With all the talk in the news in the last couple of weeks about failed adoptions, parents dissolving their adoptions and “re-homing” their children, I’ve been thinking a lot about the opposite– about successful adoption and parents going to the ends of the earth, stretching their hearts, souls, and bank accounts for their children they adopted from foster care or orphanages. In the midst of these thoughts a book arrived in the mail: Devotions of Comfort and Hope for Adoptive & Foster Moms by Carol Lozier and Lisa Edmunds. Hummm, just exactly what I needed.
This book provides 120 days of devotions and prayer for parents who have willingly put themselves on the line to love and try to heal children hurt by abuse and neglect. Many of you will recognize Carol’s name. She is an adoption therapist, author of The Adoptive & Foster Parents Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma and Loss, and has been a guest on the Creating a Family show talking about Helping Your Adopted Child Heal from Trauma and Loss.
Adopting older kids is hard work. Not every child can be healed. Not every adoption will succeed. Thank goodness there are people in this world who are willing to try. May this book of devotions provide support for some. Here’s an example of a devotion from Devotions of Comfort and Hope for Adoptive & Foster Moms:
God’s Word: But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalms 5:11-12
For many of us, the daily rat race begins the minute we open our eyes. Most of us love the process that takes us through our lives, even if it is breathtakingly fast. Those of us who have been beholden with the gift (yes, gift) of a hurt child, we are called to control the speed at which we run that race.
Our healthy kids are accustom to the pace and they cope, they adapt, and God willing –they thrive. But for our hurt kids, we are asked to slow the speed, even to stop completely for brief moments.
Children of neglect, abuse, and trauma need for us to connect with them. They need us to be with them, very often, every waking moment. It is hard for us to connect in the blur of the race, so we must slow down and attend and attune and breathe and prioritize. Within that pause, we need to find the joy and the purpose of this journey that God has entrusted to us.
Joy isn’t always the first word that comes to mind when parenting a child who is so hurt that their behaviors are anything but joyful. But joy is there, even if fleeting. I promise God gives us enough glimpses to sustain and encourage us, but you have to be willing to look with eyes wide open. This is not easy and the auspice is always on us.
God knew to call on us for this child, and he won’t ever fail us. Be courageous enough to slow down and find the joy in this child and journey. You won’t be disappointed, and it will serve to enhance the joy in your race of life.
My Daily Prayer
God, we are bent but not broken. Lord, as long as we have the hope in You, we can find joy. Help us to keep grateful hearts and to see the joy in your abundant blessings. Amen.
If you adopted older children, what was your source of support?
Image credit: The Digital Story