In 2002 and 2005, I found out exactly what I could do when I adopted my children. Little did I know, my greatest challenge and the crowning achievement of my life would be a tiny hand in mine and a sweet smelling bundle pressed against my side during a thunderstorm.
My kids and I love to go to the children’s zoo in our town. At the exit of the Rainforest exhibit, there’s a sign with a quote by Edumund Burke and I think it says it all. “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
One of my favorite stories is this one:
The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”I made a difference for that one.”
There are as many reasons to adopt as there are children who need families. I never advocate that anyone adopt whose goal is to save a child, serve God or change the world. Those things will surely happen if you find it in your heart to adopt, but in my experience parents should adopt for one reason and one reason only. You can’t help it. You just have to do it.
But know, if you do, it’s not only the child’s world you are changing, but your own.