Saturday, April 23, 2011

Considering Christian Open Adoption: excerpt from book

Ron and Liz were open to a semi-open adoption, sending photos and letters through our adoption center. They clearly stated that they were not comfortable with more, nor were they open to occasional visits. They were chosen by Renee, a teenage birth mother who preferred no ongoing communication whatsoever.

At the hospital, as Ron and Liz were awaiting their son’s birth, they met Renee’s parents and instantly hit it off! Both couples were in their early 40’s, and during the long labor, learned that they had a lot in common. A few days later, when it was time for the baby to be discharged, Ron and Liz realized that they wanted to see Renee’s family. Now, more than six years later, they still spend a week each summer together.

“We weren’t looking for a relationship like that,” Ron shares. “But God had it waiting for us! They are part of our son’s family, and He opened our hearts to see that they are now part of our family, too. We didn’t know what He had in store. Adoption has been a life-changing experience for us.”

In the case of a domestic adoption where there is little contact with the birth mother, you can still gather enough information to be able to answer questions your child will have. In adopting a foreign-born child, you will learn very little about the birth parents, but you can usually discover enough about the village the child came from or the circumstance that brought him to the orphanage or foster care. Children who grow up knowing that they were adopted by honest, trustworthy, and supportive parents will grow up with a healthier sense of self.

As a Christian and an adoption professional, I believe that open or semi-open adoptions are most beneficial for all involved. The birth mother has the peace she needs that her child is happy and healthy, and that she made the right decision. The adoptive parents have access to the birth family should they need medical information or have other questions. And the child has the opportunity to know that his adoption was a choice made out of great love, with a birth mother who cared more about him than her own desires, and that his adoptive parents embrace not only him, but his biological heritage, as well. I have found, too, that parenting is less stressful and fears are calmed when the birth mother is known, embraced, and available.

Rely on Him when you feel doubt or need strength. He has all we need.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:19

Oftentimes, God is more in tune with what would be good for us and our adoption. Allow Him to prepare your heart for the adoption He knows you can handle. This can mean putting your emotions aside until you find peace, as I did in my adoption. The benefits far outweigh any risk.

Called to Adoption is a new book for Christians who are feeling God leading them to consider building their family through adoption. Author and Adoption Professional Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. used her own adoption journey and the experience she has gained in helping thousands of couples adopt to create this Christian book for adoption. Find out more about the book & order your copy at Caldwell’s nationwide adoption center, Lifetime Adoption, has been helping families adopt since 1986.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Adoption Process Becomes a True Test of Faith

Adoption is a step of faith. Our journey from childhood to adolescence to adulthood consists of difficulties that shape the person we are today. Without facing such obstacles, we may never truly understand God's love for us. Most people considering becoming adoptive parents face barriers during the adoption process that only are overcome through faith in Jesus Christ.

For the Bible teaches us it is through trials and tribulation that our relationship with Jesus Christ grows. Without such turmoil, we would have no need of God.

Life is full of disappointment, and disappointments are part of everyone's life and even as part of God's plan for us as Christians. Why would adoption be any different? God never promised us that life would be perfect, but He did promise us that He would always be there for us. This alone should provide individuals with inner peace and strength when faced with hardships. As Christian's he is with us through the ups and the downs.

Perhaps the baby you have been anxiously waiting for to adopt is sent to another family or the mother decides to parent her child. How do you deal with this type of disappointment?

* Accept what you can not change
* Believe that God has a purpose behind your sorrow
* Pray for direction and understanding
* Rejoice in knowing God's plan will succeed in the end

When we finally realize that God's plan is greater than our own, we can then see the true purpose of our life. The obstacles we face become less troubling and life plays out in a season of time. Understanding that there is a season for everything will bring you closer to the realization that you will be adoptive parents in His timing and that the right child is out there for you.

Many people who pursue adoption already understand that there will be obstacles to overcome. Not all adoption agencies are going to have the child's best interest in mind. God can give you the blessing of discernment to help you weed out the "bad apples" and find just the right adoption agency, adoption attorney or facilitator that follows the principles of God through prayer and help you succeed.

Having the right Christian adoption professional with a track record that proves they can do what they say is going to help you have a peace and help you move closer to your child through the adoption process.

Prayer is a key factor in the relationship between God and man. It is dedicated prayer time that helps one feel comfort, peace, and victory. This same prayer can be used to voice disappointment and frustration. Or to give praise and thanksgiving for what one has received.

"Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you." (James 4:8 NLT) God's promise is to never leave or forsake us so long as we live in His will as it is written in the Bible.

The Word of God is a powerful resource that if used correctly by those who are faithful and trusting the Lord can break the power of sadness, depression, and defeat. A relationship with God requires those moments in life of despair. For this is the time we learn to call upon Him and trust Him.

Fear not for I am with you, says the Lord. (Psalm 27:1 NIV) "The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?"

There is nothing to fear during the adoption process, and you should never allow your personal fears to overrule you. Being fearful is allowing Satan to rule over the situation. Instead, work each day at walking in faith and believe! Place all of your frustration into a box and raise it up high to the Lord. Let Him release the disappointment you feel and shower you with joy. Knowing that He hears your cries and trust in Him to help you be the adoptive parents He intended you to be.