Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adoption Through the Eyes of our 13-Year-Old Son

What Adoption Means to Me
by Parker Patterson, 13 years old

A lot of people like to be critics and say that our parents are just forcing us to adopt all these kids. Those people are way off track; adoption is not just a good thing to do and everybody shouldn’t do it. God has to call you to it and the people who say it’s not fair to us kids or that it is a burden are completely wrong. I think it is a huge privilege and a great joy!

It is a privilege because it is rare for God to call a family to adoption like He has with ours. A good analogy would be diamonds. Diamonds are rare and special; if everyone had diamonds, they wouldn’t be all that special and it wouldn’t be a privilege to own one.

Adoption has also been a very big factor in developing my character. It has taught me so much about myself. I think adoption has been almost as good for me as it has been in the lives of the kids we have adopted. It would be so selfish to say ‘well, I know the kids in Haiti are starving, but I want more Christmas presents, so too bad for them.’ That would be so wrong!

In my opinion, the people who say we are being deprived are looking at it from a worldly point of view. I would much rather have more siblings and less presents. If these people are so narrow minded that all they can think about is how much worldly stuff we can accumulate, they must have never met our family! It seems to me that they need a change of heart. How about thinking about the starving, dying, orphans that actually are deprived. They have nothing, not even love from parents! The least we can do is give them that. Worldly things are temporary, short-lived, fading and not all that great.

Joy, true joy, is lasting, satisfying and fulfilling. For me, that comes from two things: God, and knowing that we are saving kids’ lives.

Before God even called us to adoption, I had started to notice that even all the cool stuff we used to get at Christmas didn’t ever bring me joy. And it’s the same with most worldly things, they just don’t last. But joy is way different. It is deeper and more lasting. I think hope and joy go hand in hand, kind of like a cycle. You get joy from the hope we have in Jesus. And you also get joy from doing God’s will. But without hope, there is no joy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is it is much more rewarding to help orphans than get worldly things. I think 2 great verses that our family definitely lives by are Matthew 6:20 and 19:21. Both kind of say that you should store up your treasures in heaven where they will last and that will bring true joy.

I just wanted to let everyone know that Parker (our 13-year-old son) felt God calling him to write this essay today.  No one prompted or paid (haha!) Parker to do this; well, I guess God prompted him, but no one in our family had anything to do with what Parker wrote in this essay.  I am humbled to be this boy's mother.  I don't cry easily, and I didn't make it through this essay without crying.  God has called our family to the privilege of adoption, and we are ALL blessed.  We are a team who are ALL committed to God's calling.  Matt and I are not making the decision to adopt without first involving our children through prayer and conversation.  It is our children who beg us to adopt more kids, and I am humbled to see God's mighty work in the lives of our children, as well as our own.  He is not just rescuing the fatherless, lonely and forgotten, He is rescuing our entire family.  We are His; our lives are not our own.  We were bought with a price; the ransom of God's One and Only Son.  To God be the glory for building the Patterson Adoption Team where ALL members have a heart for adoption!  Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him!!!

*Edit:  Forgot to mention that this essay is Parker's untouched, unedited first draft, and Parker pretty much loathes writing!  He wrote this in obedience to God's calling upon him, and God gave Parker this message during his quiet time this morning.  Parker is our oldest bio child, and he is an AMAZING brother to ALL of his siblings; we are so blessed to be his mom (as we are ALL of our children, who are ALL simply AMAZING!).  Also, if you would re-post this, I think it would help give a voice to all of the children in adoptive families.    I just ask that if you re-post that you would please email me or leave me a comment that you're re-posting simply so we can see what God does with this Divinely inspired essay, and maybe Parker will begin to like writing with the responses he receives from this essay! :-)


Connie said...

Awesome, Parker! My daughter Mary (17)recently had to set some people straight about how she sees the adoption of two siblings. She told them she LOVES Daniel and Camila and is GLAD we adopted them! I'm going to re-post this on my Facebook, Lorraine. Thanks for sharing.

junglemama said...

Parker I loved your essay! Thanks for speaking from your heart!

thewindowwasher said...

