I know there are many people out there that really struggle with "how to handle the birth family". If you have read anything on adoption there are many, many, many opinions. So I thought I would share some of mine as our family has now 4 "extended families".
I know right now some of you are thinking- I could never adopt because I would have to "share" my child. That thought used to scare me. Since adoption was the only way we would ever have children....we didn't have a choice. If you would have asked me how I would feel about our child's birth family when we first started our journey....I would tell you honestly- not sure....scared, wondering how that would work, how to explain it to our children as they grow, where do they fit in the picture, how do we include them, how do we talk about it....and at least a million more questions as well.
So although I think it would literally take a whole book to explain all that I have learned, and discovered I will try to post at least some thoughts.
Since we started adopting through the foster care system first that is where I will start. The thought of having 2 visits with the biological family of our child for a LONG time was daunting to say the least. I mean what do you say to them. You have read the reports on why your child is with you. So you know what has happened for that child to be removed from their first family. So how does that make you feel?
I have to say I used to think it would make me angry. That is before we felt God move in our hearts to stir up a compassion that you can't describe other than GOD. The birth mother of three of our children was the first connection we began several years ago. Getting to see her- we were nervous, but knew that God would be our strength and wisdom. We were shocked to find that really she was a sweet person. She wasn't mean to us. Nor did she hate us. Of course I have to say it helps that we made it clear that we were not the ones taking her child away. That we would work with foster care to do what was needed for her to be reunited.
That connected us- instead of dividing us. Throughout the many years we ended up having constant contact. *Because before we adopted Abigail...Andrew was born...and before we adopted Andrew....Matthew was born :). We really felt we had a relationship. Not one of pity, but one that we understood her background. How she herself grew up in the "system". How she really didn't have anyone to help her out.
The same became true with the family connection for Joshua, Sarah, & Elizabeth. In fact our social workers were shocked that we were allowed to hold the "newest baby" while we met up for court. How we talked with the birth family throughout the waiting for court. How we gave pictures, and even invited them to our home.
You see we allowed God to take away our hatred for what had been done to our children and replace it with His love. To replace any thoughts of grudges and replace it with compassion for All of HIS CHILDREN. When you think about what adoption involves you come to the conclusion that God is the story maker. Without the birth family....there is no child. THANK GOD our birth families chose to have their children!
If you allow HIM to work through whatever situation comes along you will find yourself in a situation of knowing that not only did HE CREATE this precious life you now get to call son or daughter, but HE also CREATED the birth family of your child. This is a connection not to be taken lightly. It is one to celebrate.
For those of you who are fearful of this. Know that this fear is not from God. That is just the world talking. That God created us to have such a compassion for our brothers and sisters that we would do anything for anyone. That is how we think of it. We are simply taking care of and bringing up our children for God. Not for man or for the birth family, or for anyone else, but God. God has brought us "extended families" through our children to pray for, encourage, and to show God to. That is our job as adoptive parents.
Now would I have felt this way in the beginning- NOPE. But when we allow God to show us HIS plans and not ours. When we see our children asking questions about who carried them for 9 months, who brought them into the world, who loved them - irregardless of the situation trust me they loved them.
If this is a fear you have that is holding you back......ask God to take that fear away. To lay it at HIS feet. To trust HIM for the answers you may not know or understand. To give you a compassion for people that HE will place into your life. It is one of the biggest miracles you would never expect to find. And just think you will have many more people in your life to love and pray for as well.
***Just a note to say that I know not all situations are safe for there to be an ongoing relationship. I know that there are many children that don't know their biological families, and that struggle with that. I have to say the one thing that would make us sad is if we would adopt a child in the future that we couldn't have at least some kind of relationship with.
More to come on this........feel free to ask questions and leave suggestions. I love hearing from you!!!
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