Loving Others When It’s Uncomfortable: Our Adoption Story

Loving Others When It’s Uncomfortable: Our Adoption Story

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

November 2012

That is when we decided to adopt.  After I prayed for peace, the next prayer was this:

God, please help me to love our birth mom, not judge her.

As a naturally critical person, I was afraid my insecurities or judgments would interfere with God’s work in our adoption.  For over two and a half years, our prayer has been to unconditionally love our birth mother and to accept her into our lives.

Fast-forward to June 2015.

All adoptive families want to receive “the call,” and finally, we received our call.  We had been selected.  We scheduled a visit to meet our birth mother in Texas and talk about the logistics of the baby’s birth.  There isn’t a rule book of how to interact with your birth mom.  You just kind of do it.  She set the tone for the interactions, but our agency made sure that we discussed the sensitive topics.  When we arrived at our meeting with the birth mother, we didn’t know what to expect.  We couldn’t have asked for a better meeting.  All she could talk about were our needs and the baby’s needs. She constantly put others ahead of herself in our discussions.

It was (1)When Benjamin was born, we had frequent reminders that he wasn’t our child.  We were connected to him but technically didn’t “have him.  Fighting the emotions of wanting to love a child who wasn’t yet “ours” was emotionally and mentally challenging.  We tried to love him in the best ways we could.  Something else we were not expecting was the truth: loving Benjamin meant loving our birth mother.

The Choice to Love

We constantly had to work out with our birth mother who was to care for Benjamin.  Our birth mother was also recovering from a c-section and needed physical assistance, encouragement to eat/drink, and someone to talk to about her emotions.  I could feel God giving us a choice.  Would we show love only to Benjamin?  Or would we also show love to our birth mother, even if that meant giving up time with Benjamin and loving her when it was uncomfortable to us?

Using Adoption to Teach Us About Loving Others

When I look back over that time in the hospital, I am so thankful that God showed us what to do.  We had no control over what was happening and no “road map” of what to do or how to act.  God used our adoption story to teach us what loving others when it’s uncomfortable could look like.  It wasn’t until Benjamin was born that a realization hit me.  This child was not ours; it was hers.  Yes, we had waited…and waited…and prayed…and cried…and grew angry…and waited some more.  But, it was her choice to follow through with the adoption.  It was her choice to make medical decisions regarding the baby. And it was her choice to engage in sacrificial love so her child could have the life she planned but could not give.It was

Our birth mother stated that she was confident of her decision, but her pain was evident.  She loved Benjamin so much.  You could see it in how she swaddled him, fed him, changed him, and held him.  Her choice did not invalidate her sacrifice.  That sort of love made me feel guilty.  I felt unworthy of being forever connected with her.  How do I show love to a woman who is giving a part of herself to us?

Adoption Changed Our View of People

People have suggested that it’s time for us to move on.  This has been difficult for me.  I constantly think about our birth mother.  While we were together, we talked about life, family, and God’s presence in our lives.  Our time in Texas challenged us spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Beside the fact that we are now a family of three, it also provoked new thoughts of life, love, and our Christian walk.  This wasn’t something that we can move on from because it has changed the way we look at and love other people.  I can only pray that it helps us move forward in how we treat others.

This experience has led me to several questions:

  1. What would the world look like if more people chose life (adoption/parenting) over death (abortion)?
  2. If we truly treated everyone as if they were made in the image of God–put aside race, socioeconomic status, education level, worldview–what would the world look like?  What if we really treated people like we would want to be treated? We wouldn’t even need rules and regulations governing our way of life because the Spirit would lead us to live in communion with one another.
  3. What if there were fewer adoptions?  What if we were in the lives of others so much that we pooled our resources and supported all families (not just those that look, act, and talk like us) as we all try to get through life?  There would be fewer adoptions/foster care children, more family preservation, and more support.  God asks to us to give to the poor and support those in need. He asks us to stand in the gap for those who are hurting.  Isn’t this the basis of what draws biological families into turmoil and chaos?

I don’t know what the answers to these question are, or even if they are logical.  I just hope that these questions will lead our family to live out the love of Christ in everything we do.

May us all live lives where we love others even when it’s uncomfortable.

May God use us to engage others who are not like us. Help us support them with the sacrificial love of Christ.

 

 

Lori and her husband used Christian Homes and Family Services in Texas to become adoptive parents.

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Prayer for Moms Across the World

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

My husband and I adopted our son almost two years ago. Ever since we decided to adopt, I have had a wide range of emotions on Mother’s Day. Knowing that I will always share that day with my son’s biological mother encourages me to think of other women who may experience grief and joy on this day. This reflection helps focus my thoughts and prayers during this time. Join me in honoring these women in our thoughts and prayers this week!

