Friday, February 25, 2011

Rescued, Through the Eyes of Our 13-Year-Old Colombian Daughter

Wow, yesterday's post generated a lot of great conversation regarding the use of the word "rescue" in relation to adoptions.  This was the sentence I used in my plea to ask others to support The Cardwell Family in the adoption of their older child from China (this is the sentence that caused the big debate over the word "rescue" with regards to adoption):

"help them rescue their daughter before she ages out and cannot be adopted!"

The comments/conversation that followed my post about using the word "rescued" got a little carried away from the original sentence that was being critiqued.  I appreciated that one of the readers talked about how I tend to advocate for orphans in dire circumstances, who have no hope, who have no one expressing interest in them, who are truly in need of someone to step in and rescue them from a life of despair, hence why I would choose to use the term "rescue".  I don't always use the term "rescue" with regards to adoption, but when a family is desperately trying to get to their child before she ages out of the system, where she'll be too old to be adopted and thrown out onto the streets forever, I call that a rescue! 

I never meant to insinuate that any orphan who is adopted would be forever indebted to his/her parents for rescuing him/her!  That couldn't be further from the truth.  I tried hard to convey that I am not worthy of praise for rescuing anyone or anything (nor do I want to be praised, ever, for adopting a child, nor would I ever want any of my children to praise me for "rescuing" them!).  I am merely a broken and sinful person, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, rescued from a lost world, delivered into His family forever, a place I never want to leave.  If He uses me a His vessel in any way, to Him be all the glory, for I am nothing but dust.

Several people commented that they'd love to hear the view of an older orphan with regards to the idea of being rescued.  (Again, I never use that term with my children, telling them I rescued them or that I'm their rescuer,  I simply used the term here on my blog when I was advocating for a family who needs our support to rescue their daughter before she is thrown out on the streets.)  Anyway, I was just curious to see what our Meribeth (who we adopted from Colombia at the age of 11) thought about this debate, so I asked her how she would feel if someone referred to her as being rescued (which, BTW, we, as her family, have not ever conveyed to her that we rescued her!!!).  I thought you might like to hear Meribeth's answer:  "It's true.  I was rescued."  She went on to explain that she prayed for someone to rescue her!  She was perplexed that someone might view that as a negative thing. 

So, I asked Meribeth if she would read the blog post Rescue, along with all of  the comments, and if she felt led to write a response, to do so. 

Here is what Meribeth (age 13 now) wrote after she read everything:

Everyone, my name is Meribeth and to be honest I really don’t agree with the negative comments about being rescued.  When my mom asked me if I would write something that explained what rescued means to me, that just made me smile.   I would love to share my story.

I was actually RESCUED two and a half years ago back when I didn’t  know what love really meant.   I was hoping someday I could be RESCUED by a forever family.  MY perfect family finally came and I know I had some issues when I first came into their family. Deep inside I was happy to be rescued, because I didn’t have to face living in the streets or being a prostitute in the future or being an orphan for the rest of my life, but I was also scared.

Over time, I got more comfortable with my family but I still was concerned about my family and other people treating me different from my siblings. I was really scared because I thought my family would reject me in the future, and never love me the way they loved my other siblings.   Now we have lots of  kids (adopted and bio kids) and my parents love all of us the same.

Before I was adopted I didn’t have hope.  I thought I would always be an orphan with no hope, not knowing  God, and never feel the love of a real family.  I prayed for a family.  I wanted a family so badly, but what I didn’t know was that I had to leave my country, my Colombian family, my culture, and all of my friends.  That was loss, and right after I was adopted, I was so angry.   I hated being adopted, but I got older, and started to trust and mature and I started to realize what a huge blessing it was being adopted, being rescued from evil.  I was rescued from a place full of lies, where I was not free, where I was not safe, where no one really cared about me, where I did not know what love was.  My parents did not have to tell me that.  I knew that because that is what I lived.  I gained a real family where I am loved and I am safe and I am fed and I am happy.  And now I really know Jesus, and that is so much more than anything I lost.  I hope one day when I am older that I will go back to my country of Colombia to share my story with orphans to give them hope.

Guys, sometimes you just have to face the truth.  Every orphan is rescued from something.  It’s better to go and rescue someone than let that orphan die or suffer more in the future.  I’ve  never thought the word rescue was a bad thing, I always knew I was rescued, it was what I prayed for.   

I am not making this up, I am not writing this because my mom told me to be on her side. I am writing what comes from my heart.  I don’t want to argue with you, or offend you, and I am sorry if   you don’t agree with me or my mom.  I thank God for answering my prayers and for sending my forever family.  I thank God that He rescued me.

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