Bradley and I recently met with a pastor/counselor to discuss the Biblical implications of ADOPTION and the churches role in it.
The line of thinking went something like this....
Marriage is important to the church because it is meant to be an earthly representation of a supernatural relationship between Christ and his bride/the church.
Adoption is important to the church because it is meant to be an earthly representation of a supernatural relationship between The Lord and his children / the church.
We are all here on earth as a broken people surrounded by broken people.
There will be trouble. Trouble will come.
The church is called to bear one anothers' burdens.
We are family...supernaturally connected by the blood of Christ.
re: Marriage....we offer pre-marriage counseling. We offer marriage counseling. We offer seminars/webinars/ & retreats for couples. We offer support.
When a marriage fails...and a divorce occurs...it is in some way/somehow/ somewhere due to sin and does not reflect what it was intended to.
re: Adoption....we offer financial assistance. We offer family counseling (but lack in the area of special needs that come with some adoptions.) We offer support and encouragement (but lack in the area of special needs that come with some adoptions.) We are learning as we go. There is much to learn.
When an adoption fails...and disruption occurs...it is in some way/somehow/somewhere due to sin and does not reflect what it was intended to.
As believers...we are to behave as if we are inhabitants of the Kingdom...in the strength of the Lord. We are to strive for that. We are not to settle for what the world offers us.
There will be a cost to pay. The cost for the church is great.
We have the resources.
RESOURCE PAGE from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is very, very, very good.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Bradley and I recently met with a pastor/counselor to discuss the Biblical implications of ADOPTION and the churches role in it.
Monday, November 18, 2013
RAD is isolating and it rips at the hearts of communities and families. At times, it can feel like the Body is turning a blind eye to the need even when it is shared. I think that is because it is hard, even if you are close to the family, to understand that depth or intensity of the situation. As I read Dawn's posts this morning, I was so happy to be able to hop on to the blog and share a bit of good news in the area of on-going suffering for children that come home through adoption.
Dawn is so right. I stand by her 100% in this area. I am physically ILL by the sugar coating of adoption "professionals" who try and ignore the fact that these kids are hurting. I posted earlier this fall about my shock and dismay at the number of people who are adopting and fostering who have no idea about those three little letters
2/3 of the kids adopted are going to struggle. 1/2 of those will struggle for YEARS! Every certified person to care for orphans (newborn through adolescence) should know about and be able to spot warning signs of RAD. Beyond that, the Orphan Crisis should never, ever be communicated without immediately followed by the need for on going care for these kids. Only then can we can handle the struggles as a community of believers.
However, that is beginning to change. There are believers that are hearing the families. They are listening and they want to be a part of the change. Recently, when our little RADish was having a horrible time, we reached out to a few key individuals. One of the conversations brought more hope to me than the others. Not because they were a good fit for our specific need at the time, but because on the flyer I was handed was HOPE! Other believers were hearing the burdens of parents of traumatized kids and God was sending them to the rescue!
Adoptive Families Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to the holistic support of families with adopted children who demonstrate emotional, behavioral and psychological challenges. Their desire is to create a network of support as well as financial assistance for treatments that are too heavy for the families to carry. Treatment for these kids, even if they have insurance, can be $80K/year or more!
ALL children that come home through adoption will hurt at some point. Some will struggle a ton. A few will have mind-blowingly crazy behavior. They all need a village to help raise them. We need to be straight about this hurt so the Body of Christ can help effectively. I will say it til the day I die. The pain and behaviors are real and more prevalent than anyone can imagine. But the church is still the answer. Adoptive Families Coalition is a great first step!
You can donate to this organization AS A TAX WRITE OFF and help families that are hurting and bring hope for healing to these kids.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This message entitled Don't Adopt reminded me of an old post of mine over on our family blog.
Rather than link to it...I will copy and paste what I said here.
With all the news this week about adoption disruptions...my thoughts are swirling in this area.
Christians, do not adopt unless it is out of obedience to the Lord.
For hurting families.
Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.
So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.
- Hosea 6:1-3
Saturday, November 16, 2013
All adopted children have experienced trauma. Not all adopted children struggle with attachment issues. When we set out on our adoption journey we hadn't a clue about RAD.
14 years later it still shocks me every single time I come across a couple who is in the process of adopting (many older children) with no knowledge of RAD.
Blows me away.
Too many families are dealing with it...for it not to be a topic of discussion in the ADOPTION WORLD.
Once...when the girls were younger...we chose to remove them from sitting under the authority of a "spiritual leader" due to the fact that this leader did not demonstrate in their own home how to deal with adoption related issues in a Biblical manner.
We explained the issue to the girls...and although it was a choice that stung...they agreed with our decision and submitted under it.
Adoption is so a part of our family story. It never occurs to us not to talk about it openly.
Our kids know about this blog. They are free to read it if they desire to.