A prayer for moms everywhere

Dear God, we come before your throne today, asking for your intercession in the lives of women across the world. We pray for…

  • the women who become moms today. Guide their hearts, minds, and emotions as they experience motherhood for the first time.
  • the moms who have lost children. Bring them the peace that comes only from you.
  • the mothers who work outside (or from) the home to provide for their children. Whether they work one (or three) jobs, help their work and sacrifice to be appreciated and noticed.
  • the moms who stay home with their children. Help them feel loved and appreciated by their children and spouses.

Father, we also pray for the moms who…

  • have chosen to place their children into adoptive families. Give them the peace and clarity they need in their lives. Help those around them celebrate their choice for life, but allow those moms an emotional space to grieve.
  • live in poverty. Help give them the emotional, spiritual, and financial supports they need to lead their family toward you.
  • are raising their children on their own. Remind their neighborhood or church communities to rally around them so those moms never feel alone.
  • became mothers through adoption. Bless their motherhood journey and give them the strength and clarity needed to raise their children in a new family.
  • became moms through foster care. Give them courage to fight for what they know is right and the ability to love even when it hurts.

psalm-113-9

We pray for…

  • the moms who protect their children from violence, war, and abuse. Let them know that there is still light even in darkness.
  • the women who have lost their own moms. Encourage us to surround these women with love. Help us give them the space they need to celebrate and grieve simultaneously.
  • the women who suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental illness. Put people in their lives to encourage them and help them get the support they need.

And we lift up these women as well…

  • the moms who love their children but not their spouses. Help them realize that one of the best ways to show love to their children is to love their spouse.
  • the moms who are struggling in their relationships with their children. Let them know that you are with them. Always.
  • the women who are “mother figures” in the lives of children in our homes and communities. Equip those women to engage, mentor, and love children.

We ask you to cover these moms (and others) with your love, peace, and mercy. May we never forget the importance of what the word “mom” means. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Six Tip to Prepare for a Mission Trip Praying the Psalms We all struggle  A Mother to More than Your Own

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prayers-for-moms-across-the-world-social
Orphan Sunday: What It Means to Our Family

Orphan Sunday: What It Means to Our Family

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

Focusing on the “Least of These”

In November 2012, Joel and I experienced a worship service that focused on the marginalized, the orphans, and the least of these. This Sunday is called Orphan Sunday, where nations around the world come together to raise awareness about the social injustices that negatively impact children and which can, at times, leave them without a family. The service was moving, with videos, songs, and visual reminders of how children can become orphans.

A Godly Revelation that Led to Action

After service, my husband Joel asked me to lunch. He told me about how he felt like God spoke to him during the service about choosing adoption for our family. At first I was taken aback, because we had actually started talking about having biological children. However, he felt convicted that God wanted us to do this for our family. He gave me space to pray and think about it.

orphan sunday

The next week, I attended a weekend retreat with our church’s youth group. We attended a social injustice tour where we heard from individuals who spoke about different injustices that affect our local communities. One room discussed “the least of these,” meaning children who couldn’t advocate for themselves. The speaker brought up foster care, adoption, and international orphan care.

I left the event and sobbed. It was not an accident that I attended this event with our teens. Living life with this youth group led to a Godly revelation. I was broken by the injustices plaguing the children in our communities. Although I was scared, I knew that God had spoken to me too. He was telling me “It’s OK. I’ve got this. Enter into this world of social injustice on behalf of these children. I bless this choice.” I went to bed, praying and crying. I knew that God had led Joel and me on a path that would be life-changing. And so, we began the adoption process.

A Reminder to Show Love to Those who Feel Unloved

Four years later, we are preparing to experience another Orphan Sunday at our church. So many things have happened in the past four years. How we entered into the adoption process is not how we finished it. When we first began the process, we focused on what WE could do to combat the social injustices that affect children: poverty, hunger, neglect, crime. But what God revealed to us through His word, our friendships, and our son’s birth mother is this….these children don’t need us to be their savior. They already have a Savior–one is actively seeking these children every day, loving them in ways only He can do and only He can understand. We are supposed to step into these children’s pain…not to “fix it,” but to love them enough that we pray them through it.

Orphan Sunday is a somber reminder that we are here to show love to those who feel unworthy of being loved by anyone. For some people, that is walking alongside a struggling family in hopes that your support helps keep them together. For others, it’s sitting in another court session about the foster child who is in your care. In our case, it was adoption. Let me be clear. None of these situations are “beautiful” just because you are trying to live out what God has asked us to do. Even though we are all adopted by God, we are not all adopted by others in this world. That is a HUGE distinction. Caring for the fatherless/orphaned/widowed is messy, hard, and heartbreaking.

So what does Orphan Sunday mean to us?

