Friday, November 21, 2014

Is "All You Need is Love" True in the World of Adoption?

Happy National Adoption Month!
Happy National Adoption Day!

When adopting any child other than a newborn infant you are often met with one of two responses. Response one is the I-know-someone-with-experience-but-have-none-myself response, "I knew a person that had a cousin whose brother adopted two older boys and they burnt the house down." Response two is the I-have-absolutely-no-experience-and-don't-know-anyone-who-does-response, "Oh, older adopted kids have problems but all they need is some love and snuggles!" We were met with both of these at the beginning of our adoption journey and neither are true. Well, I don't know if the person's cousin's brother really had their house burned down or not....

When beginning down this path labeled adoption let us be encouraged by the truth, educate ourselves and open our hearts to God for Him to supernaturally equip us through the trips, falls and fires we could not have planned for. Here are three very real facts about adoption:
  1. Adoption is only necessary because a child lost the family they were born into. Whether due to their parent's death, an unwanted pregnancy, abandonment, neglect, abuse, or trauma remember that adoption is born in loss. We, as adoptive parents, are on the joyful side, saturated in the joy of growing our family, our children are swimming in the grief of losing theirs. Our compassion for their hurt is often what propels us to want to adopt them in the first place!
  2. Children will act out and exhibit hard behaviors due to their struggle to walk through that loss. Think if a stranger came and took you away from your husband, your children, and your friends and dropped you off in another home, "I know you are sad to leave your family but this new family has been waiting and waiting for a new mommy and they are so glad you are here!" Don't you think you would act a little, or maybe a lot, crazy! Let our compassion perservere even when the trials of behaviors hit long and hard.
  3. Children struggling with loss, grief, bonding and attachment will need more than just love. Yes, love is a huge key in their healing. The right kind of love. Not always huggy kissy love but a secure love. A love that says I am not going anywhere and there is nothing you can do that would take my love away. You can't steal enough, or lie enough, or run away enough to break my unending love for you. A love that is an action, a choice and a daily fight to put on. Besides an unshakable love these children may need some extra help from loved ones, friends, counselors and therapists. That is okay, because as they say, "it takes a village to raise a child." Don't be afraid to call on your village for help.

I have shared many of our struggles walking through the adoption story God has weaved for us. So many trying times that almost broke me to the point of quitting, of giving up. But hope shines through. Hope is not lost in adoption. There is an amazing event that transpires only through adoption. That is the reflection of what God has done for us. God had such a great compassion for us that "while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Then although we are justified, although God has adopted us as His sons and daughters we still sin and behave contrary to His Word (Rom. 7:19). But God's love is unfailing and there is nothing that can pluck us out of His hand (John 10:28). "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

This is our adoption story told through 2 years of previous blog posts or videos:

     (Picture: A friend's princess party where the kids dressed up as princesses, knights and....a Croom)

Posted by Shannon
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God alone