Saturday, July 7, 2012

The S Word.

I don't know much.
I'm not an adoption expert.
I do what I can.
The very best I can.

And at the end of the day I don't hang my hat on the semantics of it all.
{Course I don't really hang my hat anywhere cuz I'm not really a hat girl.
They make me look funny...but that's a post for another day.
Back on topic please.}

And that's why I guess I was struck when someone mentioned that I used the S word in my latest NHBO post. 

Yep, the S word.


And they mentioned that their hope, for the sake of my children and their privacy and their story, was that they were not growing up being told that I saved them or that they were some sort of savior project to me.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to address that specifically.

After reading the comment
a big part of me want's to say,
"Bbbbbut that's not what I meant!"
I know I'm not "supposed" to use that word
or infer that word
or speak to that word
or invite that word over for dinner and be friends with it.
The adoptive-blogging-invisible-non-existent handbook states very clearly that the S word is not allowed. 

So when I said/used/typed that forbidden word I didn't mean it in the sense that yes,
we wake each of our adopted children up each day and say,

"Good morning! Waffles for breakfast, pool today and don't forget! Mommy and Daddy saved you!"

"Sweet boy, can you pass the mashed potatoes, because owe me because I saved you."

"Go clean your room because I brought you into this country....and I can take you out."

Nor do we take him out and introduce him as our son...The One Whom We Hath Saved.

In the context of the post I used the S word in relation to our ability to be used a vessel to save{gasp!} his very life.

His LIFE. 
Not his lifestyle.
Not his quality of life. 
Not his ability to be a college graduate.
Not his opportunity to get really good at playing Mario on the Wii.
Not his future in a free country.



So though part of me wants to stomp my foot and say, "That's not what I meant!"
the other part of me thinks....wasn't his life indeed saved?
Is it in fact not true that if not for Joshua's adoption he would likely not be alive right now?


Was he saved by adoption?

Did we save his life?

Was his life indeed saved by adoption through the work of the Lord.

Where we saved by the blood of Jesus Christ?

Does that make me Jesus?

Am I Joshua's savior?

Do I think I am?
And in case you didn't catch it,

If you could see our life.
If you could see how we love.
If you could see how we are in the moments when no one is looking....which...oddly enough....look exactly the same as the moments when people are looking.
You would know that me in my pajamas and messy ponytail at 7am standing in the kitchen making a boat load of pancakes while 7 hungry boys hover around and talk to me about what they want to do that day, or what superhero they want to dress up as today, or how they can't wait for baseball season you would see so plainly that I lack any hint of a Savior complex.

I know that.
My kids know that.
My God knows that.
And that...
that is what matters.

Out of curiosity I looked up the definition of save and in case you too are it is:
save 1  (sv)
v. saved, sav·ing, saves
a. To rescue from harm, danger, or loss.
b. To set free from the consequences of sin; redeem.
2. To keep in a safe condition; safeguard.
3. To prevent the waste or loss of; conserve.

I assure you
by my own power
I am capable of none of this.
I have the upper body strength of a wet dishrag.
I am afraid of heights, big water slides and giant, mean dogs.
My ability to rescue anything from harm, danger or loss is severely limited by the fact that I am a complete and total wuss.
And last I checked I am so not capable of setting anyone free from a consequence of sin.

So where my intentions in that post to say that I have saved them and that I am raising them to believe as such?
I assure you the answer is no.
Here me when I say my children are not growing up thinking they were some sort of project.
They are growing up in love.
And light.
And the ever present knowledge that are valued, treasured and loved by so many. 

So instead of always running away from the S word how about we run right into the arms of the J word.....the author of salvation Himself.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17 

Oh, and in case you wondered...

Told you.
Not a hat girl.


  1. Oh, Sonia. I SO feel for is are an amazing blogger. You are willing to speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves, and you are willing to take the criticism of the blogging world. I have privatized my blog, un-privatized, privatized, un-privatized...all because of comments and criticism. So, bless you. Keep it up, you are doing an amazing job. And while, no, we don't SAVE them, Jesus does...we are the hands and feet of Christ, and if we sit on our duffs and don't do anything, we aren't doing a very good job of being His hands and feet. Romans 10:14-15

  2. Well said, indeed. And the hat, it's not so bad.

  3. I read your blog in NHBO and never thought a thing about the S word. You are amazing . . . what I see from your blog is a love for your family that is second only to your Love for your Savior! Thank you for being a voice that speaks up for those that cannot speak for themselves!

