Module Five: Adoption

OVC Essentials Fall 2021 Module Five: Adoption

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    • #76592
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      What stands out to you as most significant or meaningful from the content this week and why did it impact you?

    • #76678
      Sarah Alfieri
      Participant

      The response to the Child Catcher article/ book really stood out to me, and the way that the author balanced criticism and truth. In the response, there was a part that talked about how no intervention or effort is without error. He gave the example of how a child dies in foster care almost once every day- which is tragic, but that doesn’t mean we just stop the entire foster care system (for some kids it is really helping them).

      I thought this example was powerful because it highlights that of course there are flaws to interventions (adoption included), but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to seek out the best for a child. If we waited until conditions were perfect and success was guaranteed, no one would ever get anything done.

      Personally, I want to be aware of criticisms, dangers, and warnings regarding the interventions I work with concerning vulnerable children. Ignorance is not bliss in this scenario. However, I don’t want those things to discourage me or immobilize me- we are called to help and to try! For me, that looks like consistently learning, growing, and trying to improve the ways I interact with vulnerable children- even if it is not perfect.

      • #76688
        Christy Wiesner
        Participant

        Sarah, I agree that having a balanced view is so important! We should not run away from criticisms, dangers, or warnings. Rather, like you said, we need to carefully consider them to make sure we are serving people well. As we consider criticisms and other perspectives it opens the door for us to make improvements even if there are no perfect answers.

      • #76694
        Dorathy Lachman
        Participant

        I agree, Sarah – keeping a balanced perspective is so important, and we should not be immobilized by imperfection.  The pendulum of what’s popular seems to swing from perfection to tragedy, and eventually decades from now may finally settle in the middle.  If we are not careful, we could easily get caught up in keeping up.  But by focusing on what’s best for the child while keeping our ears open for ways to improve and our eyes open to danger, we can make a difference and still continue to grow and move forward.

      • #76980
        Tiffany Edison
        Participant

        I loved this.  You’re absolutely right about the flaws, but what I find most encouraging is “but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to seek out the best for a child.”  I literally don’t think I could have said it better myself 🙂

    • #76687
      Christy Wiesner
      Participant

      The most impactful reading for me this week was the one focusing on relinquishment. The author explained relinquishment as letting go of your claim on someone’s life and trusting God to make the way for them beyond your context and capacity. I think this is a powerful concept in all different relationships: marriages, parents with kids, siblings, friends, and even our work. As believers, recognizing that we are not in control and bravely relinquishing all we have to God should be a continuous act of our faith. In this context of adoption, our understanding of relinquishment should give us a more compassionate and sympathetic response to those who give their children for adoption. I loved the writer’s examples of how God the Father modeled this loving ‘letting go’ when He sent Jesus to earth. At the same time, Jesus modeled a loving ‘letting go’ of His position in order to come to earth. Relinquishment is modeled throughout Scripture, it is a call on the Christian life to love no one and nothing above God, and it should be a recognized, gracious part of care for vulnerable children. As pointed out in some of the other readings, the biological parents are often ignored, overlooked, or seen as unkind, ruthless people. This stereotype needs to change. We need to be people willing to enter into the story of not only the child, but the birth parents backed into a difficult corner by circumstances, environment, etc. Since relinquishment is something we all experience in different areas of our lives, it provides a common ground for us to connect with and sympathize with others. How graciously God modeled this relinquishment for us- may we never forget this loving act and recognize it in others!

      • #76690
        Sarah Alfieri
        Participant

        <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hey Christy- I loved this concept of relinquishment, and I enjoyed reading how it affected your heart! I agree that, at least for Christians, it comes down to loving nothing and no one about Christ. That is much easier said than done, but as we seek to pursue him first in our lives, this process starts to take place in our life. We love deeply and invest in people, but we know that ultimately they belong to God and not us! I have found when I have relinquished relationships and things in my life that I enjoy them exponentially more! It removes the power from me having to control them, to just being able to enjoy who they are and getting to love them. We have such an amazing God, who knew that this would be hard for us and so he modeled it with his own son- how amazing. Thank you for that beautiful reminder that this concept is planted all throughout Scripture.</p>

      • #76956
        Meredith Smylie
        Participant

        I agree with Sarah and love your description of the concept of relinquishment! It can be difficult to let go of what we cannot control, but ultimately we cannot be responsible for outcomes, only what the Lord has asked of us. I agree with Sarah too that this frees us up just to love them regardless of the outcome!

    • #76689
      Sarah Alfieri
      Participant

      Hey Christy- I loved this concept of relinquishment, and I enjoyed reading how it affected your heart! I agree that, at least for Christians, it comes down to loving nothing and no one about Christ. That is much easier said than done, but as we seek to pursue him first in our lives, this process starts to take place in our life. We love deeply and invest in people, but we know that ultimately they belong to God and not us! I have found when I have relinquished relationships and things in my life that I enjoy them exponentially more! It removes the power from me having to control them, to just being able to enjoy who they are and getting to love them. We have such an amazing God, who knew that this would be hard for us and so he modeled it with his own son- how amazing. Thank you for that beautiful reminder that this concept is planted all throughout Scripture.

    • #76693
      Dorathy Lachman
      Participant

      Two items from the material really impacted me this week.  It wasn’t content per se, but rather the writings themselves.  Both the transracial adoption piece as well as the response to the book were very well written.  But beyond the content and the writing were three authors who demonstrated the impact of listening well.

      It takes time, patience, and intention to simply listen to someone’s story.  But to actually understand something you haven’t exactly experienced yourself and write about it with such comprehension takes a very special discipline.

      I was a bit overwhelmed by the depth to which the listening had penetrated the authors – they were not simply reciting someone else’s experience, rather they took the time to put themselves in another’s shoes and to experience something familiar from a completely different perspective.

      There is a level of humility and an intense desire to hear someone else’s heart, even when the topic is uncomfortable or the content is disagreeable.  To me, it was refreshing and also deeply challenging.  I want to listen that way, and I know that it will not happen by accident.

    • #76957
      Meredith Smylie
      Participant

      I think I wrestled this week with the idea that interventions are not perfect, and sometimes actually lead to harm. It certainly doesn’t make it ok, but knowing that bad things happen doesn’t mean that we should throw out the entire system. We cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater!

      This encourages me to keep my eyes open and constantly be seeking ways to improve to minimize the occurrence of such things. Ignoring them does not help, nor does it bring systemic reform to the areas where that is possible.

      At the same time, there is space for relinquishing control in relationships knowing that every person has the ability to make choices, and we are all responsible for them.

       

      I think adoption will always be a messy-beautiful combination, and a beautiful depiction of the Gospel, and I am challenged to never lose sight of who I am in light of who God is, and for that to inform how I approach my involvement in orphan care.

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