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Sep 1, 2010

Adopting & Daycare

From Brent

In yesterday's ANSWERS post, I wrote something to the effect: we aren't about to adopt kids and put them in daycare.

We received some criticism for that statement and I think the criticism was fair. I've since changed it to "we feel it is best for our situation that Michelle be at home, and we try to grow a business from home."

That was a poorly worded statement and not very well thought out. I stated our personal conviction as something that sounded like it ought to apply to every one and that ain't right. "Universal truths" apply to everyone but my personal conviction about my own children certainly does not.

We have good friends who have adopted and for various legitimate reasons need to use daycare. I'm sure there are many other families in the same situation.

I often teach about being very gracious with liberty. Stating my opinion in a way that sounds like a broad stroke criticism of those who would do differently is in fact, legalistic and truly insensitive (as opposed to fake politically correct sensitivity). I did that, and it was wrong.

Thank you for the feedback and the deserved criticism. I'm always grateful for respectful and useful criticism. It will help me to be more thoughtful in the future as a writer.

- - - - - - - - -
While we are on the subject of NOT well-thought-out legalistic opinions, here's a perfect example I came across earlier today and was going to write about anyway.

Check out this infuriating nonsense written by Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries (this part is almost at the end of the post; emphasis mine):

I will say this again. Never adopt children even close to the age of your own. You should be past child bearing age, and your children should be at least 10 to 15 years older than the adopted kids. I don’t think there is any such thing as an orphanage raised child who has not been a participant in sexual perversion. If you are older and your kids are grown, it is a wonderful, full time ministry to adopt foreign kids. You will experience heartache, possibly failure, but you may just save a soul from sure destruction. But if there is failure, at least your kids will not go down with them.
I was enraged at such an uninformed, untruthful, IGNORANT comment made to people who look to this man for Christian advice. Is there SOME truth in statement? Yes, there is sexual abuse inflicted on kids who end up in orphanages. ALL KIDS? What biased stupidity.

I don't know Michael Pearl and maybe most of his advice is right on. He may be a whole lot wiser than I'll ever hope to be but he sorely missed the boat with that comment. It is not only untrue, it will serve to scare off adoptive parents, leaving orphans to linger in poverty and (sometimes) abuse. It also stigmatizes all orphanage raised kids as broken, damaged goods.

And sorry my friend, I missed the part of God's command that puts all those conditions on when and which orphans we should care for and rescue:
James 1:27 (NKJV) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
For everyone out there who has adopted and knows what kind of ignorant hogwash Mr. Pearl's statement is, why don't you go visit his website and tell him so.

20 comments:

Paul and DeeDee said...

I posted on his blog and tried to be nice even though I was infuriated by his comments.... although I was not hiding behind my keyboard as if he was here face to face I am sure it would of been even harder to not say much worse!

Precious 3 said...

I cringed when I read your earlier post and got to the statement about adoption/daycare. I totally understood what you meant, and knew you meant no harm. But I knew that others would not understand. I'm glad you fixed it so quickly, and you handled it well. I also thought the "anonymous" comment was handled well.

Jules said...

Wow, how can he even say that? I think it is pretty ignorant.

choose joy said...

No matter how poorly stated a comment someone makes, we can CHOOSE to not take offense. I like the Amplified Version: "Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful..." I was adopted from an orphanage and have adopted from foster care (much the same is said of children in care) and I honestly think he "overstated" but am not offended. By the way, your blog is very challenging and inspiring! Thank you! Blessings, Jennifer

The Charlebois said...

I receive the Pearl's newsletter and agree with and appreciate most of what they write, but that was over the line. And yes, ignorant.

Shari said...

I stay far far away from ANY of the Pearl's teachings! Read a few of his or her books and you will know what I am talking about.

Tay :) said...

I read about that comment made on adoption on Lorraines blog and I was discused! I am 15, I havnt adopted but YES I plan on it if that is Gods will for me. I plan on adopting ANY child he calls me to! No matter, age, race or gender! ALL are precious and ALL are worth it :)

gracekay said...

hi brent,
i love your blog and i do get sooo much encouragement from your writing. i figured you meant no offense by that statement but am so glad to see how great you dealt with the aftermath.
we all slip up a bit in our day, it takes a real christ-like heart to make it right like you did.
God bless you and your lovely fam!

Kerry McCullough said...

Hi there! I'm your newest follower from Networked Blogs. Looking forward to reading more.

Mine is http://www.nestingwithniall.blogspot.com. Stop by any time :)

Hermana Linda said...

