Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Blessing of Adoption

 If you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you understand the concept of adoption. Ephesians 1:5 states: “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself…” What this means is that God has adopted us as His children.  Also, Romans 8:15 says, “but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’”.  God graciously adopts believers in Christ into His spiritual family. We are also granted the privilege of being heirs with Christ. 

   I have worked with parents who have given their children for adoption and also children of various ages who have been adopted. Some children don’t know they are adopted because their families choose to withhold the adoption until they feel it is the appropriate time. The healthiest thing for adopted children is to understand almost immediately that they are adopted. I often tell adopted children that the cool thing about them is that their parents knew them before they were adopted and actually chose them to be part of their family. Usually, this helps the adopted child feel very special.

   Being adopted is a privilege. Someone who is not your birth parent has selected you to be a part of his or her family for the rest of your life.  It is also a blessing because someone who loved that child very much gave that child up for a better life than the birth mother could provide.

   If you are the parent of an adopted child, here are some suggestions for you to do with your child:

   1) Tell your child that though they may not have come from your stomach, they have come from your heart. God put His love in your heart for that child. Remind them that you have prayed for them and God loaned them to you as a blessing. 

   2) If you have not yet completed the legal adoption and are waiting to do so, plan a “birth”day party once the adoption is finalized. Create your own “birth” certificate, announcing the day that your child officially became a member of your family. Frame it for them to hang in their room.

   3) Teach children to journal their feelings, even if it is just a drawing. Help them learn to bring everything to God, especially if their hearts are troubled by missing family members. Work on creating a safe relationship for conversation and prayer.

   4) Pray not only for your adopted child, but also pray for the birth mother. Ask God to give the birth mother peace about her sacrifice and to bless her in her life. Ask God to help your adopted child adjust and feel like a part of your family.

   If you are a birth mother who has given her child up for adoption, you are very brave and unselfish. You have blessed a family with someone they could not have loved without your sacrifice. I have counseled many women over the years that have given up children for adoption. One of the things they constantly worry about is how the child will react to them if they ever meet again. Will the child understand their sacrifice, or will the child be angry? A great movie for these parents to watch is “Like Dandelion Dust”, which is a story of a mother who loved her son so much, that she allowed him to be adopted into a loving home. It shows the struggle these mothers go through. 

   1) My advice to these birth mothers is to keep a journal. They don’t need to write in it every day, just every so often as a memory hits them or if they are wondering what their child is doing. I encourage them to write down their thoughts and keep this journal forever. One day in the future, that child (who is now searching for answers) may contact them. Being able to hand them a journal of the struggles, the sacrifice and the unending love will help the grown child to understand this sacrifice and have their questions answered.

   2) Always keep that child on your prayer list. Pray for them whenever you think of them. And pray for their family. God knows what you are going through and He will watch over your child for you and heal your heart.

   Adoption is a very precious event, for the child being adopted into a new family, for the birth parent who has made the loving decision to give the child a loving home, and for the adoptive parents to be able to love a child they have prayed for. What a beautiful picture of how much God loves us!

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