A Time To Adopt

A Time to Adopt?

Some of my favorite Bible verses have always been Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I also love the song by the Byrds, “Turn Turn Turn!” There is a season for everything. Is there a season in life for adoption of a child?

November 21st is National Adoption Day. Why adopt? God clearly says in the Bible that we are to care for orphans. When He mentions orphans, he does not distinguish between “traditional orphans” (those with no living birth family) and “social orphans” (those who have living birth family but have become orphans due to social circumstances). He says, “orphans.” In my opinion and interpretation, this includes all foster children and all orphans. It’s that simple.

As a society we try to decide why we should adopt, who we should adopt, and we even judge others on WHY they chose to adopt. Jesus loves ALL the little children of the world. He loves the children on all seven continents and does not distinguish between nationality, skin color, eye color, religious background, or special needs. He loves ALL the little children of the world. I was taught to try to live as much like Jesus as possible and this includes loving all children!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking–
“I can have biological children.”
“I don’t want to be a parent at all.”
“I can’t afford it.”
“My family will disown me.”
“My child won’t fit in.”
“My child will not be biologically related to me.”
“I want to know the full history of my children.”

I don’t believe fostering and/ or adoption is for everyone. It takes a certain trait (I’m not sure what it is- it requires being selfless, for sure!) to be able to adopt. Maybe it’s not part of God’s plan for you- maybe He’s helping you raise a biological child who will adopt in the future. Maybe you can help orphans in other ways. Are you a doctor, lawyer, or therapist? A teacher? A Sunday School teacher? A preacher or rabbi? If you belong to any of these callings or professions, you have probably been impacted by adoption. You can help parents and their children in so many ways.

In 2013, I started a secret Facebook support group for adoptive families with special needs. There are over 200 families from all over the world who are members now- who have adopted children domestically and internationally with many different types of special needs. The most common thing I hear that these parents need help with? It’s NOT money. It’s not services. It’s not help. It’s a FRIEND. A REAL friend. Do you think you could be a friend to someone facing major medical or mental health challenges for their child? Remember this person is also a human being- a husband or wife or single parent, a daughter or son, brother or sister, cousin, niece or nephew, classmate, alumnae, etc. it’s someone like everyone else. Often adoptive families are shunned because others don’t understand adoption or the challenges that come with it. You don’t have to understand it all. I’m an adoptive parent and a wife, biological mother, stepmom, daughter, daughter-in-law, sorority sister, alumna, classmate, etc. I don’t understand it all either.

Often we are encouraged to become foster parents or to adopt- but with no further instructions. This makes no sense. Do we wake up on the day we turn 16 and drive a car for the first time without instruction, a license, or insurance? Of course not! Most of us have been preparing for at least a year! Adoption is no different and requires much more planning than becoming a driver! I’m going to ask one thing- if you get nothing else out of this post- get this part- do NOT encourage someone to adopt or foster without instructions. Do not encourage someone to do something you are not familiar with yourself. Go to your state website and find out requirements. Attend classes. Go to a home study visit for potential adoptive parents. Go with an adoptive family to their child’s IEP meeting at school. Go with an adoptive family to visit their child in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment facility. Listen to the needs of the siblings of adopted children. Admit that you don’t know all the answers but that you CARE! Read about diagnoses you’ve never heard of. Understand what you are asking someone to do. Know first-hand what this family may go through. Know about local area resources. Be there for them to talk to.

Adoption day is EVERY DAY, not just in the month of November, not just on Orphan Sunday, and not just on National Adoption Awareness Day. Almost every day a child becomes an orphan, a child is neglected or abused, a child goes hungry, a child’s cries go unanswered. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Don’t just mention that children need homes- find out the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

After starting APPS, I realized the need for educating the public, our government, families, and friends on issues related to adoption. I’ve started an “Adoptive Parents Persevering-APPS” page on Facebook. Find it and like it. Share it on your wall. Tell others how they can help. Be a FRIEND to an adoptive family!

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.”

Amanda Alexander, M.B.A.
Founder and Special Needs Advocate
Adoptive Parents Persevering (APPS)


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