  4. Where is the Grace people? Sonia and her family stepped WAY outside most people's comfort zone to follow Him - period. There are few people I know who would go through the expense and time to adopt a child who may not make it AND still have a heart for those in the same situation.

  5. Sonia, I love you! I don't think you realize how many hours of convo you and I could have, in real life, over a cup of coffee. Since adopting, I went from being completely ignorant of adoption and all it's p's and q's, to being only slightly learn-ed...and completely disgusted at how Christians act sometimes in this community. Why are we so quick to mince words? Why can't people just love and support each other. Man, I am an idiot and miss it sometimes. I just want to have support from other adoptive parents, not be berated over maybe a misuse of words. Especially, when I am making that judgement over a 100 word blog post. Sorry, this is something I have been wanting to talk about for some time and just haven't sat down and done it. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

  6. I hate hate hate the adoption protocol police! Yes, I know its wrong to hate (another one of those evil words right there) The people reading your blog and read that AMAZINGLY well written post knew what you meant, exactly what you meant. Knit picking with your words was/is unnecessary. You spoke from your heart, you were honest with yourself and anyone who reads your truth. WE....GET.....YOU......let them get over it!

    AND about that post, I have been reading your blog with dedication since I came across it when I started our China adoption journey. I can tell you, you don't need to adopt again if you don't feel called to. Your words effect people. They effected me, we were adopting one young boy with limb differences but then decided to adopt two children. We are adopting two boys now and the second boy is a 7 year old HEART BABY! I would not have considered that before being lucky enough to follow your journey to Joshua. You opened my heart and my husband's heart to children with heart conditions. Don't count yourself as having 3 adopted boys because you had a piece in one of mine as well. After I read that post I hoped for a way to email you that privately but after this last post I thought I'd share it publicly. Thank you for being open to sharing your life, your children's lives and your beautiful words with those of us still on the journey to our children.

  7. Can I just say...

    You ARE gorgeous in a hat!!

    Keep rolling like you always have; you're awesome!!

  8. Love your post. Yes, this country/world has gone 'over board' with "what is the 'politically correct thing/word to say". I wish people would redirect that energy spent on 'policing words' to something more productive. I have enjoyed following your blog. Thanks for sharing. Pam PS: You look great in the hat, but you would look 'really great if it were a Chicago White Sox hat! :-) I have to root for the home town team!

  9. YES!!! LOVE this post. Right there with you mama. I blogged about the other forbidden word, "rescued" back in March. Same thing. You said it perfectly. To God be the glory.

  10. So seriously.... Vocab Police patrolling again?? It happened on one of the special needs groups I read. I suppose I should change my blog name, just in case the police have a problem with it??? When one gets tangled up in the vocab.... That only guarantees they missed the meaning of the text!
    NEVER CHANGE, no matter what ridiculous comments are tossed in your path.

  11. So seriously.... Vocab Police patrolling again?? It happened on one of the special needs groups I read. I suppose I should change my blog name, just in case the police have a problem with it??? When one gets tangled up in the vocab.... That only guarantees they missed the meaning of the text!
    NEVER CHANGE, no matter what ridiculous comments are tossed in your path.

  12. Sonya,
    One of the things I dislike about blogging is that we are just frail, imperfect people and we put our hearts out there for all the world to read not knowing who or what is lurking behind the other side of the computer screen. My defenses automatically go up when I feel like someone (who I don't even know) takes my words and twists them and misunderstands them and then comments about how it makes them feel. I have no idea what was said to you exactly or in what spirit it was said, but it sounds to me like it's one of those cases where the other party has forgotten that the post was not about them and the words which offend them. That post was about you and your family's personal experiences. When we originally backed out of the adoption of our soon-to-be 13 yr. old daughter, I poured my heart out on my blog about how excruciating the decision was, and I had a good friend (fellow adopter of a SN child) tell me that she was personally offended by our decision. I didn't know what to say to her. All I could think of was, "Why?! It's not about you!" Of course, I emailed her back and shared very patiently and gracefully that I felt bad that she was hurt, but that she was nowhere on my mind when we were making that painful decision. I think she realized afterward that she was out of line, but it really irritated me that she would be so selfish and then so bold to express it. I think it's ok to ignore those kind of remarks and just say nothing at all. I know exactly what you meant by "saving" your sons lives and I think you are exactly right... by definition! Keep on "saving" those heart babies for the glory of God. The Lord is using you in a mighty way. Do not allow the enemy to make you think otherwise.

