Redemption and Regret: Bringing Home Africa

I have been wanting to write about my friends Chase and Kelley Lambert, who are adopting from Ethiopia, for a while. However, I could never figure out how to tell their story. Last week it dawned on me, “You can never tell it like they can.” So, I’d like to welcome Kelley Lambert to our blog. There will be more than one installment of their story so keep checking back for more!
 I hope and pray as you read the story of Chase and Kelley that you will be moved…moved to give but more importantly, moved to act. 
Part 1: Regret
So, you can’t have kids? That’s the usual response we get. Crazy isn’t it? We’ve put such a stigma around doing good things that you can’t just do them, to simply do good. There has to be an ulterior motive or reason… like- you must not be able to get pregnant, so that’s why you’re adopting. At least 90% of our conversations have included that question. For most of our conversations, that’s the first question we get asked.
One time, someone asked why we’re adopting and I said because there’s such a huge need. I gave them the details, like 153 million orphans world wide, 4.3 million orphans in Ethiopia, 1 in 6 of them will die before their 5th birthday due to aids, hunger, or disease. The person leaned forward, paused for a moment and said, “So, that’s why you’re adopting?” I shook my head and said, “Yeah.” Again, the person leaned forward and said, “So, there’s no other reason you’re doing this?” There we were, the two of us, in an intimate conversation. I’d given the details. I’d shared our story. I’d told our reasons and the person still didn’t find my answers to be sufficient until I said, “If you’re asking if I’m unable to get pregnant, we haven’t even tried. In a few years I imagine we’ll try to get pregnant.” It was at this moment when the person I was speaking with was finally satisfied. In an instant the conversation was over and that person was no longer interested in anything I had to say.
Regret: Nearly every day, I have regret. Our closet friends and family knew that Chase and I wanted to adopt before we tried to get pregnant. They knew why we were doing what we were doing and it wasn’t a surprise to them when we told them we were adopting. I regret that from day 1, we didn’t tell everyone else why we are doing what we are doing.
Let me set the record straight: We are adopting because James 1:27 says to take care of orphans and widows. Let’s stop assuming that adoption has to be PLAN B. It doesn’t. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if people were less interested in my reproductive system and more interested in being obedient to scripture and started taking care of orphans, too?
So, why didn’t we tell them, from the beginning, that we hadn’t tried to get pregnant? That we’re adopting because there’s a huge need and scripture tells us to? Ready for a totally awful response? Because WE assumed everyone knew that “taking care of widows and orphans” is in every Bible. WE assumed everyone knew that according to scripture, adoption doesn’t have to be Plan B.
We have been so blessed. We’ve surrounded ourselves in adoption communities and support groups where the people immediately around us know why we’re doing what we’re doing, because they’re doing it to. We literally didn’t realize that what we are doing would be a radical thought to some. We didn’t realize that we’d be the first people that some had ever met, who were adopting to simply meet a need and be obedient to scripture. We never. thought. to. tell.  We, assumed wrong.
 We didn’t realize just how crazy what we’re doing may seem until someone asked me why we would consider asking others to finance our adoption when most people have to pay for their own adoptions by themselves? We were asked why we were burdening others with the needs of our family. Then, I shared our story- the whole story- I shared the “Why- the not Plan B part.”  The person who had asked those questions sat back and thought about it and then told me I should be telling others. She said that if others knew why we’re doing it, they’d be getting involved and perhaps adopting, too. She, before that moment, hadn’t ever heard of anyone adopting to meet a need.  She thought we were adopting, so we could grow our family.
Analogy Time: Isn’t this just like Jesus? Those of us who have a relationship with Jesus understand how awesome it is. We’re excited about it. We talk about it with our friends. We get pumped up. We post on social media. We surround ourselves with others who love Him too. But, how often do we fail to tell others, outside of our social and peer groups, about Him? About how great His love is? About WHY they should love Him too? We…. forget. Simply, we forget that there are others who don’t know about Him. We assume they know. Just like Chase and I assumed everyone knows adoption doesn’t have to be Plan B. Let’s stop assuming and start sharing our stories.
If you’d like to get involved in James 1:27- in caring for orphans, you can give online at our website are $1,200 from our last payment and then we’ll be on to raising money for our flights. We are saving lives here folks, not just growing a family.
Kelley Lambert

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