I would really love to hear how other members of the [adoption] triad manage their faith around their adoption stories… How did your understanding of God impact your feelings around adoption? How did your feelings around adoption impact your understanding of God?
Not being a member of an adoption triad (i.e., I haven’t given up a child for adoption, haven’t adopted a child, and am not adopted myself), I didn’t think that responding in the debate over there would be the appropriate thing to do. I couldn’t resist writing something, though, since it’s such an interesting discussion in terms of general philosophy of life, not just adoption-specific beliefs.
I’m not a believer in the whole ‘everything that happens was meant to be and God makes it all work out for the best’ philosophy. Well, I’m not a believer in God either, but my rejection of this particular philosophy came before my atheism – I would have no philosophical problem in believing in a God who allows us to make mistakes and mess our lives up as part of free will, but who’s still there to provide us with support and guidance when we want it. (I don’t believe in that sort of God either, but that’s another story. The point I was trying to make is that, unlike many people, I wouldn’t regard the whole so-much-evil-in-the-world thing as a reason not to believe in God at all. I’m an atheist for other reasons.)
I don’t believe anyone Up There is making Things All Work Out For The Best, because it’s too easy to see examples of things that are clearly not for the best. What I believe is that it is our responsibility, as human beings, to do the best we can in any given situation. To do what we can to make things work out for the best.
So… I don’t believe that some sort of Supreme Being is saying "OK, now – I shall afflict _this_ woman with infertility and _this_ woman with an unwanted pregnancy because I want them to work it out between themselves as a Personal Growth Opportunity." I don’t believe some of the incredibly painful stories behind adoption were ever meant, by anyone, to happen. All I believe we can do is respond to them in the most ethical way we can, trying to find the ‘best’ (by which we mean the least imperfect) situation, and always being aware of the flaws in the situations we do find so that we can maximise our chances of dealing with them.