Prayers for Those Touched By Adoption

 

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24

 

Prayer is an essential part of an adoption journey, as the adoption process requires courage and trust in the Lord every step of the way. The adoption process can be long, scary, and full of ups and downs for all those involved— adoptees, potential adoptive parents, and expectant and birth parents.

Not everyone feels led to adopt or has a personal connection to adoption, but everyone can pray for those involved in adoption. If you are pursuing adoption or have been touched by adoption, share these words with your friends and family and have them join you in prayer. There is so much power in prayer.

 

Heavenly Father,

Bless all expectant mothers who are placing their children for adoption and who may also be young and afraid. They love their children so much that they are willing to place them with a loving family. Bless, too, all the women who already have shown the sacrificial nature of a mother’s love in making adoption plans for their children. Give them all your courage and your peace, through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Dear Jesus,

In word and sacrament, you make known the depth of your love for each person.  Never let us forget the tender compassion and mercy which you have shown and continue to show to us.  Instill in our hearts deep love for those who suffer, and help us reflect the face of the Father’s mercy. May the family members of each child to be placed for adoption lovingly support his or her mother as she chooses love and life. And may these family members themselves find continued support in the kindness and encouragement of others. Give to all wisdom and understanding, and may we be instruments of your grace.

Amen.

 

Lord Jesus,

You saw in the innocence of children. the attributes which make us worthy of heaven— trust, joy, humility, obedience and faithfulness. Bless all children who are awaiting adoption. They seek love—may they find it in loving parents. They seek stability—may they find a home rooted in faith. They seek acceptance—may their gifts be recognized and nurtured. And may they always know your steadfast love for them and the true joy of loving you.

Amen.

 

Heavenly Father,

We are all your adopted children, not by flesh or by desire, but through the power of the incarnation of your most beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Bless those children who have been adopted into new families, that they may experience the love that you have shown us which surpasses even the love of a mother for her child. In the difficult transitions and hardships that might beset them in their struggle for belonging, give every adopted child the grace to embrace their new family and trust in your paternal care for them, which lasts forever. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

You are one God, living in a relationship of love. When Christ became Man, you shared that divine love with the human race, forever wedding earth to heaven. Send your blessings upon all who nurture children who have been adopted. Give them generous and understanding hearts. Give us all a spirit of understanding and welcome so that all peoples of every nation, race, and tongue may live together peacefully as members of your family. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Source: https://www.usccb.org/

A Birth Family Member Perspective of Adoption

 

I was only a child myself when I learned my sister was pregnant and I would be an aunt again. While I went through the excitement of becoming an aunt once before when my oldest sister had her first child, this time was different. I did not understand why my sister was not going to school, instead having someone come over to teach her because of the judgement she would receive at school. I did not understand why I was sitting in an office listening to my parents talk to lawyers and another family who wanted to raise my sister’s child because she and the dad were just kids themselves. I did not yet understand why there was so much tension and stress in the house and in the family surrounding this pregnancy. A time that is supposed to bring so much joy and excitement.

What I later learned was that my sister, at sixteen years old, was making an adoption plan for her child. While my parents fought and fought to take custody and raise her, I now know letting my sister choose adoption was the right choice for my niece.

Fast forward to Fall 2020 when we receive a text from my mom. “Isabell {name changed for privacy} has contacted your sister”. So many thoughts instantly started racing through our minds. After growing up knowing that in all actuality, I had five nieces instead of four was always a strange feeling. There was one out there I knew nothing about other than she was still living in the area close to her parents. Here we are 30 years later and she wants to know about her birth family. We all wondered, “Did she want to have a relationship?”, “Did she want to meet us?”, “What did she look like?”.  So often you think of this day and what it will be like, or if it will even happen. Yet, here we are and she found us through a DNA match in Ancestry DNA.

I wish I could say that these questions were answered face to face with my niece, but they were not. We were blessed to meet her mother and hear all the lovely stories of her growing up. My mom, both sisters and her mom sat around my mom’s dining room table enjoying tea and listening to stories about her childhood, school successes, struggles and goals. We had the joy of looking through photo albums from birth all the way up to her recent wedding. We were able to see how much she really does look like my sister and hear how similar her personality was to that of my sister’s. While we did not get to meet the daughter my sister chose adoption for, she did. She was able to meet her daughter for coffee and begin creating a relationship. Over one year later, the two continue to write back and forth to one another.

