an open letter to Pat Robertson, from the adoptive mother of a child with brain damage

Dear Mr. Robertson,

I want you to look at this face.

Isn't she darling?

I want you to look at her because that's the face that came to mind when I heard your words yesterday.

On The 700 Club, you answered a question from a single mother of three children, each adopted from a different country. This mother wrote in for help understanding why the men she dated always left as soon as they found out that her daughter were adopted.

Your response? "A man doesn't want to take on the United Nations." And "you don't know what problems" there will be when you adopt. You continued with the cautionary tale of a family you know who adopted a "child [who] had brain damage, you know, grew up weird." As you disagreed with your co-host, you excused your comments by saying, "you just never know what's been done to a child before you get that child: what kind of sexual abuse there has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation."

I want you to know this: We didn't adopt a problem. We adopted a child. She was knit together in her mother's womb, fearfully and wonderfully made. She is an image bearer of the one true God. She laughs at me, loves her brother and sister, and cries when she's hurting or hungry.

She was also born with brain damage. 

And we love her.

Perhaps I'm naive to be writing this letter to you. After all, a year ago you said that a man could divorce his wife with Alzheimer's because she was "not there" anymore, less of a person than she had been when she married him. Two years ago, you said adoption "can be a blessing if you get the right child." Perhaps I'm naive in thinking that Zoe's sweet face would change how you think and speak about orphans like her, but it's worth a try because God used her face (and is now using her life) to change us.

You said that we can help and love orphans but that doesn't mean we have to take them - and, in your words, their "problems" - into our homes. When my husband heard your words, he said "No, we don't have to do it. We get the privilege of doing it."

That's a real man. I'm thankful to be married to him and thankful to parent these three darlings with him.

You said your friend's child "grew up weird," and that's certainly a possibility for our kids too. If "weird" involves caring for orphans and widows in the name of Christ and laying down our lives for others as Christ did and believing God's Word to be true, then I pray you'll have plenty of reasons to call each of our children weird.

It surely wouldn't be the first time someone used that word to describe us.

A mom who is blessed by all three of my children

PS - If you'd like to see a video of The 700 Club segment that prompted this post, here's the only version I can find right now.