Just a note to let you know that Michael Pearl is a very controversial teacher and gives very questionable advice on many topics. His advice, when taken to its logical conclusion, has even killed a child. Was he remorseful? Did he clarify his advice to make sure it wouldn't happen again? No. He insists that the parents were not following his advice correctly and laughed at the people who speak out against his teachings. You can learn more about him at my site or just Google "Michael Pearl Lydia Schatz"

Wendi Taylor said...

Brent,

I said something yesterday about your statement, but I want to assure you, I wasn't criticizing or implying that you were criticizing ... and I'm truly sorry if it "sounded" that way in the comment. I only wrote what I wrote, because I got the impression that others had criticized you or asked judgmentally if that is what you were planning to do.

Anonymous said...

first of all i can not even blog about the Pearl comment -- i am still sick to my stomach over it. There is nothing good in that man and I am so saddened by the bad name he gives Christ and Christians.

2ndly -- 100% -- there is no point in adopting a child (or having a child) and sticking them in daycare.

we are praying to adopt, i am home with the 2 we have -- if i worked we could afford to adopt now -- but we'd not be parenting our children, so it would be pointless.

Children belong at home with a parent.

Aimee,
http://scribinglife.wordpress.com/

Donna said...

My mouth dropped open when I read those words from Mr. Pearl. How CAN he say that? I left him a comment, thanks for sharing it.
Donna
www.handsful.com

Sandra said...

I am a lurker on your blog. I am in the very beginning stages of adopting a special needs daughter from China. I'll admit I was a little offended at your earlier statement about adopting and daycare. Being a working mom, it touched a nerve and I debated on leaving a comment. But I didn't. Even though I would have been nice about it, I figured others might not be so forgiving.

However, I wanted to say how pleased I was to see your post correcting your statement. It takes much courage to admit an error and apologize especially on such a public forum, so thank you for doing so.

I love your blog and your pictures! Keep it up!

Sandra

Blueyez said...

I am glad to see you amended your statement re daycare and adoption, even well meaning people sometimes put their feet in their mouths so kudos to you for rethinking it!

That horrid comment that that man put up is awful, that goes beyond putting his foot in his mouth, that is more than ignorant, it is disgusting. As an adoptee and a future (hopefully) adoptive parent of an older child or toddler (yes I work too lol) I would NEVER in a million years thing any of those thoughts, even if a child has been abused, should they not deserve a loving home as well?

The Adoption Journey of Baby King said...

I feel the same as you. I work nights so I can even homeschool my children. My sister babysits the 3 nights a week I work, thus I miss them sleeping 3 nights instead of all the fun things we do doing the day. Yes, I lose out on sleep, but it is worth it for those couple of days. I always told my boss, "I didn't adopt my kids to be raised by someone else." Homeschooling works so well for us too. I couldn't imagine sending my kids off to school everyday. We have so much fun together learning and playing.

1Kathleen said...

when I first got wind of Michael Pearl's ignorant comment I thought of writing a letter and having everyone I know do the same. THEN I read that ezine No Greater Joy- at least that issue was so full of ignorant non-sense that I had a hard time taking it seriously...THEN I found out that this moron is held in high esteem by so many Christians...the only thing I could think is "there is none so blind as he who will not see" - I won't waste my time writing to this man and if his comments ever come up in polite conversation I'm afraid my response will include a swear word or two to describe what I thought of it.

Deb said...

Brent,
I don't think I've ever commented here but as a single, adoptive mama who hasn't been on your blog recently, I am totally and completely impressed by your willingness to say "I blew it" and apologize. WOW. That is the perfect demonstration of Christ having hold of your family's heart. I wish all of us (mostly me) would take your example and do the same!!!

Erica said...

That is one man that makes my blood boil. I'm off to share my thoughts on his site. I'll try and be nice. ;)

mamamargie said...

We are all "damaged goods" saved by a loving Heavenly Father. Our job, as Christians, is to reach out and share the love that has touched and changed us with those who have not yet experienced it -- especially the children.

That said, there is some truth to what Michael Pearl is saying, especially for those who are thinking about adopting an older child. I have adopted five children so far. My oldest came from a group home (in the U.S.) and was sexually abused there by another boy who was a little older than he. My son was nine when I brought him home. We had long discussions about what happened to him. He was absolutely disgusted by what that boy did. He was scarred by the experience, but not perverted. He was a victim, but never a perpetrator.

But, that is as far as I can agree with Mr. Pearl. His comments about protecting YOUR children are ludicrous to an adoptive parent, because, what he fails to realize is that whoever you adopt becomes YOUR kids. The God who has called us to care for the orphan will provide for us and protect us.

As for my family, we are in the beginning stages of adoption process number four and happily looking forward to meeting the newest member(s) of OUR family! :)

God bless!