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.
“Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.” Proverbs 16:9 TPT
“Your future is bright and filled with a living hope that will never fade away.” Proverbs 23:18 TPT
“So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to you glorious presence to be forever with you.” Psalms 23:6 TPT
Part 2: Future
- Do you understand that you may be modeling parenting and stability for the birthparent?
- Do you think of ways to honor her?
- Do you justify your lack of action based on whether—or how—she reciprocates orhas reciprocated in the past?
- Do you keep an adoption prayer journal where you can write to her in private?
- Will you have regrets about the thoughts and feelings you had about his/her birthparent?
- Are you open to growing in new and exciting, although sometimes awkward, ways,or do you avoid these situations?
- Do you set intentions, rather than expectations, about the extended family you’veadopted?
- Do you listen to the fears of other family members who may or may not know theyare unintentionally stoking a fire of doubt within you?
Let’s face it: until heaven comes, we are in a perpetual state of striving to be like our Savior, Jesus. And that striving can leave emotional and spiritual fatigue or exhaustion in its wake, but like many great authors, poets, preachers and teachers have shown us, the easy choice is not always the correct one. Choosing to be in an awkward spot is choosing to learn. Unity isn’t built inside a windowless soul. Plan ahead, with an open heart and open hands, like gorgeous floor to ceiling windows, so you can seek what God has placed just outside your doorstep.
Crisis is often born out of turbulence, violence, abuse or other social, emotional, financial and economical circumstances. Statistics show that women often experience assault in some form before they reach an age to understand, be educated or even empowered in their worth. And if asked, most women—birth parents or not—can recall a traumatic or degrading moment or two. Being sensitive and well-read on these elements that often accompany crisis pregnancy can help you form empathy and compassion for a birth parent’s future, as well as your own.
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. Be still.
To read Part 1 of the series click here.