Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ramblings From a Selfish Jerk

NOTE:  I originally posted this on We Are Grafted In, but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to WAGI.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

It is funny what people say when we are talking, and it is amazing what funnies we can miss if we don't actually stop and pay attention to what is being said.  I've documented a few conversations I've had at work over the past little while, and have reprinted them here in exacting detail*.
Little Bing in the middle - our newest just turned 3
after being in Canada for only 6 weeks!
... flash back a few months ago...
Co-Worker:  So, are you going to tell Ping that she is adopted?
Me:  *blink*  *blink*  
Co-Worker:  What?
Me:  You know I'm not REALLY Chinese right?  I only pretend to be.
Co-Worker:  Huh?
*awkward silence*
Co-Worker:  AAAaaah!  Wait!  You are white!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  And she is Chinese!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  So I guess you're gonna tell her then?
Me:  Well, I'm gonna try to hide it for as long as I can, but I think eventually she will figure it out.

... flash back a couple months ago...
Co-Worker:  You're wife doesn't work right?
Me:  Well, I don't know.  Depends on how you define work.  If you mean, dose she work from 8am to 5pm, get a benefits package, a decent wage, time off and the respect of co-workers and a satisfactions from a job well done... then no.  But if you are asking is she busy from dawn till dusk, 24 hours a day, with no pay, no thanks, and a never ending to do list... then yes.
Co-Worker:  Wow.  Uh, what dose she do?
Me:  Stays home with the 5 children.
Co-Worker:  Oh, so she DOESN'T work.
Me:  *blink*  *blink*  Yea, she does nothing all day.

... flash back a few weeks ago...
Co-Worker:  Hey, you speak Chinese!
Me:  Yea.
Co-Worker:  So is your wife Chinese?
Me:  Uhhhh, no.
Co-Worker:  Why then?
Me:  Um, because her parents were English?  (Now in her defence, the question in Chinese made perfect sense, as in "why [do you speak Chinese] then", I was just being a smart ... )

... flash back a few days ago...
Co-Worker:  So, 5 kids now right?
Me:  *snoork*  Whaaaaaza, some ... one talking... *zzZZZzzz* 
Co-Worker:  Right, 5 kids I get it.  So you gonna have any more?
Me:  WHAT?!  6?!  Are you crazy!
Co-Worker:  No, but apparently you are!  5 kids!
Me:  Oh right, well, yea... maybe.

... flash back to a couple days ago...
Co-Worker:  So why you adopt?
Me:  Oh, it was an accident.  My wife and I were up a little late, had a little too much wine, and before you knew it, we had filled out 27 copies of paper work for internal adoption.
Co-Worker:  I mean, you can have your own kids, why adopt?  Is it your faith?
Me:  Well, yes... and no.  I mean, it is.  There is something in the Bible about caring for the widows and orphans.  However, that is not why we adopted.  It would be easy to say that and sound all noble and righteous, but in all honesty, I choose to adopt because I'm a selfish jerk.
Co-Worker:  Wha?!  Oh no, you are not selfish!
Me:  Oh but I am.  If I really wanted to help care for the orphans, than I should have taken the thousands of dollars this inter-nation adoption costed, and built a new orphanage in Africa!  I could have drilled two wells in an Kenyan village, installed a grain feed system for cattle, purchased 4 achers of land for sustainable farming, and supplied a means of food for over 30 children and all their generations to come.  But instead, I was selfish.  We wanted another child, and we adopted.  I only managed to help 2 children so far.  What a waste of resources I know.  We could have taken care of TWO Kenyan villages and all their orphans.  If we build the wells, the grain feeders, and the farms, then maybe those children would not have had to been orphans!  Who knows.  So was it my faith that made me adopt?  I would rather say my faith made me capable to love all people, and in that, I had a desire to love a child into our family.  Was that the perfect or correct expression of my faith?  Well, that is a different matter.
Co-Worker:  ... so, it was your faith then?

See yea, there you go.  I'm a selfish jerk.  I mean, when God said to help the widows and the orphans, I though I was answering the call through adoption.  But in the end, I was really only helping a couple of kids. If I really wanted to help orphans, I should/could have taken the thousands of dollars it costs to adopt internationally and build schools, farms, and orphanages in parts of the world where they are very needed.  For example, check out  http://www.youfeedthem.com/  - and see what wonderful work they are doing!  The UN even had a World Farm Day at their farm 2 years ago, setting youfeedthem.org as the example for all sustainable farms to follow.

Yet, Silas and Kimberly (the couple who head up youfeedthem.org) are NOT being stopped on the streets by strangers going "oh look at you, you are doing such a wonderful thing" ... yet, they are helping hundreds of orphans every day.  I only helped 2.  I suck at this "helping orphans" thing!!!

So what, as a Christian, in response to our "faith", are we to do for the orphans and widows?

If you are called to adopt - then great!  Adopt!  But if you are NOT called to adopt... there are still so many many things you can do to help the 147-MILLION children who are in need!

Do not sit idly by and say "Well, we're not called to adopt, so we can't help the orphans"... and at the same time don't say "I'm helping the orphans by adopting!".

So there ya go, I'm a selfish jerk.  I hope to fix this in the future as I am in the process of setting up a monthly donation to http://www.youfeedthem.com/ so I can actually get around to "helping some orphans", like people think I do.

* What I find so awesome about blogging, is that in all the 360+ posts, not once have any of the stories I've told resulted in the comments section being filled with people in the stories clarifying the happenings.  For example, when I blogged about the wife and her "mafia accidents", not one of her friends went to the feedback comments and said "I can not see your Wife doing that crazy thing you have described!"  Nope, normally the comments are filled with "I can totally see your Wife doing that!", which means, as un-believable as some of these stores are, they are really quite factual and accurate.  Keep that in mind next time you are laughing through them thinking "Oh the Yeti MUST be exaggerating!"  :-)  And I'm picking on my wife there for example only... the stories with my co-workers are just as accurate as any one of them who reads the blog would correct me if I were speaking out of turn.


  1. I definitely have those same feelings. We adopted 3, but I feel like I've not done anything to help orphans. It really put things into perspective for me.

  2. All of the above considered...."selfish" and "jerk" are two words I would NEVER associate with Adrian Berzenji.

  3. Now I'm feeling guilty and selfish for not adopting!