  13. Hehehe ... lemme guess ... the one who busted you has never adopted a child ... because the LAST thing an adoptive parent ever feels is like a savior. Tired, overwhelmed, scared-to-death, over-the-moon-elated ... those are the adjectives I'd use to describe an adoptive parents feelings. We don't go around with an "S" on our undershirt. We don't hide a cape in the closet. We DON'T tell our child how much we did to "save" them. But the honest-to-goodness truth is, through our obedience to Christ's command, we have saved that child. And I'm not saying sorry for using that word either.

  14. Saved saved saved. Don't we all want to be saved?

  15. love the post-- i hate that people go out of their way to nitpick us on words... our son ben would have died if not for us. literally. jennifer's caleb.. was dying...and amen to what margie above said...

  16. I shared your NHBO post with my friend whoes son adopted at six years old and had a severe heart defect and would have died if wasn't adopted.(Just like Joshua) She spent 3 months in California with him durning his heart surgery away from her other children and husband. Yes, she uses the word saved too. Because he would have died. My son adopted from China can not walk without wearning braces on his legs. He has had surgeries, over 25 sets of cast, and weekly PT since he has been home almost 3 years. Do I think we saved him from a life as a beggar on the streets of china? Yes. Save him from a life of never being able to walk or be educated or have a family. Yes. Are we his savior? No! Our Lord Jesus is his savior. We are just a part of His plan. We love our son with all of our heart. He is our son! So, I totally agree with you and I know many moms that do too. I laugh reading your blog more than any other. My friend and I often talk about it like you are one of our friends. So, girl we have your back.

  17. You know, this is the same issue with birth children, especially if those of us had difficult pregnancies. Do my children "owe" me because I gave them life? No. Did I truly give them life? No. That was God. Did God use me to give them life? Yes. In the same way, will Isabel "owe" me because we are giving her a life of opportunity, healing, and love? Absolutely no. She will receive the same momma's love as the other children. Just like we say that we "gave life" to our birth children, we should be secure enough to say that we "saved" a child and know that it is true. At the same time we are not elevating ourselves to sainthood or setting expectations that any of our children (birth or adopted) "owe" us anything other than to be children in a loving family.

  18. Oh Sonia....can I just say that I love you?

    I just love your heart.

    I love how you write.

    I have totally loved reading your last few posts......I actually love reading all your posts....just saying....but your last few? Excellent!!!!

    Oh, the hat look....not so bad. Really.


  19. HA! Loved it! We'll always have people nitpick what we right and take it out of context and explaining can be frustrating but you did a fab. job, girl!

    1. Okay, nitpicking what I wrote...I meant "write" not "right"...right write helps!

  20. Go Sonia! Thank you for speaking up. I shy away from talking about 'save' because I'm so scared of offending someone. Not that I have that many readers. It's about time I get out from under my rock and stop being scared. I want to be like Sonia when I grow up...'cept heart babies still scare me.

  21. You are wise. You are right. You are gracious. And you are loved.
    God is using you and your gift of writing to inspire others.
    Don't go changin a thang!
    Keep sharing your heart and make no apologies!
    Love & Blessings,

  22. GREAT response! I love your blog and I hope you don't let the occasional, complete off-base comment discourage you! YOU are an encouragement to so many of us out here!

  23. Nancy Leigh DeMoss talked on her program today about the sanctification that is evident when we graciously allow people to "think out loud." You did a good job of clarifying what you meant to say. I'm sure there are a lot of sensitive areas in adoption that others don't understand and, as a result, step in "it." Thank you for sharing your life--the good, the bad and the ugly. We are all blessed by it.

  24. Love your blog and did not take offense to you using the s word. As a mother of a daughter born in China, I know she would not receive the healthcare she gets here in the states. It just would not happen. Did I adopt to S a child? No. Actually, I did it for my own selfish reasons of having three sons and wanting to add a daughter. God places us where we need to be to live our life which is why our child, both biological and adopted are with us today. Love your blog and the fact you are so darn funny. Can't wait to hear what other funny things you are going to write about.