For our family, it’s not just about raising awareness about the 150+ million children who are orphans. It’s also about reminding us of our daily, Godly mission. Serve the least of these. Fight social injustices that rip (either blatantly or subtly) our communities apart. If we are to live out the gospel, we have to do more than go to church and be at home. We have to be in our community, interacting with others who don’t look/talk/act like us. We have to teach our children through a combination of Godly example and Scripture. Then, we need to seek (and receive) discernment from God about how best to serve these children/families in a way that glorifies Him (not us).

What if we treated everyone like we wanted to be treated–with the worth that God has bestowed upon us? What if we loved God AND our neighbors? Would our world even have “the least of these” living among us? Would we have orphanages, foster care, and families broken apart? May we strive for restoration to occur around us and through us.

orphan

Here are some scripture references from this blog post.

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

James 1:27

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless in this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Psalm 82:3

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Orphan Sunday is November 13, 2016. For more information on Orphan Sunday or to find an event near you, please visit Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Adoption Truths – International or Domestic

Adoption Truths – International or Domestic

Tara W

Tara W

Tara is a former public school teacher and children's minister turned homeschool mom. She lives in Nashville, TN with her family of 5. Visit her at MinivanMinistries.com, where she blogs about making Jesus the driving force in your family. Her goal is to help you help your kids fall in love with Jesus. You can also hang out with her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and follow MinivanMin on Periscope. Thanks for reading!
Tara W

Latest posts by Tara W (see all)

The Best Things in Life

The best things in life are often the things you never planned. I knew when I was a little girl playing with my dolls that I wanted to be a mommy almost more than anything. I never expected that the blessing of international adoption would play a part in my family story.

The truth is that when God wants something, He has a way of getting it. The best things in life often can’t be explained with anything other than God. Out of the blue, God placed the idea of adoption on our hearts and we decided to listen. It has been one of the biggest blessings we will ever have. You can read more specifics of our decision to adoptthe wait, and finally getting our son at Minivan Ministries.

Tara's family

If You Are Considering Adoption

While I can’t really give you all the details of the process because they vary by adoption agency and country, there are a few things that hold true for everyone. If you are considering adoption (or in our case international adoption), there are a few things you should consider…

1. When you decide to adopt, you are “paper pregnant.”

The term comes from all the paperwork you have to do–home studies, applications, screenings. This is just as real and difficult as having a baby in your belly. Since we adopted, we have been blessed with two biological children as well, so I know. You may not bare your all in front of a doctor, but you lay it all out there for social workers to scrutinize. Paper pregnant moms may not have the sickness and birthing pains, but they have the emotions and anxiety. The major downside is that your hard pregnancy will most likely last longer than 9 months.

2. It is expensive–but God will provide.

Many look at adoption as being out of reach. There are yard sales, fundraisers, and grants. There were several times when we didn’t know where the next payment was coming from, but God provided just as we needed it. It is really all in God’s plan. Most people think they can’t afford adoption, but the truth is the price of adoption is comparable to that of a new car. All kinds of people drive around in new cars and don’t think twice. It’s all about where your priorities are.

3. Your child is just as much your child as any biological child.

I love, care for, teach, and pray for my adopted child just as much as I do my biological children. I would die for him. If you are really called to adopt, you will feel that way too. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t come from your belly. The difference is that there is another set of biological parents out there that we need to pray for–for their loss and for their salvation, that my son and his biological parents can be reunited in heaven one day. We have to help our son deal with his emotions about this as well. Usually he just accepts that he is ours. He is an all-American, camouflage-wearing, country accented, Chinese-American boy who fits into our family perfectly. God placed this child in our lives. He just used a different path.

Tara's son

Celebrate

This week we celebrate our Forever Family Day, the day our son was first placed in our arms. It has been 8 of the best years of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing. Our family would never have been complete without our Will. We are thankful every day for the blessing of international adoption…and praying that one day we can do it again! I pray that you may consider if international adoption is right for your family too!

 

Have you been blessed by adoption? Are you considering it?

Adoption Truths pinterest
Rescued by that Special Someone

Rescued by that Special Someone

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

We all dream of being rescued by that special someone!  That one that will follow us to the ends of the Earth and back just to win our hearts and love us.

Because we all want to feel loved and cherished and treasured, we can understand this.

Christ left the glories of Heaven and went to the ends of the Earth to save us from a life without him. He rescued us.

We care for orphans not because we are rescuers, but because we are the rescued. – David Platt

With November being National Adoption Month and November 8th  being National Orphan Sunday, we want to encourage you in our calling to speak up and take care of these children. There are so many ways to serve them.

Be encouraged by these great ideas in Chronicles of a Keeper’s post about how we can answer the calling Christ has put before us.

Will you be that special someone who loves like Jesus because he has loved you?

A Fostering Mission First Steps

Click on the picture to read the post by Chronicles of the Keeper

 

 

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