It was late on the second day of Summit, but the crowd trying to cram into the large breakout room for Dr. Karyn Purvis’ session at Summit VI grew so big that the workshop had to relocate to the main stage area to accommodate everyone. Clearly, the class offering had touched a need. Its description in the program read, “Understand the significant emotional, social and other issues faced by orphans and what it takes to build lasting, loving connections with them.”
The simple truth is that alongside the deep joys of adoption, significant challenges are part of the picture as well. The toughest of these often center on difficulties faced in building a strong parent-child connection, especially when the adopted child comes from an institutional setting or has faced other trauma.
I’m thrilled that Dr. Purvis has teamed up with Michael and Amy Monroe (also very well-received presenters at Summit) to release the new “Created to Connect” study guide to help adoptive families on these issues. As their website describes, this free(!) downloadable resource “is designed to help adoptive and foster parents better understand how to build strong and lasting connections with their children, and is ideal for use in small groups as well as by individuals or couples.”
What’s also tremendously heartening is to see how this new resource both confirms and will help enable the deepening of the Christian adoption and orphan care movement. A few years ago, adoption advocates often fell into merely “cheerleading” for adoption, extolling its virtues while glossing over the more complex questions and potential challenges involved. Today, I’m consistently seeing something much deeper: affirming wholeheartedly both the beauty of adoption and the patience and sacrifices often required along the way.
This new study guide is a powerful tool that church adoption and foster care ministries can use to build from “adoption cheerleading” to a robust, church-wide vision that prepares families fully for adoption…and then serves and supports them along a life-long journey.