Whew. That's a BIG title and I'm not sure if this weeny post will live up to it but here goes...
Since we began adopting, I've looked long and hard to find out what exactly the Catholic church teaches about adoption specifically - to not much avail. Come to think of it, that might be why I started this blog - as a place to explore all the facets of it. I understood that the Catechism clearly teaches that infertility is a heavy cross to bear and that there are a number of options in ways to carry it. I also was able to understand her teachings on the inherent gift and dignity of children and why we shouldn't purposefully conceive them in a disordered manner (any method not involving the marital embrace). The church also abhors abortion at all stages (and the destruction of embryos) for obvious reasons. It is also clear from scripture that Christians are challenged to care for orphans as well as "love our neighbors as ourselves". Catholic marriages are to be models of generosity and should bear good fruit in the form of works or children or both.
Yet our culture still sometimes holds onto anti-adoption attitudes - even, dare I say, in the pro-life community. The taboo is two-fold and exists on both sides of the coin: adopting a child and placing a child for adoption. It is truly confounding to me why our society, in general, seems to accept the immoral choices of artificial fertility "treatment" (for infertility) and abortion (for unplanned pregnancies), while shunning a perfectly moral option for both: adoption. Often both of these situations do not send the "average Joe" looking for exactly what the Church teaches on it and instead they resort to reflex - the quick fix, what everyone else does, make it stop, get me my life back, I want, I want, I want...I didn't want...
Here's the way I see it. Infertility is a disorder. It's cause, so often unknown and unexplained and complex is not natural. Whether it's a consequence from the "fall of man" like some kind of illness we just don't know. Most unplanned pregnancies are also disordered. I'm not talking about the surprise baby for the married couple here, I'm talking about unmarried, uncommitted, sexual union resulting in the conception of a child.
Both of these disordered situations create moral quandaries for us.
What to do?
What does God want us to do?
Well we know what he doesn't want us to do, right? Kill. Demean. Offend. Lie. Compound the disorder.
But. He doesn't really tell us exactly what to do either does He? And this makes so much sense to me because God loves freedom and speaking to our hearts, and above all His desire is for us to choose the good - even if it costs us. Some of us will feel called to, in a sense, "restore order" by giving a child a family he or she doesn't have. Some of us will feel called to place a child in a stable family we know we are incapable of providing ourselves. Some of us will feel called to suffer and offer our sufferings for a redemptive purpose. Some of us will make the best of single parenting. Some of us will spiritually adopt someone. There just isn't one answer, but there is one answer for each of us...
and the ONLY way we will know it is to PRAY.
"Not my will Lord, but yours."
*again blogger is giving me the twitches, forgive editing errors por favor!