Week Four – Adoption: A Forever Family

CAFO Course Forums OVC Essentials – 2018 Winter Week Four – Adoption: A Forever Family

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    • #30325
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      Feel free to respond to just one or all of the following prompts:

      How has adoption personally touched your life and how do you personally relate to the content from this week – whether that be the welcome and belonging that adoption bring, qualities within the “Heart of an Orphan”, ambiguous loss, some of the ethical issues mentioned, etc.

      Write about how you see and understand both the beauty and tragedy at play in adoption. How does Carissa Woodyk’s talk about Listening to one another’s stories offer a helpful tool and paradigm for navigating these complex and muddy waters?

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

    • #31238
      meghan rivard
      Participant

      Adoption has personally touched my family in many ways. My husband and I adopted our daughter domestically, and now are in the adoption process to complete our second international adoption.

      we have an open adoption with our daughter’s birthmother, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that we are able to have a relationship with her. I loved the article we read about relinquishment and birthmothers. there are so many stereotypes out there about birthmothers and many people in our society do not understand open adoption. it was a wonder article depicting the love of the birthmother.

      • #31254
        Alexis Martens
        Participant

        Meghan,

        I want to thank you so much for sharing this portion of your story. I can only assume that it has so much more, but it has already affirmed me that tikkun olam can be attained in so many ways. Your story is a counter-narrative to many that have involved severing ties with the past and starting a new in a new family. I deeply appreciate yours and your husband’s decision to keep your daughter’s biological mother in the picture. It is a glimpse of God’s love and shalom.

      • #31373
        Dianna Yang
        Participant

        Thank you for sharing! I love what you are doing and putting your faith in action. Adoption is such a beautiful and hard journey. I really love the idea of an open adoption. You don’t only minister to her daughter, but you are also a minister to the birthmother. Birthmothers who place their child in adoption gets a bad name, but we should celebrate their responsible choice and love them. Thank you for being an example to all of us!

    • #31243
      Ariel Meneese
      Participant

      Adoption has personally touched my life in a slightly different way than most. When my mom got pregnant with me, she was not married to my biological father, and he refused to acknowledge that I was his. He ended up leaving my mom before I was born and my amazing mom took care of me by herself until she met my step-father when I was two. When he proposed to my mom a few months later, he also asked me if he could marry my mom and adopt me. Even though I was so young, it was so great of him to care enough about my mom and me that he wanted to make sure that all parties were on board.

      At my parents’ wedding, I was included in the ceremony and my dad even gave me a ring too. I was only three, but that has stuck with me. I still have the tiny little ring on a  chain in my jewelry box.

      Growing up, my awesome daddy has always treated me as his own child. When my little brother was born, nothing changed in our relationship. He has always been incredible and I have been so blessed.

      Despite the love and great care I have received from my dad, I still have deep-rooted issues with abandonment and rejection. I have never met my biological father because he wants nothing to do with me and that hurts. That’s a pain that I deal with daily and will probably never fully go away. How I handle it, though, is important. Every day, I choose joy. I choose happiness. I don’t want to let my hurt from a man I have never met to define me. My dad chose me as his child and loves he as his own. That is what I choose to focus on.

      • #31245
        openarms
        Participant

        Ariel,

        Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your story! It seems like so often the good and the hard exist together in the very same situations. Sounds like you have a pretty incredible dad!

        – Laura

      • #32567
        Emma MacDougall
        Participant

        Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. I think that it is really sweet that you have a loving father who has adopted you and cares for you deeply but that still can leave you with questions about your biological father. Thanks for sharing how it has effected you though because I think that all of us can learn from your story specifically.

      • #31247
        meghan rivard
        Participant

        thank you so much for sharing your story! adoption has so many aspects that are deep-rooted. I loved hearing your perspective on adoption and how much it has meant to you. we adopted my daughter, and while she is still young, I am waiting for questions about abandonment to come up. “why was I adopted”? for example. thank you for your insight.

