Wow! As our readers know, I often criticize The New York Times, but I love the long yet wonderful article on adoption in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine.
Don’t be put off by the semi-snarky headline, “God Called Them to Adopt. And Adopt. And Adopt.” Writer Maggie Jones spent time with a mega-adoptive family near Denver, watching and listening to both parents and kids. Human interest, specific detail to stay low on the ladder of abstraction: Jones accomplishes everything we teach at the World Journalism Institute, with perfect pitch.
Jones does not romanticize adoption or ignore the hardships, but she grasps the benefits. Here’s one key paragraph:
“Still, money is tight. Misty and Jon forgo big vacations; they rarely eat out; they cook lots of tacos, mac and cheese and soups; and many of their kids are doubled up in the family’s five-bedroom rental house. ‘There are days when I’m completely overwhelmed, and I wonder if we made the right decision,’ Misty acknowledged. ‘If we really knew what we were getting into, none of us would do it in the moment. But I would do it over and over again.’ And that, she said, is because of her faith—the thing that propelled her into this in the first place. ‘God,’ she said, ‘doesn’t make mistakes.’”
As of 4 p.m. EST Monday the article had attracted 179 comments, some from readers who hate adoption (maybe because every loving adoption is an indictment of abortion), and some from readers who evidently hate Christ. But I suspect most readers reacted like this one from Bismarck, N.D.:
“I think these parents are quite something—kind, loving, generous and truly heartfelt—to open their homes and families to these troubled children. Seems like everyone will benefit in the long term, even if the short term is rocky. I wish I had the strength they have.”
And this reaction from a Massachusetts reader to the anti-Christian comments is also good:
“It seems to me that these awe-inspiring, loving, giving families are ‘brainwashing’ their children to believe that we should love our neighbors, care for the poor, and not judge lest we be judged … that’s brainwashing I can get on board with.”