Today’s guest post for our Practical Parenting series is on a subject near and dear to my heart: adoption. My sweet friend Sarah Ann shares her story and it’s an honor to have her here. Pull up a chair because you’ll want to savor this…
It was a warm spring day, almost five years ago when I received the call; an urgent message from a friend that changed my life.
The situation was nothing short of miraculous, one that was touched by God himself, as my friend worked with another “Good Samaritan” to unite a young woman with a forever home for her unborn child.
After praying for five heartbreaking years for a child of our own, God moved mountains to unite us with our daughter Joy through the beauty of adoption.
Little did we know that a year later we’d get the call about adopting her biological brother when he was born, too.
It’s been amazing to watch God work and orchestrate desperate situations to unite us with our children, and obviously I am forever an advocate of the beauty of adoption.
No matter how wonderful the adoption story may be, there can be special challenges when parenting an adopted child.
While my children are still young and we have yet to get into heavy discussion topics surrounding the subject, here’s how shepherding the adopted child’s heart will look in our home.
Although this subject is a delicate one, it’s important to be completely honest with children at a young age. Don’t hide or gloss over the fact that your child is adopted, and share “guarded truths” with your child as appropriate.
We have pictures of the birth parents and much information about their background, although it’s not the most pleasant story. Planning to share guarded, age appropriate truths with our children will help us be honest without sharing information that’s not for them to know at a young age. One day when our children are grown, if they want the full, messy story, then we will comply and share more.
Have open lines of communication
I don’t want adoption to be the dark family secret that no one talks about, or is spoken about in whispers so the child won’t overhear. While it may not need to be a daily topic of discussion, my prayer is to create an environment where my child can ask questions and talk about adoption openly without risk of upsetting me or us not knowing how to respond.
Relate adoption back to Scripture
I love how adoption is woven throughout Scripture and gives biblical reference about this beautiful act. Many of the Bible greats; Moses, Jesus, and even we as children of God, are adopted into the Lord’s family when we surrender our lives to Him. How beautiful to remind children of God’s specific plan for them and that His beautiful love will always continue to guide them.
There are many Christian, encouraging books for children about adoption that remind children how much they are loved and they were chosen specifically by God and their parents. These books make for a natural conversation about adoption and create an environment of security for discussion.
Our favorite book is, God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant.
It is such a sweet story of how the animal parents longed for the animal babies, and how God brought them together after much prayer and waiting.
Love, pray, reassure- repeat. I’ve known many well-adjusted adults who were adopted and then seen the ones that struggle with feelings of abandonment. While I can’t predict the future and know how my children will respond, reassuring them and looking for warning signs of insecurity will be a priority.
The good news is that their future and identity does not lie in the term ‘adopted’. God holds their future in His hands and calls them to leave labels, such as abadoned and forsaken behind.
His grace and love replaces those labels with new ones, including: chosen, beloved, cherished, and redeemed.
May they learn to rest in His mighty presence, knowing He’s already gone before and made a way for them.
How does shepherding the adopted child’s heart look in your home or in the home of a loved one?
Sarah Ann shares her heart at Faith Along the Way, where she prayerfully writes about faith, family, frugality, and health. As a lover of authentic friendship, Sarah Ann transparently discusses real life and struggles, as to encourage and inspire others. She’s a special needs mom, wife to a cancer survivor, bargain hunter, essential oil fanatic, and most importantly. child of the One True King. She’d love to connect with you more on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Google +.