      • #31252
        Alexis Martens
        Participant

        I really appreciate you sharing your story, Ariel. I have also been adopted by my stepfather, but it happened my sophomore year of high school. I think that I am very much still processing it and realizing the amazing heart that my dad had and has to have done that. As for my biological father, he left when I was 9 months old and my mother was pregnant with my sister. To this day, he will randomly pop into my mind and I begin questioning things. By the grace of God, I have not struggled with too many bad feelings, but my mind does wander off to questions like, “I wonder how his other family is,” or “how would it be to see him now?” It is a big process that I will be in for the rest of my life, but I thank God for it. It really has allowed me to open myself up to others and their own circumstances.

      • #31256
        Emily Evans
        Participant

        Thank you so much for being so open and transparent with all of us! I think your maturity and attitude to choose joy daily is an example of how much Christ is working in you! To not let the past keep you down, but knowing God has a plan and purpose for your pain!

      • #31280
        Lindsey Hughes
        Participant

        Ariel, thank you for sharing your story with us. I relate to your story on so many levels. Your dad sounds incredible. I was never formally adopted, but my biological father was not around much and my step-dad – whom I call my dad – really stepped up and treated me just like he treated his own biological daughter. He still does. Like you, despite his unwavering love, I still struggle with abandonment and rejection all the time. That’s kind of the “thorn in my side,” so to speak. I’ll probably carry that with me for the rest of my life, but, by the grace of God, I, too, make the intentional decision to choose joy daily. Your story really encouraged me. Thank you, again, for sharing.

      • #31408
        Ariel Meneese
        Participant

        Aw, thanks for all your sweet responses! 🙂

      • #31943
        Courtney Schmidt
        Participant

        Yes that is a good perspective: to choose joy. I experienced similar feelings of abandonment when my parents divorced when I was 15 and my dad (who I was close with growing up) became very distant. We only talk 1-2x a year now if I call him. For me it was my relationship with God and learning about God as my Father and my worth according to Him that really began to heal those wounds. Today I don’t struggle with abandonment feelings because I’ve worked through that, but the ambiguous loss can sometimes be there.

        I’m happy to hear that you have a good relationship with your step-dad. That is a blessing from God and one way that God has helped fill the gap for you. But I completely understand that the pain doesn’t fully go away.

    • #31244
      openarms
      Participant

      This week I was struck by the excerpt “Heart of the Orphan.” It’s one thing to think through these ideas in an abstract way, but it’s another to see them through the eyes of someone who’s experienced it firsthand. One idea that stood out to me is the concept that for an orphan, abandonment is more than just an absence of people – it’s an absence of people to trust. Trust seems to be a key ingredient in all the things we’re discussing in this course – it’s the basis of strong, healthy relationships with God and others. It makes me so thankful that we have a Heavenly Father who is eternally faithful and trustworthy! And it makes me want to learn and grow in the ways I can model that faithfulness in the context of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children.

      – Laura

      • #31313
        Kaari Vasquez
        Participant

        Laura,

        I completely agree – how important it is for all of us to be able to experience relationships in which we learn to trust. Without this, trusting in God is that much more challenging. What you said in the last line of your post really stood out to me – that we need to learn and grow in order to model faithfulness.

      • #31354
        Lis Doane
        Participant

        Laura, as the mother of two children from hard places, I can assure you that you hit the nail on the head when you said the key issue is trust.  I have spent years trying to build trust with my children, only to have them test me over and over again.  If I did not have a Father that I trusted when He called us to adopt and whom I can trust has a purpose and a plan for my children, as well as a deep and abiding love for them, I would have thrown in the towel long ago.

        What struck me about “The Orphan’s Heart” was that there were twenty mind sets listed and my children deal with all twenty.   It reminded me, that just as Jesus has unceasing compassion for us, we must see our adopted children with those very same eyes of compassion.

