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
Add Your Comment
My husband and I are adopting from foster care…thank you for posting this. 🙂
Two things. One I told myself “I am not the mother she wanted, she is not the daughter I expected, but I am the mother that she needed.” The second, since I have 4 kids total and husband who often travels, was told to me by another parent of 4. “Everyone can play man to man, it takes a truly talented person to play zone all the time.”
Oh, as the mom of four, I so appreciate the playing zone analogy. 🙂
As both a biological and adoptive mom… these devotionals have been wonderful to keep my feet underneath me when things feel like they are slipping and sliding. Thanks Carol for a book that helps put things into persective from the eyes and heart of our trauma inflicted children. Each of these devotions seem so perfectly timed… just exactly when I need to read them!
Dawn, amid the recent press about the shortcomings of adoptive families, thanks for the acknowledgment that many, many families hang in there and do their best, day after day, year after year. The book looks great too. Thanks for the recommendation! ~
Oh, sweet Dawn… Thank you for all you do and for directing me to this beautiful book! 5 months ago G-d blessed me, my husband and 6 year old daughter (bio) with a beautiful 18 month old baby boy. While details of his history remain unknown to us his gut-wrenching screams in the night and terror at being touched in the dark until we turn on the light and he sees that it is only us tell us a story that my mind has difficulty processing. Stretching to learn how to parent this gift while attempting to explain to my daughter why her new baby brother hits and bites has made seeking G-d each day a necessity. I am so excited to read these devotionals, giving me a hand to hold on this new journey.
TornadoMama, no one has called me “sweet Dawn” for a long while. Thank you! I’m so glad this book struck a chord with you. It did with me too.