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Loving and Learning Through Adoption



As parents of adult children who were adopted, my husband and I often review our parenting journey to celebrate, to continue learning, and to help others navigate the beautiful and challenging call to build healthy and God-honoring families. When adoption is part of your parenting story, certain facts, fears, and fantastic opportunities are also yours. Having lived both life-giving joys and some darker and sleep-deprived seasons over the years, we continually give thanks to the Lord entrusted to us a family that has included His amazing gift of adoption. When people ask, here’s what I tell them: it has made all the difference in the lives of our children.


Honor their full story. Don’t wait to call out brave. Your son or daughter, no matter their age, has already been brave and strong on a continual and fearful journey toward emotional connection and relational trust. They feel every step on the path, even if they don’t have words to express it. Your child’s birth parents sacrificed in ways you may never know and have been brave and strong in choosing life for their child. To pray for your child’s birth family or to communicate gratefulness for and beauty in the first chapters of their story creates a healthy space for your kids to keep moving forward. Even if they don’t say it, children who have been adopted want and need you to affirm and validate their life before you. From childhood to adulthood, their past is always a part of their present.


Invite them to wonder along the way. As our kids reached developmental milestones, I would offer this simple statement to our children; “It would be very natural in this season for you to have new or old feelings and wonders about your birth family, about your story, and about God.” Then I would remind them that no thought or feeling they might have would surprise or disappoint me and that there was room in my love for them to listen and hold each one. Having a loving family can make it difficult for an adopted child to express fears or disappointments. They often feel guilty about communicating any hurt and loss they may feel. Why should they hurt or feel dissatisfied when they have been blessed with so much? My kids are now young adults, and I still invite new thoughts from them. Giving your kids permission to recognize and wrestle can make them feel safe and feel seen.


Never leave out God’s story. God chose us for adoption. All of us. His Word says in Ephesians,“You received God’s spirit of sonship when He adopted you as His own children, and it gave him great pleasure to do so.”We were all outsiders and are now sons and daughters of the King. Physical adoption can have its pain, suffering, and imperfections, but it is modeled after God’s own loving arms of inclusion.It’s the first, best, and only way any of us make true sense of our security, our identity, our belonging, and our purpose here on the planet. Adoption was never a second or lesser choice in building a family. There is great joy in discovering God’s purpose and pleasure in each chapter of every story. May God be faithful and generous to you as you continue to love and build into yours.




AmyJo Pleune MSW Director of Life Discipleship


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Healthy conversations with your teen: 

 

Blog Goal:The Talk With Your Teen blog encourages and equips Christian parents to have consistent, open, and meaningful conversations with their teenagers about relational and sexual health.

 

About us: This blog is hosted by The Joshua Center from Positive Options. The Joshua Center exists to mobilize the body of Christ to embody the Gospel as we build a culture of life in West Michigan.

 

Parenting teens can be challenging. We offer Biblically based social and sexual health workshops that help ground teens in God's truth and authority as they navigate a hypersexual and rapidly evolving culture focused on individualism and self-gratification. Talk with your Teen articles expand and build on these trainings by encouraging and equipping Christian parents to have ongoing conversations with their teens regarding sensitive cultural issues. For more information about our workshops, for both teens and their parents, please email CommunityLife@lpcenters.com

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