husband or me. God placed children in our hearts, that's enough.

As for why not adopt domestically? I don't know. We aren't against the idea, but it hasn't been right yet. EE has been. Part of it is that foster children do need better care frequently, the children we knew God planted for us in EE have so very much promise and LIFE with us when they had nothing and no future. The same problems facing my children get at least some treatment here, it may not be the best, but it's still some and most are fully educated - my kids were laying in rooms with nothing and waiting to die.

No child is of higher worth than the next. It matters not how they joined their family. Absolutely, yes, there are days I wish I had a physically and mentally healthy child. But the children God wants in our crazy, patchwork, mishmash of a family are worth all the appointments, hours in a surgical waiting room, the tears and tantrums, all the problems because it's pretty much fun.

There's something to be said for a 17 yo who was worthless 10 years ago come home and bring his sister a really cool pair of shoes that he knew she'd love because they match her wheelchair. He was right, I can barely get her to take them off.
ourcrosswalk said…
Such sweet truth in your words. I fought hard to bring our 4yr old daughter home from Africa despite her medical condition.
God granted us 33 beautiful days with her before He called her home, giving her a new body that is not broken.
We were chastised and condemned by Anonymous for taking our daughter from the only life she knew in the orphanage and bringing her to the US to die alone.
I thanked them for their concern for our daughter and assured Anonymous that our sweet baby girl did not die alone. For 33 days we extravagantly poured out love, comfort, joy, fullness (no more hunger), and never ever left her side.
We are forever changed by her and our family loves deeper, reaches out to those in need, and has deeper roots in Christ because of her.
No, Anonymous, it was exactly the best thing for our baby girl and maybe some day you will do the same for a child who longs for a family.
--love the Gorman Gang, mommy of beautiful Zia, Eliana, and A (joining our family soon). Brenda
Karen said…
Well said- and I hear God's words thru your words! Thank you for expressing Christ love to others better than I - God's abundant blessings to you & your family!!! A fellow birth/adoptive mama to 7, & Gma to 5 :)
Anonymous said…
Children are children no matter where they come from! Your words were gracious and true--not everyone is called to adopt, but those who are don't ask these kinds of questions. They just love the child they are blessed with!
The McDowell's said…
You have such a beautiful family! Thank you for showing such grace in your response. How sad that so many are not able to understand that God brings our children to us in many different ways. May we all open our hearts to the blessing of adoption & caring for orphans! God Bless You
Daniela said…
I used to doubt why people adopt too, i don't know why but for a few years I actually understand, and more than anything, I think it's people like your family who actually get IT, you are the ones who really get why we are on this earth and what we should be doing. Wishing you many more children, you can save the ones you have and may you continue to love as many as you can

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