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.
We began our adoption adventure when our kids were 3, 20 months, and 6 months. We had committed to opening our hearts and home to a child who needed a family, and after a lot of prayer, we knew the time had come. It was a very long 18 months before our son came home, but that period was the beginning of us learning how to help young children prepare for gaining a sibling through adoption.
When we adopted again, last year, we had five children, aged six and under. The dynamic shifted slightly, as we knew that seeing the adoption process could be challenging for our son. Our understanding of helping our children in this process grew.
In the adoption world, words like security, stability, and routine are used frequently. For families that experience frequent – and sometimes, unplanned – change, this can seem daunting. But the most critical components of these things are found in the relationship between children and their caregivers, not circumstances.
November is National Adoption Month. It's a time where, as a nation, we focus on the orphan crisis and the role each of us can play in caring for orphans. This month is especially dear to our family, as we celebrate our sons, and advocate for other children.
This week, I'll be tackling some questions about relationships. Attachment and bonding are buzz words in the adoption world - and for good reason, as they are absolutely essential for a child and their family to thrive!
I get it - those big brown eyes look up at you. Something pulls on your heart strings. Maybe it's the smile - or the dimple - or your belief that this child who was once an orphan is in desperate need of your affection. I understand it's well intentioned, and as such, I wanted to let you know what many adoptive parents are thinking when you approach our kids and begin treating them like the animals on an SPCA commercial featuring Sarah McClachlan: please don't.
Sometimes, life is so full of obvious goodness and circumstantial happiness that we forget joy is a choice. It's easier to chose joy when days are full of more pleasant moments than difficult ones.
But other times, the hard things are so present, we can easily mistake blessings for burdens.
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people 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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