In the December 19-26, 2011 issue, Christopher Pramuk reexamines the story of the Nativity in light of his family's decision to adopt two boys from Haiti. In 2004, Timothy P. Muldoon, author of Longing to Love, reflected on his own family's struggle with infertility and their eventual decision to adopt two girls from China:
Our experience, like that of many adoptive parents, began in heartache: the inability to conceive. Few experiences challenge faithful Catholics as much as infertility, which even in light of contemporary biblical theology still feels like alienation from God’s greatest gift. Because so much of Catholic theological reflection on marriage and family life centers on the theme of procreation, the experience of infertility can be a wrenching call to examine the very vocation to marriage itself. Even after writing a doctoral dissertation on Catholic marriage and sexuality, I found it difficult to mine from the traditional resources much that deals directly with the emotional, psychological and theological challenges associated with infertility.
Over time, though, what emerged from our experience was a more profound understanding of the paschal mystery, the mystery of God’s invitation to move through death to new life. In our case, the response to that invitation came from my wife’s past, a past in which she had been falling in love with the idea of adopting an orphaned girl from China. I, like many other eventual adoptive fathers, was resistant. For me adoption seemed like resignation instead of courageous fighting for successful conception.
Yet when it became clear to us that the choice was between expensive and uncertain medical interventions or adoption, the latter emerged as the more life-giving. We began the paperwork that led eventually to our trip to China in December 2000. It was there, in a hotel in a modestly sized industrial city, that we saw the face of Jesus in a scared, wailing 10-month-old baby.
Read the rest here.