Sunday, April 14, 2013

Encouraging an Adoptive Family 101

For those of you not local or not my FaceBook friends, I was recently interviewed by the Clackamas Review about my art show! You can read the article <HERE>. I'm so thankful for that opportunity and I hope others are encouraged by it as well.

After my last post, I began to think it might have been a bit negative.  I observed to a friend that I rarely have anything to say about adoption until someone comes along and annoys me.  She teased “Stupid people inspire you.  I like it!”.  Umm, I guess there’s truth to that!  In addition to what not to say to adoptive families, she encouraged me to also share what is encouraging to us in the moment.

I had not been annoyed in the last 24 hours and my inspiration was lacking, so I brainstormed with her and came up with a reasonable list.  Now, I can only speak from partial experience-- I’m not actually a mom yet (despite being "paper-pregnant" for a year and a half!).  My guess is, though, that virtually all adoptive families you encounter would approve this list.

Even though every adoption is different, every adoptive parent is the same in their need for encouragement and support.

We have been blessed when people....

  • Shoot me a random text only to tell me they prayed for my children that morning.
  • Ask how they can be praying for me and my husband in the process.
  • Are excited for us every step of the way even if they don’t fully understand the process or our decisions.
  • Are genuinely curious about the process and want to learn about it.
  • Ask questions, even the hard ones.  It tells us you care.
  • Are accepting of "my little brown-skinned kiddos" and talk about race as a natural thing rather than different, weird, or awkward.
  • Tell me how cute my kids will be.
  • Express true excitement to meet them.
  • Understand that my kids are already “mine” in my heart, and it’s hard to be away from them.
  • Write me a card of encouragement.
  • Share their own dreams to adopt someday.
  • Are optimistic about facing the unknowns along side of us.
  • Are emotional about our adoption process.

Specific warm-fuzzy moments:

  • My mom is buying books for her grandkids.
  • There is space on my in-law's wall specifically reserved for their pictures.  (They frequently complain about it being empty.)
  • A friend changed her cell phone ringtone to remind her to pray for my kids.
  • Another friend had a dream that my kids were home and she got to play with them.
  • An older friend turned pale when we explained last month’s almost-disaster (Blog post here).
  • A new friend extended friendship to me by offering grocery-shopping services when my kids are home (I fully plan on taking her up on it).
  • Someone defended our decision to adopt internationally when another family was extremely critical.
  • A young friend informed me she is going to come over to clean my house when my kids come home.
  • Seeing the sacrifice of friends as they help with our adoption expenses.  It’s truly humbling.
  • Close friends asking if my kids can call them “aunt” and “uncle”.

Truly, this list could go on, and on, and on, and.....  There are many people that have been such an encouragement to us, I could not possibly list every incident.  Almost daily someone is asking how the process is coming along (I wish I had news!).  But these are the things that have, in a large part, kept our spirits up as we plug along.  

Here’s a music video by Audio Adrenaline that’s worth watching, "Kings & Queens".


  1. Thanks for this list, Ro! I love reading about how God has used people in your life to encourage you and Philip in this process. Wow. Just WOW, you're kids are going to be SO LOVED by so many!

    1. *ARE so loved by so many - we just haven't met them yet!

  2. Super encouraging for me to know better how to encourage you both! Thank you so much for sharing Anna! Prayers to the family! (I can't wait to see your kids!)

  3. Anna, Awesome. The video was the perfect touch. Some lightbulbs went on in my head and heart. It forces me to stop and remember the amazingness of being adopted as God's child - joint-heir with Christ. PRAISE GOD that not only will your children experience the love, acceptance, and care of you and Phillip as their parents, but you are going to show them how you too were adopted into God's family with all the joy, privilege, and promises that come with it! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ and allowing the rest of us to see his hand at work through it all! I am praying them home! And I am praying they will experience the joy of adoption twice - earthly and heavenly! *Hugs*