Over the next few days Birth Mother and CAC Adoption Advocate, Lori, will be sharing a 3 part series entitled, “Are You Loving Well?” These posts are for hopeful adoptive parents at any stage in their journey and adoptive parents who have already brought their child home. We pray that Lori’s words will cause you to pause, think and love well.
Have you ever worried that you’ll say the wrong thing to a birth parent? Have you refrained from saying anything for fear that you’d jeopardize the relationship or the outcome of a situation? Have you asked valuable and pertinent questions to see the other side of the triad?
Below is a list of questions that mostly begin with the word “DO” for a reason. These should ignite action in your spirit and your physical realm as you wait prayerfully to co-labor in an adoption relationship granted by God.
As you navigate this process, this new territory, seek openness, vulnerability, honest communication and abundant love that binds families for the long haul. We won’t regret loving, giving a gift, travel, affection, education, a relationship with God, or the quality time we spent with others on this gorgeous journey called life.
I once read: Trials and deprivation seem to benefit in more ways than comfort and ease ever could.
“When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition? My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next.”James 1:1-6 TPT
Part 1: Family
- Do you understand that the adoption process is a personal, spiritual and marital growth space?
- Do you allow insecurity, worry or fear to block the stream of love?
- Did you make heavenly deposits into the birth parent’s spirit?
- Do you specifically pray for her?
- Do you pray for your child’s whole heart?
- Do you record the milestones and pictures—before match, during and after— in duplicate for her, even if it’s a closed adoption, regardless of whether she is silent or says no out of sadness or grief?
- Do you set boundaries with people in your family, friend and social media circles by limiting what kind of “speak” is allowed to infiltrate your personal space?
- Do you view a birth parent choosing to parent her child as a negative decision?
- Do you desire a new connection to a sister, cousin or family member? A birth parent can often function in this way and should be included as such—reciprocity or not.
- Do you know what it’s like to choose loss? Choosing adoption—as a birth parent —is choosing immediate personal grief for a lifetime of (closed, semi or open) shared love of the same child. She will always love him/her, no matter her circumstance.
Family is what you make of it. Just like with our God-given blood relatives, things can get awkward and uncomfortable at times. Within a community though, neighbors, cashiers, co-workers and friends can become like family. Deposits of quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, listening, physical embrace and acts of service create an unbelievable return of peace, confidence, safety, security and unity. This is how our friendships and contacts can transform into lifelong relationships, often times adding to a current family, or even taking the place of estranged or deceased loved ones. God is good to give us just what we need at the proper time.
As a birth mother who has placed and has parented two girls through adulthood, the benefits of asking these questions are apparent to me. Every difficult situation that causes us to squirm, cry out to God or press into our faith a bit more is a space where dramatic change can occur. Asking questions often unearths fear, anxiety, doubt or previous pain. Answering honestly, privately and with your spouse will bring the truest issues into the light, but also invites God to garden the responses with His wisdom and truth.
Overall, most people mean well—they do—and their prayers of support and concern are more than welcome. However, only you and your husband—with the guidance of adoption professionals and your Heavenly Father—can navigate these sensitive zones. Unity is messy, unlike lighting that unity candle in your wedding, but it is always worth every difficult conversation, tear shed or boundary you place around the sacredness of starting or expanding your family.
Trust that He will do this work in you. Release the informational overload. Allow Him to fill you.