Please welcome Greg and Jackie. (Names have been changed by request.) Jackie was adopted as a child and when she married she decided to return the favor to another boy who needed a home. Here is their story:
I [Jackie] was adopted at birth, I only know that my Mother was unwed, didn’t feel she could care for me. My … father left the scene shortly after the pregnancy was announced. I have names, but not searched more than cursorily on line. Of course I am grateful for my adoptive parents, there was some hurt and anger I had to deal with, more as an adult than a child. I alluded to some attachment issues, (not feeling like a member of my family) but overcame that through therapy, which I choose to do as an adult.
My husband and I met and married years before we fostered, it was actually a TV special in the early 90’s about foster-parenting that piqued our interest, we had a large farmhouse, extra space, and both simultaneously came to the same decision(although he would never admit it, it was [definitely the] Holy Spirit. I never really thought about the connection to Christ/adoption until you – [AdoptingJames] – mentioned it, but [definitely] do recognize Jesus’ fingerprints in Chris coming into our lives. Only completely loving him unconditionally will ever break through his “issues” he lives in such a place of shame- we have not successfully overcome that yet- yes, at times, but then he goes back into shame again, and withdraws (common [behavior] for adoptive kids – they expect rejection).
Here’s how the adoption itself went down:
[It’s] pretty straight [forward], we became foster parents, went through the classes, and were not really in the “market” to adopt, but fell in love with our foster son Cole, so after talking it over with his social worker, and asking him if he wanted us to adopt him, we did. We had him in our home for about a year before we decided to see if he was interested, and from the time he said yes, to his adoption was about 8 months. He came at age 10, we asked him at 11, and he was almost 12 before all was said and done. There are so many children languishing in foster-care, who need good parents. I won’t lie to you, parenting Cole has been a challenge, he is 25 now, and still [making] not great decisions, he is spotty at keeping in touch with us, but all of his counselors over the years have confirmed for us that he [probably] would have committed suicide if he hadn’t been adopted, and I def feel like God will work in his life in the very near future, I feel like I have a promise there. So in the meantime, we keep financial boundaries, help occasionally where we can, and when he is in touch, offer as much emotional support as we can, and pray.
Do you have any advise for people who are thinking about adopting, or are in the process right now?
The best advice I can give is to TAKE THE FOSTER PARENTING/ADOPTIVE PARENT CLASSES usually taught by your state foster/adoption services, it was “Family Services” in Kentucky. Great people, great class. It prepared us better than anything could have- ever. THEN, talk to parents who are adoptive parents, for support. It is a tough job, but worth it, and support is worth it’s weight in gold. Other than that, pray, cry when you have to, and practice love, those are the best suggestions I can give. I have no ideas about foreign adoption, I’m sure it is very different.
Check out their blog: www.hearinggodtoday.wordpress.com
If you have been affected by adoption in any way, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe your story will inspire others…