The Joy and Pain of Adoption—And Help Along the Way

The personal story attached here, A Song Almost Heard, left me almost breathless when I read it.  Poignant.  Raw.  Lovely.  Anguished.

A recurring theme of this blog is that adoption—as well as other ways of loving orphans—can be as costly as it is beautiful.  It mirrors the road Jesus walked to rescue us.  We see this reflection not only in the “joy set before us” but also, sometimes, in the cross he endured to reach it.

This story by Tonia Peckover describes that reality potently.  I even grappled with whether or not it’d be best to share it.  After all, I know so many adoptive parents who’ve had little taste of the ache Tonia describes, and many biological parents who know it all too well.  But ultimately, I believe the energetic and growing Christian adoption movement must always hold fiercely to what she expresses.  This is not only to prepare us for challenges we may face as adoptive families and churches.  But especially to remind us of the Gospel-like journey that each of us are invited to take in following Christ, whether via adoption or otherwise.

I’m very thankful that Summit VII this year will carry a significantly increased focus on the challenges encountered in adoption—and how to address them with wisdom and grace.   This will include workshops on connecting emotionally with children from difficult places by Dr. Karyn Purvis; preserving marriages through difficult adoptions by Dennis and Barbara Rainey; special needs adoptions, from HIV+ to deafness; keys for counseling adoptive parents for pastors and church leaders; straight talk on disruption; and much more.

Ultimately, I believe the support of adoptive families in painful times is the single most important issue facing the adoption movement.  If the church fails to become a place of transparency about the challenges and support amidst the difficulties, this now-vibrant movement will collapse.   But if we are faithful to address it boldly in wise, open and God-honoring ways, the beauty of all we see today will only be a spark of what we will see over decades to come!