"Saying No To Adoption" by Harold Shank

“Saying No To Adoption”

By Harold Shank, National Spokesperson for CCFSA

Many people say “no” to adoption, perhaps not defiantly or thoughtfully but, in terms of the bottom line, their decision is “no.” One of our elders, Dennis Ruch, and his wife, Toni, also said “no” to adoption, in three different ways.

During the height of the Viet Nam war, the Ruches moved to the Southeast Asian country to serve as missionaries. Young, childless and filled with dreams of what God might do, they soon became aware of the large number of children made orphans by the conflict. Moved by compassion, they visited several orphanages seeking to adopt a child. However, the large number of healthy, available children overwhelmed them. They retreated to the safety of their home to pray and think about their choices.

One morning, a Vietnamese woman came to their house and left a baby boy on their bed. He was sick, malnourished and apparently orphaned. Toni nursed the baby back to health and Dennis sought out the authorities for direction. As the child responded to their care, they realized that God had sent them the right child. Dennis recalls, “There was no question. This boy was to be our child.” No question. That was the Ruches’ first “no.”

After Dennis and Toni adopted Joe, they had four biological children:  Dave, Jon, Dan and Christy. Close in age, the five children grew up together. They all called Dennis “dad” and Toni “mom” and learned from them the Christian way. All five children had led a friend to Christ by the time they graduated from high school.

Some people have asked if they treated their children differently because of the adoption. Dennis is adamant. “They are all in our will. They are all our children. They are all equal. There is no difference among my children.”  No.