We recently asked our social media audience a question:
“What’s one thing you wish more people knew about adoption?”
Individuals from all sides of the adoption triad—adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents—were encouraged to share their perspectives. And we were blown away by the responses!
You can take a look at all the responses we received on Facebook and Instagram, but we organized some of our favorites to share with you here!
Adoption Begins with Loss
Adoptive parent here. I get the words, “Oh he is so lucky to have you guys as his parents!” It’s well-intentioned, but it’s harmful. No, our son isn’t lucky that he lost his first mom because she couldn’t parent and chose sacrificial love instead. We are honored to be our son’s parents because his first mom couldn’t. She is and will always be our hero. We are the lucky ones, not the other way around.
Yes, these children need and (mostly) want families, but before they ever get to that stage they will have to climb some huge mountains of distrust, security fears, food traumas, acceptance and so many more. Just because you are ready to be a family doesn’t mean they are, or may never be.
Every beautiful adoption story begins with brokenness and hurt. Celebrate like crazy when we witness adoptions, but be ready to sit with, to listen, to cry with, to embrace, love, remind and restore. It’s only through brokenness that restoration has a voice.
Learn about loss before focusing only on what they gain. Not to focus on the negative, but to bring grace and sensitivity to what my children have been through. Yes, my children gained a family and that is a blessing, but no my kids aren’t “lucky”. No person is ever lucky to experience the loss they’ve experienced. ❤️
Adoption doesn’t “fix” the child. Adoptive parents are not just the solution or the reason they should be all better. Also, the child doesn’t owe anything to you any more than your bio children do. Finally, the child will watch for partiality or inconsistency if you have biological children or how you interact with other families having only bio children.
As an adoptee and adoptive mother… Living in the tension of beauty and brokenness can result in love through faith in Jesus Christ. Love erases neither beauty nor brokenness but redeems it for a good work that produces the fruit of the Spirit. So, lean into both with the knowledge, wisdom, and discernment of His Word and Spirit.
RESPECT FOR BIO FAMILIES
I wish that more people knew to value, honor, and cheer on the bravery of an expectant Momma making an adoption plan. So many times we as hopeful adoptive parents get caught up in just thinking about the baby. I was there years ago… All I could focus on was that baby being placed in my arms to fill the ache for a baby I had deep in my heart.
But that Momma needs us. She needs someone to hold her hand, cry with her, feed her when she’s hungry, pray over her, invest in her, and champion her if she becomes empowered to parent! The Lord showed me when we were walking through an open adoption 2.5 years ago, that if loving this expectant momma was all God had for us, that was enough! If we never brought a baby home, but this young lady could thrive and know Jesus loved her—that was enough!
If we love expectant momma’s (and fathers) with a Gospel-driven love, that changes everything! We take the focus off “how do I get a baby in our family” to “what is God asking us to do here and now.”
If more people understood that, the world of adoption would be forever changed! Loving the Momma is loving the baby!
From an adoptee to other adoptees: That you can love the parents you were placed with and it’s okay to feel totally complete as an adoptee without needing a bio connection!
Know that being adopted carries a lot of weight for children even if they have been with from their earliest days of life… They may yearn for their family of origin and the challenge as an adoptive parent is to support them well through that.
Interested in adoption?
ACCESS FREE RESOURCES
Post-Adoption Care Is Critical
Know that the hard part is not the financials or the process. God provides. The process seems challenging at the time but you haven’t seen hard until you get those babies home.
There is trauma no matter when the child was adopted. It’s not, “Oh she was so young! And therefore not affected.” Also, the moment of adoption is not the end. There’s still a lot of loss and trauma to work through. Adoptive parents need support past adoption day.
Post-adoption anxiety and depression. The first few months are HARD… It’s just not talked about.
Adoptive Families Need Support
Orphan care requires ongoing support for the families engaged in it. Support from others (e.g. church bodies, agencies, etc) is often short-lived while the challenges faced by care providers are real and lasting. It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t step up and do orphan care. It just means the reality of it is often hard and requires ongoing support to yield the best outcome.
Know that if you are adopting a child of another race and ethnicity it is your responsibility to teach them about the culture they’ll no longer be a part of. It’s part of their identity. If they’re African American research how to take care of their skin and hair. Find people in your community who look like them, those mirrors are so important.
To find support along the way, those that have been there. The process can feel long and hard at times but is so worth the joy. Those people can answer questions, show you resources, provide light in those hard moments and celebrate big with you in the joy. They also know what it can be like as you transition as a family when the adoption is final and you’re home.
It is both amazing and lonely all at once at times. It’s good to understand this process and how to “get through” it all. It’s also good to know it won’t always feel that way. One thing I appreciated most about people I met along the way who had been there was honest answers and honest stories. The more normalized we make all these things the more likely we can reach out and gain support.
Is God leading you to adopt?
We guide adopting families through the fundraising process, removing the financial barriers to adoption. Download Lifesong’s free adoption financial assistance application to receive matching grants, interest-free loans, and access to our free crowdfunding platform!