The Caskey Family

What if I’m NOT Called to or Able to Adopt?
December 12, 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: children

For many years, our family was not called to or able to adopt.  We have had many close friends who have adopted, or have tried to adopt.  We know so much (but still so little) about the process simply from observation, and we have loved orphans informally, but mostly we have watched.  

At different points, I have struggled with feeling on the fringe.  Like somehow we weren’t as spiritual because we weren’t adopting.  As some of our best friends are on their second adoptions now (or third!) I feel like I’ve become quite the adoption observer, yet I still feel so inept at being any real help.  This sent me recently on a research binge. . .searching the internet, polling friends who have adopted, and asking lots of questions.  

  • What can those of us who are not called to adopt now (or maybe not ever) do to support and love the orphan?
  • What can we do to REALLY help those who are adopting?
  • What can we avoid doing or saying that is a hinderance or discouraging?

I got lots of answers. . . straight from those who have or ARE walking the adoption road:

  1. Pray
  2. Read the book, Adopted for Life by Moore, (we took this advice and it gave us perspective on adoption that helped us understand and better support who are adopting)
  3. Support an orphanage
  4. Support a missionary to orphans
  5. Volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center
  6. Give money toward someone’s adoption
  7. Help with a fundraiser for an adoption
  8. Tell someone who is adopting that you are praying for them
  9. Give specific items needed (ask for specifics if they don’t give them)
  10. Be a listening ear, and ask how things are going
  11. Avoid complaining or reinforcing negative feelings about the process or the birthparents (it’s taking too long, why didn’t that caseworker do something different, etc. etc.)
  12. Allow an adoptive parent to express their frustrations, but respond supportively, “I cannot imagine how hard that is”  “I’m praying for you”  “Is there anything I can do to help?”  
  13. Pray more, for the child’s heart and transition into the new home, for the grief process, for healing, for whatever God places on your heart
  14. Allow the child to tell their own story IF they want to, in their own time (avoid asking either the child or parents for details, allow them to share as much as they feel is right)
  15. Offer babysitting, and other help you can think of, no matter the age of the child, or age of the children currently in the home
  16. Give attention equally to children in the home.  There is the temptation to “ooh” and “ahh” over the adopted child and others in the family feel left out.  
  17. Celebrate with families who are adopting in any loving or creative way you can think of: cards, letters, notes, making phone calls and remembering special days in special ways (the list is endless).
  18. Remember that every adoption is unique, just like the children who are adopted, and so no two adoptions are alike.  Make no assumptions.  
  19. When in doubt, ask what would be most helpful