I have a 13 year old and I can say this is an age of passion but also and age of self centeredness at times. I love your boy's heart! He has his passion in the right place!

Blessings to your family!

Megan said...

Thanks for sharing, Parker! I included a link to your writing on my blog. Keep it up!

the johnson crew said...

Beautiful essay! My kids are asking for more brothers and sisters too. and when we see kids who seem to have great need, our children ask if they can live with us too so we can be heir mommy and daddy. - truely beautiful when God gives our children a heart of love and compassion. - Thank you for sharing this essay with the blog world. i'd like to link to this from my blog.

God bless you as you pursue His glory!


Addie Talley, Photographer said...

Such wisdom.... thank you Parker for sharing

janine said...

"Worldly things are temporary, short-lived, fading and not all that great."

What a great lesson to learn as a 13 year-old! My kids and I have been talking about this lately (I am going to show them your essay) . . . some people learn this very late in life (or maybe not at all!).

Blessings to you and your family! God placed it on our hearts to adopt and our kids are the greatest joys of our lives!

Great job, Parker!

mami to Ley (age 11), Andres, & Juancho (age 5)
(adopted from Colombia 2/07)

Melissa said...

This is wonderful! He said all the things that I am hoping adoption will do for my own children. I am going to also share on Facebook and if I get time later will post to my blog with a link to yours. Do you prefer that I send folks here to read it or can I copy to my blog and give you credit? Thanks! :)

Envyshope said...

I would love to re-post this if I may! It was so inspiring and I am so proud of your son. He really did sum up exactly what our family feels also. His words touched my heart. I just wanted to share this post via FB or my blog so that others can be inspired as well. Thank you so much.

Kelli Stever

Traci M. said...

I will agree Lorraine, you are forever blessed. Parket, what an amazing essay. I actually read college admission essays for one the local colleges and I can only wish some were as well written and spoken as yours. You have touched many with your words and I am very sure it will move at least one person to look at adoption as a calling they may not have heard before. Peace and Blessings to the Patterson Family. Traci

Blessed said...

This is just beautiful. I have come upon your blog before, following links from one of the other blogs I read faithfully like Urban Servant and Not an Ordinary Life--and am so glad your family exists. : ) Thank you for sharing your life in the blog realm, where your life ministry is expanded even further!

I have linked to this entry in my personal blog, if that is ok. Please let me know if not.


Anonymous said...

Parker my dear dear bro!
I love your essay dude, so from your heart and honest about the blessing that our brothers and sisters are. Thank you for saying the thruth about joy! the world won't bring true joy and true life like Christ will. Keep up the good work :)

Debi said...

What an amazing young man you are, and wise beyond your years!
Your heart felt essay reveals the heart of your Heavenly Father.
Praying that God would continue to use your passion for adoption.

Allie Garcia said...

Parker! You are such a wonderful writer! I teach high school kids who cant write something as articulate and beautiful as this. Amazing! What a talented young man. Maybe you are the next C.S. Lewis. :)

Unknown said...

What a great essay! You should take pride in knowing you had a part in raising such a caring, giving heart-felt young man. We are also adopting a child (from Colombia) and have a bio 10-yr old daughter who has been asking for a sibling for a long time. I'll be sharing Parker's essay with her, I'm sure she'll love it as much as I did!

Unknown said...

What a great essay! You should take pride in knowing you had a part in raising such a caring, giving heart-felt young man. We are also adopting a child (from Colombia) and have a bio 10-yr old daughter who has been asking for a sibling for a long time. I'll be sharing Parker's essay with her, I'm sure she'll love it as much as I did!

Laura said...

That is so inspiring Parker! Thank you so much for sharing.
I am going to repost on my blog.

Mommy of little ones said...

well said, parker. i always begged my parents to have more kids- i am the oldest, too. now that i'm grown up i can have (bio or adopted) as many kids as God gives me and my husband(which is as many as I want). children are always a blessing and not a burden. i plan to post this on my facebook Brittany Amber. bless you! praying for chrissie. ps- i cried at k's adoption story. has it been continued yet?

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