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Embracing the Grief of Adoption

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I was reminded last night of something I already knew, though I often try to forget it. It is one of the more sobering realities of adoption – the fact that there is no adoption without loss and pain . . . and grief.

As an adoptive dad, like all adoptive parents, my tendency is to focus on the miracle, blessing and joy of adoption – and rightfully so. These are the undeniably beautiful realities of the adoption journey. But they do not negate the equally unavoidable reality that there is no adoption without loss and pain. Adoption is at the same time born from and a response to hurt, loss and sorrow.

The Lord Is Our Strength

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Monday, September 10th, 2012

As adoptive parents walking a journey of healing with our children, we have an opportunity to enter into their world with empathy and compassion in a way that points them to the hope of the Savior. God has given us the divine honor of being mom or dad. We have the privilege of nurturing our children’s hopes and dreams, giving them goodnight kisses, wiping away their tears, teaching them as they grow and mature, and being the ones they look to for acceptance, security, and love. Parenting is holy ground, and we are allowed a front row seat as we watch their stories unfold and God does His work in and through them.

But as amazing and wonderful as being a parent can be, it can also be exhausting and at times terrifying.

The Safest Place on Earth

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

(ETC Team: This article was originally published on the Tapestry website in 2007. While many churches have made real strides in the area of adoption and foster care ministry, collectively we still have a great deal of important work to do. It is our prayer that many more churches will commit to become truly “safe places” for adoptive and foster families.)

This may not be easy to read; it wasn’t easy to write. But I think this is something we all need to face . . . and then go about praying for and seeking change. I’m speaking of our churches and how they relate to and support (or fail to relate to and support) adoptive and foster families.

If Numbers Could Talk

A 2002 nationwide survey commissioned by The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption revealed many interesting things regarding Americans’ views and attitudes about adoption. One finding was particularly relevant to local churches. When asked “where would you turn for information or advice about how to adopt,” 52% of married couples indicated they would turn to their local church or place of worship. Thus, it is clear that many people at the front-end of the adoption process think of their local church as being a good place to go for information and advice about adoption. Sounds promising, right? Hold that thought.

Give Your Child Permission to Process Feelings

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis encourages parents not to be afraid of their child’s feelings and instead allow their child to openly discuss and process their feelings. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

For more Empowered To Connect resources aimed at helping parents discuss and embrace their child’s feelings, click here.

Adoption from the Inside Out

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

For many, the adoption process begins by surveying agency information, evaluating financial considerations and tackling mountains of paperwork, all while working through a complex array of questions, doubts and even fears. One important, but often overlooked, aspect is the need to engage the adoption journey from the “inside out” – through ongoing, honest self-reflection and self-evaluation.

Talking With Children About the Difficult Realities

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Along with the joys and blessings of adoption and foster care come some difficult and often painful realities – issues such as grief, loss, abandonment, past trauma and the need for forgiveness, just to name a few. It is important for adoptive and foster parents to be prepared to help their children navigate these emotional and complex issues, and to make sense of their own personal story as well.

This talk, entitled Not Your Everday Conversation: Talking with Your Children About the Difficult Realities of Adoption and Foster Care, was presented by Michael and Amy Monroe at the 2009 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference. The talk focuses on these and other issues in an open and honest way, and provides specific tools to help parents effectively communicate with their children about the difficult realities of their past in order to help prepare them for their future.

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You can also download the handouts for this presentation.