      • #31384
        Emma Leitson
        Participant

        Laura, I loved everything you said and 100% agree with you about how one of the main themes of all of this is trust. It is so easy for us as humans to lose trust. And that can impact us for the rest of our lives. It breaks my heart to know that so many children probably will experience this lack of trust which is why it is so important to remember that we can fully rely on our Father to take care of them (and us) and to know that He has complete control in every situation.

    • #31253
      Alexis Martens
      Participant

      I was raised by an amazing single mother after my biological father decided to leave our lives. As weird as it may sound, I have never considered myself an orphan. Or what in my mind, I was never a “true” orphan. Reflecting back on our first week’s readings of how children who lose a parent are recognized as orphans, I realized that for some reason, I never applied that to myself. My mom created a strong sense of belonging and loving atmosphere for me. The fact that I rarely felt that lack of love that many endure, I believe created a bubble for myself to stay comfortably in. When I would go looking out of my bubble, then questions would come up regarding what the average family looks like. When my stepfather adopted my siblings and me, I never considered myself a “true” adoptee either. My definition of an adoptee or orphan had been so skewed that I felt that it had to be under bad conditions for it to mean just as much. However, this week has been redeeming these numbing thoughts. I believe that this week is challenging me to step into my own story so that I may dive deeper into others while sharing my story. This last thought was hugely inspired by Carissa Woodyk and her video. This is only the beginning and I think I am finally allowing God to move within me and uncover things I had not yet or wanted to consider.

      • #31278
        Kaitlyn Stutts
        Participant

        Hi Alexis,

        Thank you so much for sharing your story! I think it is a beautiful thing that this course is helping you to embrace that and see how God will move in your own life, but also in the lives of others as you share your experience. There are so many cases of single motherhood in our world today, my husband’s upbringing included, but I don’t think many of them would consider themselves an orphan, as you stated was your experience. I think your story could benefit many children and adults of single mothers to realize there is that loss in their life, but also an amazing redeeming quality about the strength of single mothers. I think your story can also help point towards seeing the persona of God as father to the fatherless. He adopted us all, and an earthly experience similar to that is a beautiful thing that can make real all that God has done for us. Thank you again for sharing your story!

        Kaitlyn

    • #31255
      Emily Evans
      Participant

      One of the things that stood out to me the most this week was to truly listen and try to understand the child you’re adopting. They are coming from a different background then we know and how they respond to it is unique to them. Its important to show them the care and listening ear that they didn’t get growing up. To show them that they are worthy of love and affection, even though they didn’t get it before in their life. To tell the about Jesus and bring a new hope into their life.

      I love thinking about how when a child is welcomed into a new family, they not only receive love from their new family on earth, but also their Heavenly Father!

      • #31312
        Brittany Dealy
        Participant

        Emily,

        “One of the things that stood out to me the most this week was to truly listen and try to understand the child you’re adopting.” I thought this was interesting too!! Even if you are adopting from your next door neighbor and take the child on their birth day, they still carry a story and they still have pain they’ve gone through. It’s been so interesting and so eye-opening this week. Definitely makes me think of adoption in such a different, heavier and brighter light. There are so many aspects to adoption and so many layers. Thanks for sharing!

    • #31276
      Kaitlyn Stutts
      Participant

      I think the content this week has definitely showed both aspects of the joys and challenges in adoption. I believe in the content it discussed that while the children and families are gaining something so valuable through adoption, the children must first have needed to experience loss. There is both great gain and great loss at work in adoption. I think the most helpful tool I gained from the content this week is to allow a space for the children to experience the feelings of loss throughout their lives. Their feelings are very real and felt at varying times in their life, so allowing them to feel and express those feelings is needed and supporting them throughout those times as the caregiver or professional.