There is nothing said here that they do not or would not hear verbally.
A family we know of were recently in over their heads and needed help. They have a strong support system but did not ask for assistance for some reason. Things crumbled. Entirely fell apart. Behind closed doors. Privately.
We are meant to share in good times and bad times. Side by side. Together. Weddings...births...homecomings...illness...loss...brokenness.
The Lord is good and He has intervened but relationships are broken in a wake of wounds which remain.
These sorts of stories play out far too frequently.
And entire communities are affected.
This scenario could happen to any family. We are all vulnerable. We all need help.
We especially need help raising our children and are reminded of that every time we dedicate those children in front of our congregations. Entire churches affirm their role in helping couples raise up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. We promise to fill that very sobering role however the Lord leads us individually and corporately over varying seasons of those children's development and growth.
We all know of stories where families are burdened by piles and piles of medical bills. Brothers and sisters rally around and help meet the needs of struggling families all the time. And thru it...the Lord is glorified.
I'm pretty confident that every attachinghearts reader who is a believer knows of at least a handful of stories where adopting couples ask for help in raising funds to meet the costs of bringing their children home. Communities made up of like-minded individuals come together and thru them...the Lord moves in wonderful ways.
It's not always easy for couples to ask for financial help though.
And it seems even more difficult for some to ask for help after the adoptions are complete and continued help is needed.
What if hurting families humbly asked their communities (the same folks who helped bring the kids home) to support them in the ongoing care of those children...if and when the need arises?
Would you be willing to "tithe" to a couple who needed financial support for their hurting child? To help fund things like therapy or stays in treatment facilities.... etc?
Could there be a special elder fund for circumstances such as these?
It would be very inappropriate for the church to ask the church to rise up and be a solution to the ORPHAN CRISIS and then not come alongside those who do rise ....if a crisis manifests in a home as a result.
If our friend's child were born deaf...how many of us would not learn sign language?
If one needed a kidney...would we not run at full speed to see if we were a match?
Or a transfusion. Would we not donate pint after pint of blood...as many pints as the doctors would allow if we were found to be a match?
Do we raise funds for Specialized Wheel Chair Drives?
Do we have Yard Sales and Car Washes and Bake Sales to fund the cancer treatments of children in our churches?
How many meals have we prepared and delivered to families with exhausted new Moms of healthy children?
If a family with a special needs child or an adoptive family w/ a struggling child/children were desperate for respite care...might we be willing to be trained so that we could be of help?
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
I go through seasons of being led to write here...and then not being led at all. And all these months of silence go by. Today I am weepy. So so so burdened to write down what's going on in my heart.
It will forever stand out in my mind as Weepy Saturday.
I am sitting in the Parent's Waiting Room at Jump Street...one of those indoor trampoline jumping places...waiting for the kids and I must look like a sight. Ugly crying at the beauty of this message from Piper.
"When Christ died for us, the price was paid, and when we trust him, we are legally and permanently in the family."
I know many people who are tossed to and fro by the unbiblical idea that salvation is something which can be lost. That idea is born in the pit of hell.
I do believe that we are seeing a movement of the Holy Spirit in regards to the church answering the call to adopt.
It follows that many families who answer the call will be met with challenges as they walk out this calling because we live in a fallen world.
There is a need within the church to come alongside those who answer the call and those who answer the call and face challenges after having done so.
Super simplistic...I know. But....where God guides...God provides...because He finishes what He started.
(Some people...because we are people..and often follow after our flesh...make the decision to adopt in the flesh. There are consequences to the choices we make in the flesh...and yes....even Christians have to live with consequences to choices made in the flesh.)
However......after repentance and a turning from the flesh and a turning towards the Lord...
...We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
In an attempt to communicate Biblical truths to our children...I've been pondering the Theology of Adoption.
As I find things that are helpful to my heart...I will post them here.
The first thing that brings some clarity is a re-post from John Piper.
Friday, November 15, 2013
When I started sharing transparently about our struggles on the Attachment Road...other struggling & hurting people began to arrive in my life. Sometimes they were brought by friends. Often times phone calls came in. From all corners of the country. I received e-mails & letters.
I am a RAD expert if you define EXPERT as.... a mom battling this beast to the ground...in the trenches for the last 14 years.
Otherwise... I cannot offer insight.
I have always tried to offer hope where I have found it. In Christ.
I am so heavy heavy heavy hearted for all the hurting families out there.
I do not know this family. I am sure they have a horrific story to tell. A painful story. It is very good that they did not abandon this child to the streets.
But...oh my Lord....the state. The system. A nine year old boy.
cringe / cry
As I process this and similar stories...I ponder this question...
Biblically speaking...what are the options for families like this one?
As believers...we do know that the world's ways are not the Lord's ways.
Thoughts? Please use Scripture as your guide.