Today, we kick off the guest post series on Praying A to Z for our communities, and A is for Adoption.
I once interviewed the executive director of an adoption agency, and she said, “Children belong in families, and that’s the way God planned it.”
Children belong in families. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every child across the globe had a family?
Anyone who has gone through the adoption process will tell you the journey is long and often discouraging. How can we pray for waiting families, waiting children, host families, and the agencies who seek to help build families?
My friend, Cindy Johnston, shares part of her family’s adoption journey with us today:
There are moments in an adoptive family’s life that can take their breath away.
I’ve experienced many in my short time as an adoptive mom. The moment my oldest was placed in my arms and the nurse called me mom.
Time stood still.
As I held that very tiny bundle I was flooded with emotion so powerful I couldn’t speak. I didn’t hear anything. I couldn’t even see as the tears from 7 years of fertility treatments, surgeries, blood draws, shots, and a host of other invasive procedures landed in this one beautiful moment with this beautiful boy.
I was a mom.
Only a week later I experienced what I am sure was a well-meaning nurse stripping me of that title. My son was born with a right clavicle fracture. He needed medical care but according to her I was not “his real mom.”
The wind was knocked out of me. I simply hung up the phone and stared at this cute little man with jet black hair and long slender fingers.
My worst nightmare had come true. No one saw me as the mother I thought I was. I didn’t give birth to him so therefore I wasn’t his “real” mom.
The adoption agency came to my rescue and smoothed things out, but the damage had been done. The words haunt me.
They still do.
Every day I fight the words that say I’m not worthy, I’m not legitimate, I’m not…I’m not…I’m not.
I fight the words that claim judgment over his birth parents – truly amazing young people who were mature enough to make a sacrifice that cuts me to the core. They knew what they were doing. They didn’t “give him up” and they aren’t “bad people.”
They released him.
They consciously released him in to the care of people they trusted to give him a better life. The birth father told us once “Anyone can be a mother or father. You are clearly his mom and dad. I’m so happy.”
His birth parents are people who made the right choice for their son in that season, and it has blessed us beyond what we could have ever imagined.
No one goes into adoption with blinders on. We know the challenges that face us. We read everything we can get our hands on about the adoption process. We join support groups and talk out our challenges. We may know better than most that the journey of adoption is best lived in community.
We are well prepared, but that doesn’t make it easy. It also doesn’t mean that everything is challenging all of the time.
There are millions of beautiful moments nestled carefully in the chaos. And they mirror those experiences that every other mom and dad on the planet experience at some point.
We have a refrigerator full of artwork crafted at school. We have vacations and movie nights and Saturday morning pancakes. I often hear the sweet words “you are the best mom ever” and “I love you.” And best of all, we laugh until we can’t see.
Adoptive families are fragile. We are fiercely protective. We struggle just like every other parent. Your prayers for adoptive families matter more than you realize.
And unlike a lot of other families, we wear our life on our sleeve. We are almost forced into being under scrutiny that most families will never experience because we wear our label as adoptive parents proudly.
God has been deeply faithful. He has provided resources, teams of people who journey with us, and prayer warriors that carry us when the battle rages on and we are struggling keeping our heads above water. God provides moments of beautiful joy, amazement, and a bond that is so powerful that we are left speechless in its wake.
We live. We learn. We love.
Because that’s what makes a family.
Adoption isn’t who my children are. It is simply how they joined our family.
Cindy lives in Michigan and is mom to two amazing boys and has been married 18 years to her husband, Bob. When she isn’t working as the president of her company Social Strategies, Inc., she is a blogger, social media junkie, adoption advocate, school volunteer, and photographer.
Twitter: @Cindyrjohnston @social2strategy
Join with us as we Pray A to Z, and pull out your A prayer card (download cards here if you haven’t already)
- List families you know who are going through the adoption process, as well as those in your community who have brought their adoptive children home.
- Pray they will know God’s faithfulness and be surrounded by people who will support their family.
- Pray for healing from wounds that have made them feel not worthy or not legitimate.
- Find out what adoption agencies are in your area, and add them to your list.
- Remember to pray for the children who are waiting for families, both here and abroad.
- Let’s pray that every child might have a family.
Tweetables:Children belong in families. #Pray for all involved in the adoption process. #PrayAtoZ
A is for Adoption. #PrayAtoZ #Pray
Adoption isn’t who my children are. It is simply how they joined our family @CindyRJohnston. #PrayAtoZ
Adoptive mom @CindyRJohnston shares her #adoption story as we #PrayAtoZ.