      The video of Carissa Woodyk’s talk is valuable to see things from the adopted child’s perspective. Her discussion and experience led listeners to really feel what it can be like in the brain of an adoptee. Her discussion gave light to the struggles of adoption, but also the beauty of it. I believe her discussion provided tools that are useful to adoptive parents, but also professionals in the field of orphan care. It provided insight to the whole being of the adoptee and can be a useful tool for those working with or caring for the orphaned or vulnerable child to better understand their feelings and empathize with them.

    • #31279
      Lindsey Hughes
      Participant

      My family has been profoundly impacted by adoption, so this week has hit close to home in so many ways. For me, I think that perhaps the most significant part of this week or the most striking thing was the excerpt from Adopted entitled “Relinquish.” I took so many notes while I was reading this, and I found it so striking the correlation between the relinquishment of a child by a birth mother and the relinquishment of Jesus by our Heavenly Father. One of my favorite quotes from the passage is this: “Jesus’ initial encounter with relinquishment was in the passive voice: he was relinquished. That passive voice precedes every adoption. It’s the minor note in even the greatest symphonies of belonging. Even the divine Son knew the pangs of loss and some sense of rejection.” I was never adopted, but I have experienced rejection by a birth parent and the acceptance or the found belonging by a step-parent. I feel like that description of relinquishment as being the “minor note in even the greatest symphonies of belonging” so beautifully and poetically captures exactly what I have felt for so long but could not put into words. On another level, it so beautifully captures the level of empathy that Jesus has for His people. He “abdicated His power,” as Kelley’s college professor said, and became fully human. Hebrews says: Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people . . . He abdicated his power and left his Father’s side in order to create the way for us to be adopted into the family of God. What an awesome Savior we serve!

      • #31370
        Jonathon Sampson
        Participant

        I loved that chapter of the book as well. It’s so important to recognize relinquishment as an act of love and bravery.

        I’ve always thought of the story of Jesus more as a foster care story than an adoption story though. Jesus came to earth to live with a family that wasn’t his original family, and after a while was reunited with his true father. I submitted this question for Kelley, but we must have run out of time. I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

      • #31371
        Lis Doane
        Participant

        Jonathan, I think that is a really interesting perspective.  But I doubt that Joseph and Mary viewed Jesus as a foster child, especially as she gave birth to him.  So I have to question whether that was God’s intention either.  I do get the idea that Jesus left his original family and returned to it.  However, I think it is much more complex than that.

      • #31447
        Jessica Rush
        Participant

        Lindsey,

        I too was very impacted by the imagery Kelley provided about relinquishment! It was overwhelming to think not only of what God and Jesus endured as a result of this but also of what our children and birth mothers experience as they walk through adoption. It definitely has opened my eyes to a new perspective and impacted me forever!

    • #31311
      Brittany Dealy
      Participant

      Wow. This week’s material made me realize that my grandfather was an ‘orphan’ in the sense that his mom gave him to her parents (his grandparents raised him as their son) and he never knew his birth dad, and later found that his ‘sister’ is actually his birth mom. I’ve known his story and have been raised, visiting my ‘great aunt’ aka my great grandmother and knew he had huge issues with this, but didn’t ever think of him as an orphan until today. It definitely put a description to the condition his heart was in for so long. I have many friends that are adopted, I guess my grandfather was technically adopted, and I have friends who have adopted and are adopting. Adoption has impacted my life in so many ways, and I think now that I’m delving into this in such detail, I never knew how many times I’ve touched adoption without noticing.

      The term “Ambiguous Loss” blew me out of the water. I had to stop listening and come back to the podcast, hours later, because of how profound it was for me, to have a word to explain the loss I personally have experienced. What an astounding way to explain a loss that so many people will never encounter. (thankfully). How powerful it is, when there are words to explain your experience that is so profound and so deep, that it’s almost like they immediately understand what you’ve been through. That podcast impacted me so much this week. I also loved what Kelley had to share in the webinar yesterday. So much to process through, I am so grateful for everything we’ve been soaking in!

