It Will Never Be “Over”

Since adopting our kids from foster care, we have heard a number of (mostly) encouraging comments, but one in particular invites the opportunity to clarify a common misconception. We’ve heard it more than once:

“I bet you’re so glad it’s over!”

This is, of course, in reference to the idea that we no longer have to wonder about or worry about what the court may decide to do on behalf of our children. We are grateful to have some finality in that regard, and we understand the intention behind the comment, but we can’t help but shake our heads in wonder. You see, even though our days of weekly visits and monthly meetings are behind us for now, “it” is not over. Adoption is not an end, but a beginning. It will always be a part of our children’s story – and ours.

It seems the common assumption is that we’ll be relieved to be “free” of the biological families we’ve been sharing our kids with for so long now. After all, why wouldn’t we want to go on with our own lives without being subject to the inconvenience of extra family members and awkward situations?

Our state only offers “closed adoption” from foster care. This means that adoptive families have NO obligation to maintain contact of any kind with the biological families of their children. Biological family members do not retain any parental or familial rights once termination takes place, and that fate is further sealed when adoption takes place. Because of the trauma and safety concerns involved in many foster cases, this policy is important for protecting children and adoptive families, so we are grateful the state takes this conservative stance. Nonetheless, the idea of “closing” our adoption was contradictory to our purpose in becoming foster parents, and in opposition to what we believe is best for the kids (given the circumstances), so we have opted to seek an open relationship with their biological families. (I’ll write more about that in a future post).

To return to the original comment, we are not glad it’s over because it will never be over. Our children are adopted, and that is a beautiful part of their story that will forever complicate and enrich their lives.  We are extremely grateful for the privilege of adopting them, for the outpouring of love and support we have received from our family and friends, and for the gracious love and kindness their biological families have offered us. We remain committed to tell our kids their story with openness, honesty, and age-appropriateness. The truth may bring them pain, confusion, joy, gratitude, anger, or any number of other emotions that we will work through as they come; but come what may, we are in this together and we most certainly have only begun.

Sanctity of Human Life

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, and I am grateful to be able to unite with my church family and believers across the nation to pray for our country, and specifically, for the precious lives of the unborn. I am both heavy-hearted and reflective today.  Three years ago today, I was honored to share the testimony of a dear friend of mine during our Sanctity of Human Life service. Her birth mom was encouraged to have an abortion rather than to bear the inconvenience and shame of an unplanned pregnancy, but by God’s grace, she chose LIFE. Her choice didn’t just impact her, it impacted the beautiful family that adopted my sweet friend, and countless others who have been blessed to know them. We are inexpressibly grateful – not only that she chose LIFE, but also that they boldly agreed to share their story in the hopes that it would impact others. Little did I know that story would be the catalyst the Lord used to start us on our own journey into foster care and adoption. Three years ago at this time, I found myself wondering if the agency through which my friend’s adoption took place still existed and as I began searching, I found information that ultimately changed our lives. Not only did we shift from inquiring about adoption to being passionate advocates for foster care, but we also experienced the great joys and heartaches of becoming foster parents and then adopting. It is absolutely mind-blowing to think through the events of the past three years and all the Lord has done. We are grateful.

When I think about the “sanctity” of human life, my mind goes a thousand directions from the cradle to the grave, but the thought that weighs most heavily on me is the many tears shed with and for friends who faced the dreaded loss of an unborn child. The grief that accompanies such a loss is one I have only observed and shared through empathy with friends, both near and far. The men and women who have walked through miscarriage and stillbirth can attest to the heartache and sorrow of losing a child.

I am, admittedly, an idealist. I wish I could fix every problem and heal every hurt, and I find myself deeply burdened by the pain of others. Most recently, I’ve been saddened by the great division in our nation. Seeing people I love on both sides of nearly every issue only intensifies the situation. On this day that marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, however, I find myself baffled that SO MANY people are calling for “rights” to freely end the lives of precious babies. The only difference between these babies and the ones my friends grieve the loss of – is whether or not their parents wanted them. My friends miscarried babies, but people regularly abort “fetuses” of the same age. The loss of a heartbeat marked the end of life for the unborn babies of my friends, yet the start of a heartbeat somehow doesn’t signal life to a large percentage of our population. The contradiction is heartbreaking. The two perspectives, irreconcilable.

The sanctity of human life is the idea that all lives are valuable. Yours. Mine. EVERYONE. When did your value begin? What about the value of your children? Did it start the day you were born, the day you became independent and able to live on your own, the day you FELT valuable?


It began the moment you were created.