Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Adoption Tailspin

Well my husband got to the adoption story before I did, but I figured you would like to have both sides of the story, so here goes...

We had put off the adoption for about 1 year. We had made intentional choices to prepare ourselves for the work involved in caring for and healing a hurting soul. My husband informed leadership prior to our adoption start. I do believe it would be at this point that if GFA had a problem with our family adopting again this would be the moment to bring it up. Nobody said nothin... 

We started the paperwork and went to training, we held off on handing in our paperwork till we had moved into the new house. Tom was then approached by K.P. and had that discussion which you can read here. He came home and shared with me K.P.'s words.  I was devastated, all sorts of things ran through my mind. I never ever wanted to leave the ministry before this moment in time.

Was I that bad of a mother? Did he not trust us that we were following The Lords leading? If we adopted would my husbands career be adversely effected. If we adopted would I then be shunned while working in the ministry because I know the blame always lies at the feet of the women. Would we be asked to leave our beloved ministry because we did not obey? I felt like I gave my word to Gladney that we would adopt, is he asking me to go back on my word?  If I had gotten pregnant would this be acceptable behavior?

I struggled the most with "Do we need to be obedient to his request? If he is the bishop of our Religious Order am I required to obey his every whim suggestion?" At this time K.P. was still very upset at the Diaspora letter and was preaching obedience, when you could hear him in the fellowship hall.  I distinctly recall him telling us all to re-read his book Touching Godliness Through Submission.

I tried but I just couldn't get past Chapter 6, somewhere before Chapter 6 the author states that not hearing from the Lord means we are in disobedience to Him.  Tom and I took this request very seriously. Tom knowing that leadership would come after me if we talked about it; ordered my silence. Often I would sit in prayer meeting not really praying, not getting up and moving around but rather sitting in one place trying to pray, but my mind whirling.  If K.P. thought an adoption would be distracting Not Adopting was far more distracting and pulled my heart way from the ministry.

But we hid, hid our pain, hid our feelings, one thing I know is if you're in the hands of a manipulator don't hand them the knife to cut you more. For months we prayed and fasted. The hardest part was telling people the adoption was on hold, it felt like a lie of omission. I found later lies of omission became easier and easier to not tell. This bothered me greatly. The Lord was silent.  I cannot tell you the pain, the sorrow, that fell upon our family. How do I answer the children when they ask when are we getting a little brother? It was awful.

This request as I have mentioned came upon the heels of the Diaspora Letter where they expressed that GFA prioritizes the work over family. This is one of the reasons K.P. gave as to why he advised us against adopting.  What about your Work? This horrified me, if he was as he declared taking the letter seriously and repented of this type of behavior, why is he doing it again with our family?  Unless of course he never thought he was in the wrong?

In hindsight I see the Lords hand in remaining silent, I needed to see my sin of placing K.P. on Gods throne, I needed to see that the call to obedience to a man was idol worship. I needed to realize I cared more about K.P.'s opinion than Gods' and that was wrong.   I desperately wanted a second opinion, did we have to obey his request? My dear hubby actually went so far as to call in to a local Catholic radio show.  After explaining our situation being in a Religious Order, being under authority, should we obey? The answer was rather interesting, we had to go back to GFA rules, was there anything in them that required absolute obedience (as in the Benedictine Order).  If so, yes this leaders request needed to be obeyed because of our vows. Thankfully GFA's written rules do not require absolute obedience.  We won't mention the unspoken rules nor had my husband been ordained under Believers Church.   That was a breath of fresh air. My brain got off the treadmill of thoughts that were getting me nowhere.

I actually broke my silence and shared my heart with a few friends.  The day Gale Erwin came to investigate I really really wanted to share this issue with him. Yet I never saw him alone, I didn't dare seek him out, I didn't dare email him my heart either. I knew if I did, leadership would see it and sadly I no longer blindly trusted leadership. Words on a page are no match for face to face conversation. So much heart ache, so much pain, I felt I had to keep it hidden, a secret. With one friend I shared this agony and her response was for me to trust K.P. He knew what was best for me, and he was right I had no idea how hard it was raising 4 kids.  I should just obey and not have any worries.   She might as well have patted me on the head saying don't worry your pretty little head.

It seems so strange that in a community of believers, where one should be able to share the burden of sorrow and pain, the secrecy needed to protect oneself was so necessary. How can he preach transparency to us when we feared our pain would be a tool used against us? I wonder how many more stories out there are like ours?  Silent because of fear? Silent because we have bought the teaching we are the problem?  Silent because a burden shared is only brought back on your own shoulders to bear?

One would think that in a place where we have Bridge of Hope, Boys and Girls homes, where GFA in India helps children abandoned on trains find their families again and then supports those families so the children won't be sent away again... How can such a thing as "don't adopt" fit at GFA? The bible states, true religion is to care for widows and orphans.  Why would we only be allowed to care for them at a distance? Can we not do both? Is there only one call and no others can sing in harmony?  So many questions, that I no longer need an answer too.

I Am Free.



  1. Hi, so sorry to read your story. I was a donor to GFA, supporting them regularly, but have stopped because of the ECFA decision and also because of what I have read by the Diaspora. Interestingly, before all this came out I had a sense that God wanted me to remove the GFA materials from my home, particularly things connected with KP. I had a sense that there was a problem with idolatry, however I couldn't find anything wrong with GFA when I searched on the internet, so I continued to support them. Now my husband and I are praying a lot about who to support and where our gifts should be going. I'm also thinking a lot about what Christian ministry and evangelism should look like - I was starting to be concerned about GFA's gifts of sewing machines etc. Could they be seen as 'buying converts'? That would be a big problem.

    Anyway, I hope you have not given up on the adoption dream. :)

  2. No we haven't, once life settles down and we have a support system in place here in our new home we will re-start the process.