It is heartwarming to see the flood of families that have been called to adoption these past few months. With the downturn in the economy, added pressures have overwhelmed many young birth moms. At an increasing rate, they are choosing to find adoptive families for their babies, rather than face the seemingly insurmountable struggle of trying to raise a child without resources and support. Because of this, Christian adoption centers such as Lifetime Adoption are constantly looking for couples to match with birth moms that have decided to step out in faith and start the adoption process.
You were created to make a difference! Only the Lord knows His mighty plans for you. If He has weighed you down with a desire that you can’t seem to shake, then it is time to stop and ask the Lord to reveal His plan. Taking a chance and stepping out of one’s comfort zone it not an easy thing to do! It requires trust in our Heavenly Father and trust in our ability to hear His call.
Maybe you have struggled to give birth to a child for so long, that you are ready to walk away from your dream of being a parent all together. You feel as if you have no control over your body and your life. Well, this is the year of the Lord’s favor! In Isaiah 61:2-3, God reminds us that He will comfort those who mourn and create beauty out of ashes. He goes on to declare that He will plant great works in you so His kingdom will be glorified.
Do not lose heart! You were meant to read this at these particular cross roads in your life. You were destined to hear these words for a reason. Are you meant to parent through the wonderful process of adoption? Ask the Lord for His answer and He will make it clear to you. There is an old saying that God’s Light shines brighter in the darkness. Can you see it?
Even if you’ve hired the best adoption professional you can find, your home study is complete, you’ve painstakingly created a gorgeous profile, and your suitcase is packed and waiting at the door – you could STILL be overlooking this one powerful component for adoption success:
Show her that you care about her!
Here are six ways to extend yourself to a birthmother and show her that you truly appreciate her:
- Ask her how she is feeling today and if there’s anything you can do to help her feel more comfortable, whether physically, or emotionally. Show her that you are interested in her well being, and it’s not just “all about the baby.” Show her you see her as a unique person, not just the gateway to your soon-to-be child. Even if she doesn’t ask you to do anything for her, at least she knows you offered.
- Take her lead with the hospital plan. Does she want you in the delivery room? Does she seem to be more of a private person? Does she want to take photos together? How does she feel about seeing and holding the baby? Who does she want to hold the baby first? Honor her wishes. These are the final parenting decisions she is able to make. The next 18 years are up to you!
- Care about her and where she wants her life to go. Ask her about her goals and dreams, her interests. Instead of asking all the questions about the health of the baby (which you will likely learn through medical records, anyway). These are stories you can share with your child. Maybe your son or daughter shows an athletic gift – you will be able to say, “Your birthmother was a big soccer star at her high school!”
- Never judge her, and always accept her just as she is. Here is the woman who is going to hand you her baby, trusting you will love this child as your own. The past is the past and can’t be undone. If you really think about it, any one of us could be one event away from being in very similar circumstances.
- Be decisive and clear in your responses to her. Don’t leave her hanging in the balance for more than just a few hours at the most. If you need time to discuss things privately or pray over something, be honest, but don’t keep her waiting. She may start to question your commitment to her baby.
- Follow through with your commitments. It’s very likely that you are the most stable figures in her life at this time. She is going out on a limb to trust you. If you have promised something, follow through with it. This also extends to after the adoption. Be sure you send her the letters and photos you promised. Show her that she is a valued, important person in your life, and that she is not forgotten.
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family
– Kofi Annan
We’re familiar with the phrase ‘knowledge is power’. Truth be told, while we are familiar with this adage, we often forget to apply it in our everyday lives. This is especially true when it comes to reading and understanding important documents and contracts. We just run through the pages or give a cursory glance at the contents, before signing on the dotted line. Some don’t even do that!
The adoption process can be quite challenging and time-consuming. The prospective parents have only one thing on their mind – to bring their baby home. And that’s perfectly natural. Couples who have gone through unsuccessful assisted reproductive treatments like IUI, IVF, or ICSI suddenly have the hope of bringing home a baby of their own. They are excited and anxious at the same time and their emotions are understandable. But, the adoption process is pretty vigorous. It requires couples to spend time with the agency and the adoption professionals, as well as reading through the adoption contract to understand the terms of the adoption process.
If you have trouble paying attention to anything in print, you may have to take it up with your school! From grade school to college, many students just go through the motions of reading and writing, creating a veritable treasure trove of disinformation: a) In Guinessis, the first book of the Bible, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. B) Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments; he died before he ever reached Canada c) Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock d) History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. e) The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. While it may be very funny to read, we can all learn something from this – we must spend time in preparation when we are faced with life-changing decisions and we surely need to pay attention to what we read!
