The gift of less during the holidays is trending. Minimalism has garnered popularity, and shifted focus from possessions to experiences. And while it may, indeed, be less stuff – it is simply shifting the focus to more of something else.
For children who are in the foster care system, or who have been adopted (children from hard places), this concept of less being more is critical. The overwhelm of emotions that comes from the constant bombardment of holiday cheer can cause anything but joy.
During National Adoption Month, I wrote 13 guest posts regarding various adoption related topics. This is a round up of those posts - which I hope will bless and encourage you! There are posts for adoptive families, waiting families, prospective adoptive families, those who want to help orphans without adopting, and those who simply want to draw closer to Jesus!
Relationships between parents and teenage girls can be challenging. Even under the most ideal circumstances, hormones, peer influence, and growing up impact the way a teen relates to her parents. Girls naturally enter a season of questioning who they are, what they believe, why they believe it, and what they want in their life. Our society places great emphasis on choosing a future occupation while teens are still trying to survive algebra and prom date mishaps. When we factor in social media, perceived beauty concepts, and the fact that the portion of the brain responsible for logic is not fully developed until age 24, we can understand the effects of pressure on teens!
One of the most critical things to address, prior to adoption, is the prospective parents’ own healing. As parents, it is our privilege and responsibility to walk through healing with our children. To be able to do this effectively, we must first embrace God’s healing for our own hearts.
Children who come into a family through adoption have experienced great loss. Age is not an indicator, as even an infant has experienced the traumatic removal from their birth family. This loss is often coupled with trauma; whether due to abuse, neglect, or in utero exposure to substances or chronic stress. Every child who is adopted will have loss, and will need to grieve and heal.
Research indicates trauma not only effects a person’s memories and emotions, but can also alter the physical state of their brain. Every child that has been adopted has experienced trauma. Even infants, who leave the hospital in the arms of their adoptive parents, experience trauma through the loss of their biological family.
The forwarded email arrived at the beginning of December. I was a work at home, homeschooling momma juggling a ten-month-old, two preschoolers, and two school-aged children. Our lives were full, exciting, and maybe just a tad chaotic.
“In case you’re ready…” was the only line in the email. A good friend, who I met during our first adoption from foster care, had forwarded a flier for a little guy our state was recruiting a family for. I laughed hysterically, and immediately texted her.
It was 9 am in the morning when we got the call. An interim placement was needed for a newborn girl – were we available?
Our homestudy had been approved a month earlier, and we have been anxiously awaiting a call. Just not this kind. An interim placement is short term – not at all the adoption match we were pursuing.
With three children aged four and under, we had elected to pursue only legally free children, to avoid a child being placed and then moved from our family. Our fear was that it would be hurtful or confusing to our kids. And like most parents, we wanted to help them avoid pain and confusion. God, in His great mercy and heavenly wisdom had better plans.
In Psalm 68:6, we read that God places the lonely in families. As children of God, the message of adoption is written on our hearts. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we have all been adopted into the family of God. It is out of an overflow of that love that we consider opening our hearts and homes to a child in need of a family!
As followers of Christ, our goal should be to do the will of our Father! Jesus set a tremendous example for us of living a laid down life. He has asked us, through the grace of Holy Spirit, to do the same. Through His unchanging Word, He provides instruction and insight. Leading us in His good, pleasing, and perfect will. And one of the things dearest to the Father’s heart is adoption.
Every adoption is born out of two things: trauma and loss. For an infant, who leaves the hospital in the arms of their loving parents – there is trauma and loss. For a toddler, who cannot verbalize their past and calls their new parents ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ right away – there is trauma and loss. For a school aged child who for the first time is living as a child instead of as a fill-in parent – there is trauma and loss. For a teen, who finally has someone to provide their needs – there is trauma and loss.
Often, adoption is either romanticized or criminalized. The truth is, it is both beautiful and hard. Adoption should be a story of trauma, loss, and grief that is met with love, compassion, and healing.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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