What parents wished they knew before adoption…I am sure that you could write 20 posts on that subject…But I’ll share 3 I think are essential.
Recently I heard former Atlanta fire chief, Kelvin Cochran share on a podcast three essential values in living a growing, sanctified life. He shared the importance of remaining faithful, focused and humble through the ups and downs of life.
It struck me, as an adoptive dad, that not only are those three great values for our walk with the Lord but also very relevant as we seek to raise our adopted children.
When we know that the Lord has called us to adopt – and it’s best to be very sure that He has specifically and undeniably called you to start this life-changing journey before you do so, it’s important to stay FAITHFUL. Faithful to the Lord and His calling on your life, committed to your spouse – investing in your marriage and devoted to your children (biological and adopted). God doesn’t make mistakes and if He called you to adopt He is faithful to complete His work in you and your family. He wants you to stay faithful to Him and to the child you have welcomed into your family – no matter how hard it gets.
In our world full of distractions, short attention spans and excuses, our ability to stay FOCUSED becomes more and more critical. When we are with our adopted child, we need to pay 100% attention, to be focused and fully present. Our child will notice anything less, and we will risk conveying the message that “I am not worth my parent’s time and attention.” Stay focused – mentally and physically so that your child feels valued and loved and so that you grow a deeper relationship with your child and you don’t miss the opportunities the Lord has for you to learn from and through your child.
Finally, be ready to re-learn everything you thought you knew about life and parenting and to un-learn the things that come naturally to you. In a word, be HUMBLE. If you are anything like me, then you don’t have all the answers, so listen more than you speak. Regularly ask for help and forgiveness and accept that you are both a work in progress and a vessel that the Lord wants to use to bring reconciliation and restoration in His world. He chose us, called us, empowers us, provides for us, uses us – so let’s learn to be humble and allow Him to work.
Rich serves as Program Director for Lifesong for Orphans. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Becky for more than 25 years and they have 6 amazing children (1 through adoption). Prior to joining the Lifesong team, his family served as missionaries in England for 11 years.