“Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world.” -Katie J. Davis, Kisses from Katie
My favorite part about working at a high school is actually the daycare down the hall. We have four tiny toddlers from four sets of teens, all of whom are 16 and under.
I’ve learned to let go of my pity towards these young moms and dads. The way I see it, what’s done is done and I’m not really comfortable calling those little smiley droolly angels anybody’s tragedy.
And for teenagers, these parents are awesome, tough as nails awesome, warm mama hearts awesome, and in many ways, more mature than I am. With every passing day I can see them hustling down the hall to do drop off before the bell rings or running to the bathroom to change diapers or leaving early to make it to doctor appointments. I can see them doing the very best they can.
The school population as a whole, however, are quite the ornery bunch. This is an alternative high school with students that fell out of the mainstream’s good graces by being punks or getting pregnant, and in many ways, they behave like little toddlers themselves. Except they’re teenagers and they’re bold and their moods jump from whisper to tidal wave like THAT. When it gets there, when I’m on the verge of totally LOSING IT,
I escape to the daycare.
When I walk in, the kids know it’s me by the sound of my steps, so they zero in on the gate, arms raised above it, fingers reaching for me to hold them.
And for the next five minutes it is all bean bags and building blocks and goldfish snacks. It’s me watching them walk and fall and cry. It’s them hugging me and throwing high fives and tugging on my ears.
And it’s all so perfect with them. It is pure joy and laughter and sadness when time’s up.
But it’s also fear and heartache for me the whole entire time.
You hear about women that feel they were born to be mothers. Well, I feel like I was born to be a father. I want little ones I can sway in my arms, tuck in at night, cheer on at baseball games and bawl as they graduate.
Being a dad is one of my dreams.
Recently, here in Minnesota, some conservative pastors have been passing out talking points about the incoming “attack” on children should gay marriage be allowed here.
They say someone like me would be damaging to a child’s development. They say if I adopted a child, it would be trampling on their rights. They say no child wants anything but one father and one mother. No kid wants a dad like me.
And that hurts. It cuts to the bone. It makes me want to run away from this faith as fast as I can.
Because lets say I choose celibacy. Say I decide that I will refuse to enter into any marriage with a man, the route they’d prefer I go. Let’s say I decide that.
I am still unfit to be a parent, because, according to this subculture, single parents are also undesirables. Children need to see a female homemaker and a male breadwinner. That’s a family.
Yet, everyday I see so many kids walk through the school door from traditional families that could care less. So many moms and dads who have so little love to offer. And I know, from the bottom of my heart I know, I would love my kids. I would give them anything in this world. Right now, at 23 years old, I can say with confidence that I am willing to lay down my life for my future children.
And if we’re going to speak honestly on behalf of the world’s little ones, let’s look at how they’re faring.
There are 143 to 210 million orphans worldwide. They come from third and first world countries. They come from parents that reluctantly gave them up for adoption and parents that tossed them into the night like they were feral dogs. They come with hearts and souls and needs for both love and affection and at least two hands to tuck them in at night and two lips to kiss their forehead.
They come not asking for much, expecting very little, but hoping for love.
I don’t think these little orphans are sitting in dank, overcrowded, odorous rooms scrawling out checkbox lists in which they will agree to an adoption. I think they’re crying every time another one of their friends is chosen over them. I think their hearts break that no one has come yet. Call me crazy, but I believe they want to be adopted by anyone that promises them love.
And I need to be a dad to one of those kids. Whether they are ten days or ten years old, I want to be love to them. I want to take care of them.
Because I would be an amazing dad. I would love my kids like crazy. I would mold them into young men and women with compassion for the world. I would teach them what it means to stand up for the little guy. I would teach them integrity. I would tell them every night before bed that I love them and that God loves them. I would say it over and over and over again. I would put three meals before them every day, monitor their sugar intake and make them take their vitamins. I would check in the closet and under the bed for monsters every night. I will stand and not stop clapping at their recitals. I will love them if they go to jail or get pregnant or tell me they hate me. I will love them with my whole heart.
I don’t know why they say I am out to attack children. I don’t know why they say that gay people are monsters. I will never understand that kind of hate. Not ever.