Sometimes, we all feel rejected. Rejected by those we love or seek to love. Rejected socially or professionally. Adopted children can often have a continued sense of rejection.
How do we fit in and gain that sense of belonging? How do we endow a sense of belonging to our children and others?
What is a T.P.R.? It is a Termination of Parental Rights. It is what happens when a parent is unfit to care for a child and it becomes apparent their parental rights must cease so the child can find a new home. This allows the child to be adopted.
If we believe parents who abandon their children are criminal, what does it say that our churches abandon newborn babes in Christ? They are often neglected to fend for themselves, to find their own spiritual food, and raise themselves. This is an eternal crime!...
One of the struggles in adoption is connecting to your new children. As I have written before, the adoption process is easy compared to the living-together process. How do we connect? How do we build a healthy relationship?
Honestly, many times our adopted children have felt like "neighborhood kids" who don't go home. The reason is that we don't have the history of experiences to have a strong relationship. Interestingly, I found insight recently where I least expected it...
It is awesome to say that our son, Michael, asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior this weekend! Like with Savanna, he is adopted again, this time into God's forever family!
He told me on his own that he wanted to ask God into his life. When I asked him why he wanted this, he responded, "I remember all those stories of miracles Jesus did and how it helped people. But it also changed people's lives." I asked him what that meant for him. He responded, "Maybe it will change my life too." I asked him what it meant for God to be in his life. He responded, "I have to ask Him to be on the throne of my heart." ....
I've kept this a secret long enough. About two months ago, a man walked into the store where I worked. He needed a battery for his cell phone. The man was Chuck Norris!
It was quite exciting... Read on!
"God will not give you more than you can handle."
"God won't give you more than you can bear."
"God never puts on us more than we can stand."
Wanna bet?! If we could ask Job in the Bible if God will allow more into your life than you can stand, what would he say? My family will testify that we have been through more than we can handle on our own strength.
This cliche creates all sorts of problems for us in the church. It is unbiblical, impractical, and deadly to our relationship with God. This is why...
Handicap. Special Needs. Exceptional. Medically Fragile. There are different ways people try to label or explain situations like our daughter, Macayla. The designation is important as it keeps us aware, aware that everyone's needs are a little different.
Children like Macayla have uncommon needs. It is not common to need a feeding tube, wheelchair, or anticonvulsants. I guess that is why I prefer the term "special needs."
We are experiencing other uncommon needs. Adopted children struggle in ways that are uncommon in one sense, but in another sense, their needs are ones to which we can all relate....
This past week, our daughter Savanna was adopted again! Our kids went to WinShape Camp put on by Chic-fil-a. They had a blast and learned a lot about Christ and themselves. The theme this year was "Heart Castle" and they learned that their hearts are the throne room of their castle. The big question was, "Who is sitting on the throne of your heart?"
It was challenging to all three. They had to ask themselves if Christ was seated on their throne or if they were hogging the seat. Much to our joy, Savanna received Christ and trusted Him to forgive her sins. She admits that she is still struggling with letting Christ always sit on the throne of her heart, but we reassured her that is something we all struggle with.
Adoption bring challenges that are unique. There is much to work through for both the children and the parents. There is much conflict and counseling is a must for families that adopt. We have found that the best kind of counseling for our family is, well, family counseling. One-on-one has been very ineffective with our twins.
Our counselor was creative, and most importantly, shared a very similar worldview and faith to our own. She was great with the kids and us. I am having to write "was" because due to a situation in her life, our counselor had to change jobs and could no longer see us. But, she left us with some great directions...