Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How do you handle family and friends with adoption

 Love this!  This is our hallway - now painted and we added a memory verse that we can look at all the time.  "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" Romans 8:28
 So today's pictures are brought to you by.....operation CLEAN UP and THROW OUT!  Not gonna lie there is still a lot of cleaning and throwing to be done, but we have gotten somewhere.  We have given a lot of clothes away and thrown some out that were too "holey" :). 
 So one question that I get from people inquiring about adoption is that they don't know how their family will react and how would they react if their family reacts in not a nice manner.  That is a loaded question. 

First I would say up front- that we have never had this issue- PRAISE GOD!!!  Whew!!!  And if you are someone who never had to worry- then you should Praise God too!!!!!  :)

For those of you who do have to or have had to- I would love feed back.  Give me some tips and thoughts in the comment section PLEASE!
 In my opinion there is no other way to say it- then just say it.  Pluck up the courage and explain what your are thinking about.  If it is infant adoption, foster care, international adoption, child that looks much differently than you or looks mostly like you, a child that acts much differently that you or has some special love needs.  Be honest and open. 

THEN BRACE YOURSELF- guard your heart and don't let anger come out.  I know families that have had to leave after talking in order to "regroup" and guard their hearts against hate for a family member or friend.  I think that is why God never says it is wrong to be angry, unless you let your actions act out on that anger. 
 If you can muster it up or if you talk about it again some other time- ask them why they feel that way.  If they could ever imagine being a grandma or aunt or friends with your family if a child that may be different comes into your family.  Would they be able to support you- in just accepting this child. 

All the while remembering to really focus on calm and helpful tones.  OYE that would be very hard, but again this is from many conversations with other families who have had that experience.  I think some families find that their relatives or friends are only defensive because they feel it will bring about "a lot of attention" or "a lot of hard work and extra time" that you as the adoptive family would have to take with this new child.  Fair enough.  It's true families that look differently often get starred at (You know because of that beautiful diversity in your family.  Who wouldn't stare at gorgeous children? Just sayin').  So that can be intimidating to them if that is not their personality.  Or if the "differentness" in the needs of that child makes them uncomfortable.  Like how will I communicate with them if they can't talk when they are 5 or older?  How will I love them the same way I love my other grandchildren if they may not accept my love?  Those are all very valid questions really. 
 Doesn't mean that they are against your adoption, but may just need some education over time.  Most people come around.  Then there are family members who have hidden ideas in their minds that creep out and take you by surprise.  Sometimes you have to put a relationship on "cool" or completely cut it off. 

I am always reminded that sometimes there is a choice involved.  If this is where God has led you than you can't let people persuade you not to follow that calling.  Saying that others have told me how hard that is.  If there are adjustment problems they will be the first to say- "I told you so". 
 In the end you have to make a choice.  If it is a vital relationship you may have to make another choice.  Or if you and your husband are on the same page you will have to be prepared for it.  Brave the storm and just do it!  After all God is not going to fail you.  He wants His Children in families forever.  Doesn't mean it is easy.  It can make it very lonely.  Pray for new friends, new families to interact with, and sometimes just like your child isn't biologically yours you may find family that becomes yours as well! 
Oh and the church.  Oh this hurts me to say it, but there are churches out there that will disappoint.  After all they are made up of people.  So if your church disappoints.  Pray and seek God out!  Ask for His wisdom in everything.  Sometimes it means a move to a new Body of Christ.  Sometimes it is just a matter of giving it some time and again allowing some education of members.  Remember some of them may just be caught off guard too.  They may just not know how to respond to your child. 

I would highly recommend sharing with your church as well.  Especially your "small groups" Sunday Schools, Bible Study groups, women's groups, etc.  That way you can have some of those conversations before you bring your child to church. 

OK so now it is YOUR TURN- Tell me how you handled it and how it has affected you.  What are some positives and some ways you found to deal with people who are unsure? 


  1. We foster. I had some "negative" comments when our first placement was biracial. A couple placements later, we got a really "dark" baby girl. I was asked "why can't they be put her with a family their own color". This hurt. I'm not gonna lie, especially since the person saying this was a "grandparent". We have worked through this. It just honestly has taken time, 20 placements, and well, the reality that this person sees that we don't care what race "our" children are. We currently have a little girl who may are may not have some delays. She has a genetic disorder and both her parents are delayed. We are praying we will get to adopt her. Again, the question as to "are you sure you want to take on a child who may never be able to leave your home". My answer "If I gave birth to this child you would not be asking me to send her away". Just like birth children, my husband and I feel that God has placed each of our foster children in our home for a reason. If we get to adopt any of them, well then God too, knew that He placed these children in our home to be our forever children.

  2. I am new to your blog and have enjoyed learning about and from your family! I'm excited to read more comments. My husband and I have 4 sons (youngest is 12) and we have been sharing w/ friends and family since the spring that the Lord has put adoption on our hearts. A few days ago, we were at a family gathering where there were little ones running around and one family member that is intimate with our plans remarked that maybe I would get a girl this time around (through adoption) since I have all boys. No one in the room said a word and it was the first clue that I had that this may be awkward at times!

    The silence felt "loud" to me and it is a concern to me that some of our family may not embrace God's call on our life.

  3. When I first started thinking about adoption, I went to the pastor of the church I had attended for several years. His comment, "You are not married. Is that fair to a child? You know my opinion is that a child MUST have a father to be successful." At that point, I was already a single parent to a daughter. Soon after, I left that church. But, I allowed his opinion to influence my adoption dreams for a long time. I eventually adopted twice (although one failed) and I am proud to say that both my biological daughter and adopted daughter are quite happy AND successful. My oldest graduated from a private NYC university with a 4.0 GPA, has a great sense of humor, calls her mom just because, and is an all around awesome young adult. My youngest carries a 3.5 GPA, is a social butterfly, works part time, and is just an all around awesome kid.

    For all who are considering adopting as a single parent, I say, "DO IT". Others may disagree, and I don't know where you stand on that particular issue. For me, it was the right thing. My daughter came to me through the foster care system and they would ONLY allow a single mom to adopt her due to her biological history. There are so many kiddos that need homes...all kinds of homes.