As we have gone through our adoption process, we have received many questions. One question we have received from other people, but never asked directly to us, is “Why not adopt in America? Why go to Ethiopia to adopt?”
It’s a great question that is asked from a variety of motives. I can’t answer everything about the angles of this question, but I will attempt to shed some light.
- Orphans deserve a home regardless of where they live. An orphan in America needs a home just as bad as orphans in Ethiopia. And just because my citizenship belongs to a certain country doesn’t mean that I can only be concerned about people in that same country.
- I am a citizen of the United States, but my first allegiance is to a country with no borders. It is the Kingdom of God. And that nation doesn’t have boundary lines or racial distinctions.
- Adoption anywhere is better than apathy everywhere. One time a person told evangelist D.L. Moody that she didn’t like his evangelism style. He admitted he wasn’t fond of it, and asked her what her strategy was. When she replied that she didn’t have one, he stated, “Well, I like mine better than yours.” Most people who have questioned our international adoption have not been people involved with adoption. They assume what the needs are, hear a couple of news stories, and make blanket statements concerning international adoption. We have never had anyone who truly cares about orphans of the world disagree with what we were doing.
- I would still love to adopt in the United States. We are not against it, we are for it, we just were called to Ethiopia this time around. I am of the view that if a child gets a home, no matter who they are or where they are, that is a win. There are no adoption hierarchies.
- We must acknowledge great needs everywhere. There are needs for adoptive families in the United States. One thing I realized in this process is that we must also consider that in some countries, some children will not get enough food and immunizations to live, and some children would never get the chance to hear the gospel. We must take special consideration for those children with even more unfortunate circumstances. Just because they live on the other side of the world does not mean they do not deserve compassion.
I love orphans finding their forever homes, regardless of how far those homes are, and I can’t wait to bring our lil’ guy home very soon.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.