    • #31353
      Lis Doane
      Participant

      As an adoptive parent, the concept that spoke to me most deeply this week was that of  “relinquishment.  When you have adopted kids from hard places, it can often be difficult to explain the reasons for their adoption to them, in a positive light while still being truthful.  But the beautiful picture of God “relinquishing” Jesus to humanity because of His great love for us, helped me to have a have a different perspective on my children’s adoption stories.  In addition, the knowledge that Jesus carries deep compassion for the relinquished because He is one is a balm to this adoptive mama’s heart.

      The concept of relinquishment makes perfect sense to me, because as a mother myself, I cannot imagine any birth mother, even the one that leaves her child on the side of the road, letting go of that child without tears in her eyes or regret in her heart.  My heart breaks for birth mothers everywhere and I pray the soothing touch of Jesus on each of their lives.

    • #31369
      Jonathon Sampson
      Participant

      My wife and I adopted 2 boys from foster care last year. I think letting them tell their own story is really important. We try to create a space where they are free to share and openly process their past, and they often do that through random stories at the dinner table or driving by a place that they visited with their bio parents.

      I was at Summit last year and listened to Jedd and Kathryn Joyce debate the Christian orphan care movement. I think different opinions are really important and healthy dialogue and accountability are what will help us find the best ways to address all aspects of the OVC crisis.

      • #31383
        Melissa Schlax
        Participant

        I also really enjoyed the article by Kathryn Joyce and Jedd’s analysis of her book.  It helped me to think deeper about these issues and I think it is so important that the movement is inviting criticism and looking for change where necessary and not just taking a defensive stance on these issues.  It was so encouraging and humbling to see this!

      • #31442
        Caitlin Snyder
        Participant

        I was so thankful to read Jedd Medefind’s response of Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers. While there is always space for international adoption to be more ethical and more aware of what it does to birth families and communities, Jedd’s words, “If our stand is zero tolerance for error, we had all best pack up and go home. We will not only need to abandon adoption, but virtually every other attempt to engage the world at its most hurting,” encouraged me. It is hard, but worthy work to care for the world’s most vulnerable. It takes complex problem solving, a willingness to keep fighting and also an ability to listen to outside and contradictory opinions. But children in families – biological or adopted – is worth the fight!

    • #31372
      Dianna Yang
      Participant

      I am a student intern at an adoption agency in North Carolina. Adoption has personally touched my life through visiting adoptive families and conducting post placement visits. Also, I write post placement reports. It’s awesome to see how adoptive families grow as individuals and as a family. I get to see the different parts of the adoption process through applying, traveling, and transitioning to America. The struggles and pursuit adoptive families goes through really exemplify the Gospel. Adoption paints a beautiful picture of it. Although I haven’t experienced first hand someone close to me adopting, I have the opportunity each week at church to see individuals being adopted into the family of God. For this week’s reading, The Orphan’s Heart stood out to me because the characteristics of an orphan heart isn’t just in orphans, but also in individuals with physical families. Before we knew God, we were orphans. In the reading it says, “the list also helps us make sense of how we, too, often operate out of an orphan heart.” This is so true. I think this helps show us how much more we have in common with one another and how God can fills us in every aspect that we lack.

    • #31381
      Melissa Schlax
      Participant

      Having watched so many of these adoption stories unfold I almost feel embarrassed that I never asked these questions myself.  Working through the content this week I look back and see both the pitfalls and triumphs of adoption even in the stories just of the people I know.  The content challenged me to revisit all my preconceived ideas and ideals. I used to think that good intentions was truly enough to make a lasting difference. Now I see that we must educate our passions and always be learning with heart and minds open to the fact that things we have done or things we are doing may not be “good.”

      I loved this week and how much it opened my heart and my mind to think bigger. I hope one day the Lord allows me to adopt or foster, but I also see God challenging me to find my active part of that story now. Sometimes I am really lazy and want to simply join a ministry that is already doing everything “right” instead of being faithful to where God has put me and advocate for change right where I am.  I have so many opportunities through the children’s home here in Guatemala and my church I just have to be faithful to do the work of learning and thinking through the tough questions myself and speaking up as God gives me opportunity.  I would appreciate prayers for this!

