How to Help Adoptive Families

Lisa at Caroline’s Promise has some great suggestions for how to help adoptive families:

When we answered God’s call to adopt Caroline we were misunderstood, judged and talked about in not so nice ways. God knew that with His help we could handle it, but it hurt.

Here are my suggestions for how you can help adoptive families. I encourage you to ask God how He wants to use you.

*Pray for adoptive families

*Listen. Even if they’re talking about paperwork that you’re clueless about. Listen and ask questions.

*Support their efforts to raise money. Maybe you can’t give alot financially – but your presence is HUGE. I remember standing in awe of the people that came and helped with our fundraisers. The blessings that came from them helped me “get over” the disapointment of the people who didn’t show up.

*Encourage them during the wait and don’t ask stupid questions like “Why is it taking so long?” and “Why does it cost so much money?”

*Don’t criticize their adoption choice. If they adopt from foster care – don’t tell them every horror story you’ve ever heard about kids in foster care. If they adopt from another country don’t ask them why they aren’t adopting from the US. Trust that they have heard God’s call.

*When they travel to get their child – offer to take care of their home while they are gone.

*TAKE THEM MEALS when they get home! What makes us think that people who come home from the airport with their child are any different than people who bring their child home from the hospital? One of the greatest gifts my Sunday School class gave me was meals! But just this week someone told me that although their church takes weeks of meals to people who have their kids in hospitals….this family did not receive one meal when they came home from Africa.

*Try to understand when they choose to “cocoon” as a family. Please don’t criticize when they’re not at church. The first few months home are crucial to bonding and attaching. They don’t need to run around. They need to stay home.

*If they’re struggling, support them and be quiet. Please don’t use their experience as a reason to never recommend that someone adopt. We have struggles with our biological children and our children that come to us through adoption. Your criticism does not help.

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5 thoughts on “How to Help Adoptive Families

  1. A HUGE Amen to Lisa’s suggestions on how to help adoptive families!!

    My husband and I adopted a beautiful son from S Korea and he came home in January 2007. Our process took approximately 2 years to complete and at times it seemed those around us were more frustrated than us. Believe me, we didn’t need to hear that it was taking a long time, we didn’t need to hear that there were children in the U S A that needed parents. We had already been down that road and after many disappointments, God led us down the path of international adoption.

    I think the hardest part for us has been the financial strain. My husband is a pastor and so we didn’t feel that we could ask or even hint that our church help us out with fund raisers. We had to depend on people to figure that out for themselves and our church came thru. We are very appreciative of funds like the ABBA fund that help couples like us have a chance to adopt. There are so many loving families out there that don’t even consider adoption because of the great expense. And I find that very sad.

    You know, I never saw myself as a mother to a black haired, almond eyed Korean boy. I was supposed to have a blond haired, blue eyed little girl. But, you know what, God knows what is perfect for you and your life because that little Korean boy was born for my husband and me. There is no doubt that he is ours. He is just like us and is the most precious gift God has ever given us.

    We are now seeking to adopt a child from the Philippines and have just begun our process. I pray for all couples looking forward to the wonderful, sometimes crazy process of adoption. It is worth every minute of paperwork and every dime spent. God bless you all.

    • God Bless you for adopting. It doesn’t matter where these children came from, they all come from God.
      My husband and I are currently waiting to be matched with a child from Foster Care. My heart goes out to any child without a family. I cannot imagine being alone in this world.
      We started this process 1 year ago, and I am so excited I can hardly sleep. We have our homestudy in on several groups of siblings, and learned last week that we may have found Our children. They have stolen our hearts.
      I have raised six children, am 53 years old, and cannot wait to do it again. I know that with God,there is going to be nothing that we cannot handle.
      We are not rich with money, but we are rich with a lot of family support, and most of all big hearts full of love, and anticipation of raising whoever God has in store for us.
      It is our job to take care of these children, if not for God’s grace, we ourselves, could have been in their shoes.
      God Bless you and your family, no matter what part of the world they came from!

  2. Another huge one–THROW A SHOWER! I think this is one of the most important things–suprised it didn’t make the list! Or, if they aren’t in need of baby items, or items for a certain age child, at least some kind of equivalent celebration.

  3. Ask specific questions that show you are interested in learning about what the adoptive family is going through. Encourage them with stories about other people you have met who have adopted and have been blessed by it. Tell the adoptive parents that you pray for them regularly and then do it! Our adoption is on hold right now because my husband lost his job. Another family at church who is also adopting (from Ethiopia) tells us that they pray for us EVERY MORNING around the breakfast table! Their faith is strengthening ours!

    We’ve known families who hold garage sales and walk-a-thons to help raise money for other families. This shows an awful lot of support even if the amount of money raised is not huge.

    Our church leadership has our adoption listed in the church bulletin under PRAYER…also a big enouragement.

    The biggest encouragement for me has been those people who come up to me and tell me that they can’t wait to meet our future adoptive children! We don’t know who they are yet but there are others are longing to meet them. What a blessing.

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