If your adoption is not complete and you have not read your adoption contract yet, I strongly recommend picking it up right now and spending time reading it. Don’t try to read it in between work or when you are mentally occupied with other things. You have to be mentally present when you read the contract. Ensure that both you and your spouse understand the entire terms of the adoption contract. A poorly read contract may cause you a lot of confusion and frustration in your adoption journey. If you have any doubts or questions, get in touch with your adoption professional. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Save a man and you save a unit; save a boy and you save a multiplication table — Gipsy Smith
What does the Bible have to say about adoption? Can an adoptive family ever be like a real family? Is this right in the eyes of God? These may be some of the questions troubling you as you contemplate Christian adoption. Surprisingly, the Bible has a lot to say about adoption! Let’s take a look at God’s view of a family unit and His plan for orphans and abandoned children:
Adoption is legal (and Biblical)
Yes, we all know that there are several laws and regulations in most countries that make adoption legal. But, did you know that adoption existed in Biblical times as a legal option? According to the Word of God, the adopted child enjoyed the privilege of becoming a legitimate heir to the father’s estate and was treated as one among the family. The adopted child was treated as someone ‘born into’ the new family and as someone who has just started a new life! There are many examples of adoption in the Bible: Esther’s adoption by her cousin Mordecai, Moses’ adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter, and Joseph’s acceptance of Jesus as his son. God even adopted the entire tribe of Levi as His own. The Bible indicates that there is no difference in the roles and responsibilities of parents and children, whether the child is biological or adopted. Adoptive families are ‘real’ families in the eyes of God and in the eyes of law.
Spiritual significance of adoption
All believers are children of God and they are heirs through adoption (Rom. 8:15–17, 23; Gal. 4:4–7). This makes each of us a part of God’s adoptive family. God uses adoption as a beautiful metaphor to describe His relationship with those who believe in Him and His resurrection. This gives us the privilege of calling Him “Abba”, which is Aramaic for Daddy and is a Jewish expression of closeness of children with their fathers. In other words, a Christian’s identity is this: I am adopted by God (Eph 1:5). As believers we enjoy the rights, privileges, inheritance of biological children. This is by the law of grace.
The same grace is now available to adoptive families. Every child is a blessing from God (Ps. 128:3) and Christian adoption enables you to build a home with God’s Word as the foundation. Any family that is built on God’s Word will stand the test of time and will be used to extend His Kingdom, whether biological or adoptive!
Our children are not ours because they share our genes…
they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them.
That, at the end of the day…or long sleepless night,
is how love really works.
Are you afraid of open adoption? Do you think it is not only uncomfortable but also unbiblical? Well, I want to share what I found in the Word of God. Before we find instances of open adoption in the Bible, you must understand that adoption is pleasing in God’s sight. There are many examples of Biblical characters encouraging and demonstrating adoption: The adoption of Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter, the adoption of Esther by her relative Mordecai after the death of her parents, and finally, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus as his own child. Apart from these people adopting children who are not biologically theirs, the Bible says we are the children of God through adoption. In fact the New Testament (Gal. 4:3–7; Eph. 1:1–6) describes the believer’s relationship with God through adoption. So, it is very clear that adoption is divinely authorized and has the blessing of God, our Maker.
But, what does the Bible have to say about open adoption? Well, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus is a beautiful example of this process. He welcomed Jesus as his own, even though Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. He recognized him as his own son and have him all legal rights, including the claim to the Davidic family line. When Jesus was 12 years old, he wandered away from his parents during the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, and was found three days later in the temple talking to the teachers. When he was questioned by his mother, he replies, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Now, no adoptive parent would want to hear something like this. We can only imagine how Joseph felt when Jesus calls God as His ‘father’. The Bible indicates that Jesus spent time alone in prayer, communicating with His Father God. Joseph could have allowed himself to get upset about this. But, he did not allow this kind of open communication with Jesus’ heavenly Father to sour his relationship with his adopted son. We read that Jesus was ‘subject’ to his parents as He grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:51). So, He enjoyed a close relationship with his earthly parents, while communing with His Father in Heaven.
Can we do the same with an open adoption? Yes, we can. The focus of the adoption process should be the child. Your child’s birth family is very much a part of his or her life, whether you like it or not. An open adoption will remove feelings of insecurity and abandonment in your child that comes from not knowing anything about the birth family or not having any contact with them. It is your responsibility to allow your child to have a healthy communication channel with his or her birth family. If you fear complications from it, allow God to remove those fearful thoughts from your mind. Trust in Him and ask Him for the grace you need to opt for an open adoption.