       

    • #31382
      Kaari Vasquez
      Participant

      Our family was formed through adoption. We are so grateful to have gained not only two sons, but an incredibly large extended family (their biological families). This summer we were blessed with the  opportunity to fly to Ecuador and meet my oldest son’s grandmother, sister, niece, aunts, uncles, and cousins! That experience left us in awe of how God connects each of us. While it has not always been easy, it has always been worth it as we see God at work in all of our lives. We have been stretched and humbled. I was particularly touched this week by the reminder of giving our children space to process their own stories. This changes over time as their understanding deepens. I pray that God gives me the wisdom to do this effectively as they mature.

       

      • #31410
        Ariel Meneese
        Participant

        I love how you have enveloped your children’s biological families into your own! That is such a sweet story and I hope more families are able to do the same.

      • #32678
        Natalie Cormier
        Participant

        Wow! Your story is incredible, especially as an international family. I suppose that your comments provoke me to think about how an adoptee balances their adoptive family and their biological family. I am also an adoptee, but knowing my birth family has never been a big desire of mine and that was specifically why my parents decided to adopt internationally, so they would not have to deal with a birth family.

    • #31443
      Caitlin Snyder
      Participant

      Adoption has touched my life because I have a cousin who was adopted from Ethiopia at a young age. I also attend a very adoption-friendly church, babysit girls who are being fostered by good friends, have friends who are hoping to adopt, and work in international adoption. Jedd Medefind’s rebuttal to Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers was significant as I read it. So often I wonder why working in international adoption is so complex, but in the article, I felt like I receive permission to keep wrestling. I never want to give up because something is hard, complicated or complex. As Medefind said, “risks always come with addressing urgent need.” By no means should we ignore ethically gray areas, we should work towards more ethical international adoptions, but we can’t abandon something so important, either. International adoption should be a last resort for children, but we need to maintain it as an option for children who otherwise wouldn’t have a permanent, safe familial environment to be raised in.

    • #31446
      Jessica Rush
      Participant

      What stood out to me as meaningful this week was the excerpts we read from Kelly’s book Adoption. When speaking on relinquishment, she referenced the relationship between God and Jesus. That was a powerful image for me to wrap my mind around. We have all heard that Jesus understands and knows what we are going through but this is one situation I had never thought about. It excites me to think about using this when speaking with adoptive families about the birth moms and adoptees who experience this very thing. What a powerful way to help people understand a little better about the most important people in their adoption story and how to better serve them! I am thankful for the example we have through our Father and his Son!

    • #31643
      Emma Leitson
      Participant

      During this week, I was highly impacted just by everything I learned, especially through Kelley’s talk about adoption. I thought her story was SO interesting and I really appreciated how real she was with us and how real she is with her kids.  I think one of the biggest things is to COMMUNICATE, something I did not grow up really having between my parents. I can really see that Kelley does a great job at this and addresses topics that may sometimes be hard to talk about. One thing I LOVED was the idea about the candles. I have never heard this before but it really blew me away. Sometimes, it is hard to communicate our emotions and our feelings and we can’t always express it in words. So I love this idea because then Kelley can know exactly how her daughter is feeling and just be able to communicate with her. I also loved how she said we aren’t all called to adopt but we are called to be “shalom practioners.” I agree with this – I’m not quite sure if I will adopt but I do know that I am called to be a shalom practioner.

    • #31694
      Richard Roseland
      Participant

      I loved the idea of the candle and giving the children that you are taking into your home the ability to communicate non-verbally. Since many of these children have been through some sort of trauma, there are so many ways (like TBRI) that can be used to communicate your love. It was great to hear some “hands-on” ideas about how to allow them to share their story and feelings.

