1. Life is beautiful.
I think there is a very dangerous and unhinged train of thought that I have heard a few times and am hearing more recently - life isn't worth living. I've heard it guised under eugenics - literally abortion rather than suffering through this life with some troubles. I've heard it buried in being green - reduce your carbon footprint and mankind's enslavement of the earth by planning on not having kids and make sure that happens. All of these say the same thing and ignore the obvious question: what if your parent's thought the same thing? This two ideas are so self defeating and short sighted I'd like to be stunned anyone takes them serious; but it is unfortunately all too fitting in a 10-second soundbite world.
"A hard life isn't worth living" - (Easy answer - tell that to Hellen Keller, Lou Gherig, Stephen Hawking, Woody Guthrie, etc). An agnostic answer is to fight the battle in front of you and the world might end up a better place. A theist (generic God believer) answer is that God made you & you have value. Preserve it and let it flourish.
"The world is better off without mankind in it" - um okay, you first go first; I'll let you know if we're better off without you. This isn't self sacrifice for other folks, that would be honorable. It's suicide for an ideal that isn't supportable. What if we come up with better food/nourishment resources? who's even here to say it's better? To me it sounds like "I'm going to take my ball & go home" with the extra adder of being grumpy with those who keep playing.
The beauty of watching kids at play is their innocence. We want to preserve and nourish that as much as we can, including beyond our current household. I think the other side is seeing potential, and seeing it being fulfilled. Life is beautiful.
2. Our heart is in it.
My heart breaks at sad stories of kids. Mostly when parents use, abuse, and neglect kids. The stories of a fallen world hit you in the gut; but what hits me more is when the child is given up by those it should trust the most. One of the key things in parenting is providing a home. Whether it's an apartment, house or trailer doesn't matter. A safe place for kids to grow. Parenting is tough. I fully understand wanting some time away, or feeling burdened. But guess what - parenting is great too. There is no greater time than saturday morning. A cup of coffee in hand and then hearing that sound. The thud of little feet hitting the floor and then they rumble through the house like a heart seeking missile to find you. The missile hits and your morning is blown-up in a good way.
3. Our family has room.
More as a combo of everything above we want to provide a solid launching pad for a kid (or some kids) who just need help. Giving them a better shot. Letting them reach for the stars with love and support; being there to catch them when they fall; brushing off scraped knees and getting back into the game. (okay I'm out of quaint little metaphors/analogies).
I can come up with lots of objections. What about the risk (emotional, physical, etc) to your own kids? Can you handle a kid that is ....... old? Won't it be hard to have a kid that looks like ......?
I then come back to this - the world isn't nice & packaged. If you want to avoid all risks, you aren't going to do anything. We are doing this to risk in love & sow seeds in love; then wait and pray and hope (trust) that the fruit is good.
Do we know what we are in for? - no (I'd be lying if I said yes)
Do we know the outcome? - nope
Is there risk? - yup
Do we need to do this? - nope
Is this some part of "if your Christian you should be adopting"? - nope. But it is in the heart-plan of our marriage.
Are we scared? - yup
Let the adventure begin.
Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes
To roar to the resounding plain,
And the whole heaven shouts and shakes,
For God Himself is born again;
And we are little children walking
Through the snow and rain.
The Wise Men - GK Chesterton