November is the month to celebrate Adoptions and I thought I would share some of my experiences with adoption. Adoption is mentioned in Scripture a few times. Moses was adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh. We are called God’s children in the New Testament by Adoption. Gal. 4:4-5. We become the children of God with our Baptism, confident to call Him Father. (CCC#1279)
During this month I have reflected on some of the children who lived in The Family of the Good Shepherd and were adopted. Adoption within the US can be different from adoption from another country. What do I mean by that: with the children who were adopted from our home, who were in the home as foster children, we were allowed to let them get to know the adoptive parents prior to them moving in.
Here are a couple cute accounts from the time just before they moved into their forever home to be. Baby M moved in at 9 months, weighing 12 lbs and not having a lot of muscle control. She moved into her forever home at 2.5 years old. The family would get together with us, babysit her when needed, etc. As she came to know the family she would say as we drove down the road and passed the road the family lived on “turn, turn to G’s house” she was ready to move in! It has been wonderful to watch her grow and flourish in that family.
A sibling group was also adopted out of the Home. When they were told a family for them was being looked for the 2nd child said the others could go, she was going to stay with us. The first time we met this family I stayed with the children for the visit. (about one and a half hours), the next time I stayed for a little while then went out for coffee and came back. The kids all liked the family. The one who said she wasn’t going was having a struggle within. She wanted to stay with us, but she really liked this family! At almost move in day the kids went to camp and the youngest who wasn’t old enough to go to camp asked if he could stay with the family a few days. I said yes. A few days later I brought all the kid’s things to the family’s house so it would be there when the kids moved in after camp. When I arrived the youngest, who was 4 years old came running out to the van and jumped into my arms and took my face in his hands and asked if it was okay that he wanted to stay with this family! I said yes and gave a big hug! They were ready to move in. The new parents had said several months later, that if I hadn’t insisted on taking things slowly and the children were just moved in after one visit, it would have been too overwhelming for all of them. It has been wonderful to watch these children grow and gain confidence in their forever family!
Some people ask “why didn’t you keep the children; they were doing so well”. Yes, they were, which was one of the goals. To get them ready for a family. I know it is not politically correct; however, God ordained a family to be two parents, Father and Mother. I can say personally that while the children did well in the Home; healed emotionally, physically and spiritually, grew, learned to love and be loved, etc…however, they have flourished in the Adoptive home with a father and mother in ways they never would with me in The Family of the Good Shepherd. I live the life of a consecrated woman who professes private vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. There will never be a physical father in the Home. The growth in the Home and then in the Adoptive home proves what God has ordained. Also, science backs up the “children need two parents”, a father and a mother is best for the child in their physical, emotional, spiritual and social growth.
Some people notice that I have kept some children, who will grow up within the Home. These children are not Adopted and will not be adopted. Some are children who have been in one or more adoptive homes. Who even as they heal due to the brokenness of not staying in an adoptive family makes it hard to accept a new permanent family once again. Some children are not freed for adoption and yet for various reasons the child cannot return home. These children still need some form of stability in his or her life. Therefore, a child may be placed under guardianship while remaining in the Home providing stability during their growing up years, which is so important.
I also help adoptive families who have an adopted child who struggles with extreme behavioral outbursts. I help by providing regular respite and teaching the parents what works for their child, so they can help their child learn to self-regulate. I have kept in touch with many of these families and it is a blessing to see them thriving, several years down the road from when I first met them.
Prayers for all of you adoptive families and birth families out there! May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with much to be Thankful for!
The Family of the Good Shepherd is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization.