Sunday, April 24, 2011

Considering Christian Open Adoption: An excerpt from Called to Adoption

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 www.CalledtoAdoption.com. Caldwell’s nationwide adoption center, Lifetime Adoption, has been helping families adopt since 1986.

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