Practical Help for the Adopting Family
Marsha and Brian Foreman have been dear friends of our family for many years. We were in small group together and praying for God to add to their family through adoption. I’ll never forget the day, six or so ears ago, I got the very brief email that they could have children in their home within days. We were all expecting one sweet little baby – not three siblings! It has been such a blessing to see God put this family together, watch Marsha and Brian raise these babies, and see them trust God through very challenging days. Marsha was so gracious to share her story and to share a few practical ways that you can serve families who are experiencing adoption.
I was thrilled when Jenny asked me to write about our adoption. I love sharing our story. Let’s just say our adoption journey took an unexpected turn. My husband and I had been on the waiting list for one year with Lifetime Adoption. Not one birth mom had showed interest in us during that time.
Then it happened. I remember it well. I received a phone call one day while I was out to lunch with my mom and stepdad. The call was from Libby, my adoption case manager. Libby wanted to present us as one of the couples for a young girl that wanted to adopt out her three children. Yes, three children.
Now we had not considered adopting three children so I told her I would discuss with my husband and call her back. She told me that they would be presenting the couples to her that afternoon so a decision had to be made quickly. Brian and I prayed over it and didn’t receive a clear answer from God. We decided that we would put our name in and depend on the result to be guided by God. We have never been one to shy away from a challenge. J
By that afternoon I had spoken to the birth mom and we were matched. 3 weeks later we were on our way to Houston to pick up our 10 month old, 18 month old and 2 ½ year old children.
As you can imagine, our life changed dramatically over night.
You might be wondering how you can support couples that are adopting or have adopted. There are many ways to help. For example if you have the means you could assist financially. Adoptions are very expensive and most families do not have all of the funds needed. Donate items and help the family have a yard sale or throw a fundraiser. Help create an adoption fund at your church.
There are also some practical ways that you could help with everyday life.
- Help the family with childcare. The couple will need to have time together and often cannot afford a babysitter.
- Older children and teens could offer to play with the child in the home to allow the parent’s time to clean house or cook dinner.
- Take the kids to the park and give the mom the opportunity for a nap.
- Be an encourager – Try not to offer advice on how to do something better, tell them how well they are doing.
- Provide the couple with gift certificates to a restaurant or to a movie theatre.
These are just a few ideas but keep in mind that every family is different and their needs can vary. As I said before we didn’t plan on adopting three children. We were ill prepared and had no place for them to sleep once we returned home. Friends from our home group got together and had a baby bed and two beds donated and in their room by the time we came home. We also had enough baby food to last a month. This meant more to us than anyone will ever know.
I hope you all will consider adoption or consider supporting those that have adopted in some way