As I sit and write this, I remember a time when my sister knew her daughter was approaching the age of 18, the age when many adoptees start trying to find their birth parents. We were sitting at Culver’s when she looks at me and tells me that she feels abortion and adoption are just as hard a choice as the other is. I thought to myself “How could she possibly think this?”, but my sister felt these choices were of equal outcomes because she thought she would never meet her, never know how she grew up or what she looked like. She was non-existent in her perspective. I’m here to tell you now that even though I still do not know if I will ever see or talk to my niece, the gathering we shared years after this conversation gave me the opportunity to see the wonderful life my niece was given. A life that offered stability, love and direction. A life that allowed her to be successful in school eventually earning her Masters and moving to Massachusetts with her husband. Even though I have never met her, I am still so very proud of her and grateful my sister chose adoption.

The Journey of Adoption: An Adoptee’s Perspective

 

When talking about adoption I often hear it referred to as a journey. When I think about a journey I think about something that is ongoing with no definitive end. One of the definitions for the word journey is “passage or progress from one stage to another.” I think it is that definition of the word journey that best describes the journey of adoption. You see, adoption is not a one-time thing. It is not just the event that happens on the day that your child is placed with you. It is an ongoing journey that morphs and changes with time.

I was brought home from the hospital at just a few days old. Having been adopted in the 80’s there was little information provided regarding my birth family. I know their ages and that is about it. My parents have always been open and honest about the fact that I was adopted and have always been supportive of me searching for my birth family or not. To be quite honest, I was never the kid who asked a lot of questions about my adoption; it never bothered me. I have always been secure in who I am and who my parents are and never really struggled with the fact that I was adopted.

In graduate school I decided it might be interesting to search for my birth family so I made some initial inquiries and found out in Pennsylvania it was not an easy process, for my type of adoption, to initiate a search. I let it go at the time and moved on. Then in 2016, I was ready and I wanted to know where I came from. Where did I get my green eyes, my nose, what was my ethnic heritage, did I have any similar traits to my birth mother? So I began with the attorney who facilitated my adoption. He claimed to have no recollection of the adoption. Next I went to the courts (still called orphan court in Pennsylvania) and was told they had no records based on the little information I had. As a final recourse I decided to try Ancestry DNA and, besides now knowing my ethnic heritage, I struck out again.

Now let’s talk about August 2020; 11:37 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020 to be exact. The night that a Facebook message popped up on my phone. In that moment I read that a woman had an Ancestry DNA match that listed me as a “close relative” and she had been searching for her sister for years who had been adopted and could I possibly be that person. The answer, YES.

As I began talking with my sister, birth mother, two other sisters, and brother (yes there are 4 siblings) life got real. You learn things that are both exciting and hard. You learn that your birth father wanted you to be aborted. You learn that your birth mother stood up to her own family in order to carry you to term. You learn that your birth mother, on the day you turned 18, contacted the aforementioned attorney to give them her information in case I ever contacted him, which clearly he did not pass on to me when I did indeed contact him. It is realizing that my siblings grew up drastically different from me and experiencing feelings of guilt and relief that my life was different. Adoption is a journey. I am slowly getting to know the family that shares my blood. I love seeing what we have in common while also learning about our uniqueness.

This relationship continues to be a journey, something that is growing and changing over time. I remember when I first posted my story, when I was ready, on Facebook. A friend asked what would make me want to share this story publicly. An easy answer was that it was a quick way to let friends (beyond those I had told in person) what was going on in my life. The more in depth answer is that I feel that often the adoptee voice is forgotten and I wanted to share my journey, the good and bad; the joyous and the heartbreaking. I cannot speak for every adoptee out there. We each have our own unique story and journey. And while it is oftentimes beautiful no one can forget that each adoptee’s story began with loss and eventually that loss is going to emerge. I am not sure how the journey will continue but I can say that I am beyond blessed to be on it.

By: Rebekah Hall