    • #31942
      Courtney Schmidt
      Participant

      I have enjoyed learning the material in this course. I like to consider my own story compared to what I’m reading and hearing from others. I was not adopted, but my parents divorced when I was 15 and my dad became really distant. I may talk with him 1-2x a year. I can relate to some of the feelings of children who may be considered orphans, or lost one or two of their parents. Some of the circumstances and feelings I have experienced may be similar to someone else even though I wasn’t an “orphan” technically.

      I appreciated the podcast with Tara when she talked about how adopted children can experience this ambiguous loss. It was a good reminder not to only focus on the adoption and moving forward, but realize that even with a good family in place, a child can still experience feelings of loss. This is a normal experience. Having similar feelings of my own of this “ambiguous loss” (for me meaning not growing up in a put together, Christian family, experiencing a loss of relationship with my dad who I was close to growing up as a child, and then in my teens and early 20’s building father or brother like attachments with male church leaders to have them only for a season and experience a similar type of loss again) this podcast really made sense to me. I can imagine that others experience this loss even deeper than I have because I’m sure many people have gone through tougher situations.

      All of this discussion in orphan care really brings up questions for me about where do we place the people (like myself) that aren’t really “orphans” but have maybe experienced similar circumstances or loss in different ways. Not that I am trying to create a label, but just wondering how people think about children or now adults that have experienced this loss and maybe aren’t as noticed because we aren’t “orphans”. Now God has been faithful in my story and brought a family from my church into my life when I was an older teen. They are still a part of my life and I have a close relationship with my mom. But I would say that I’ve experienced, and occasionally still experience, this type of “ambiguous loss”. Thankfully due to my relationship with God from the age of 17 and people from church that stepped into my life, I have been able to make good decisions and be successful in life overall (meaning having a job, a healthy marriage, doing well emotionally etc). So those are some of my thoughts from this week’s material.

    • #32566
      Emma MacDougall
      Participant

      One thing that I found to be most significant and meaningful were the things that I read in the Heart of the Orphan. I had previously known some of these but had not even thought about others. One of them that I learned a lot about was the feeling of abandonment. Not only can orphans feel abandoned but it effects their trust with others. It explained the feeling that if someone is in their lives there is a lack of trust because of the thought that they too will leave. I found this most meaningful because I have done short term mission work with orphans and the thought of going to spend time with them and leaving breaks my heart because that could only add to the mistrust and abandonment that they experience.

    • #32677
      Natalie Cormier
      Participant

      I think that tragedy and beauty are both present in an adoption. It is so tragic that a child is not wanted or someone is unable to properly care for a child that they think that putting a child up for adoption is the only way that the child can have a good life. At the same time, the adoption of a child is an incredible beauty that love is shown.

      At the same time though, this is not always so simply because the adoption process and the transition phase can be very difficult to build that relationship.

      Carissa Woodyk talks about how listening is needed because there is more than just joy from an adoption, there is tragedy and loss within that act of adoption. She specifically talks about the tension between joy and sadness, and that between the two, there is a gift of reconciliation and encouragement when one hears the story of an adoptee. I think that listening is important in any relationship or ministry because you can never truly understand a story unless you listen.

    • #32992
      Katya Heyl
      Participant

      What was interesting about this week is that it came at a great time where I felt that I was struggling with my identity as an adoptee. At work I was struggling with connecting with customers because there was such a short window of getting to know and interact with them. Instead of being vulnerable I shut down emotionally until I received a complaint that I was not showing the hospitality that was needed.

      As I read “The Trouble with the Christian Adoption Movement” I sensed agreement towards the author’s stance on the system and realized that my view of adoption is more pessimistic. Because I love Jesus I realized that “The in-depth analysis of child-catchers” is more realistic. I struggled in this process while writing my thesis because as I was doing research I found articles that agreed with my biased opinions and worldly point of view. I did decide to share my testimony of salvation in my thesis which I believe brought light into the darkness of my adoption story.

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