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Meet the Missionary with A Huge Heart for Adoption

My Journey Into the World of Adoption, Karen Springs

 My journey into the world of adoption began exactly 17 years ago with a visit to an orphanage, a world away from my middle-class American life. It was early November 2004 and I’d arrived in Kyiv, Ukraine, six weeks earlier for what was intended to be an eight-month postcollege ministry adventure. I was twenty-three years […]

Caustions About the Word Special

One Word Adoptive Parents Must Avoid

Whenever I teach this point during a training, many parents get upset. I wonder why. Are they offended that they’re saying the wrong word? Are they embarrassed, like someone caught with their pants down? Or, are they ticked off because they supposedly know better than anyone what the child needs…and how the child feels?” Really? Is it about the correctness of the word or how he feels and reacts when singled out?

How to Know Your Child's Special Needs

The Special Needs of Many Adopted Kids

Many adopted children have special needs that adoptive, first, and foster parents must learn  in order to become their child’s #1 cheerleader.

Use this list as needed and as age-appropriate for discussing special needs with your child. You might say, “An adopted person wrote a list of her special needs. Would you be interested in seeing it? I’m curious if you identify with any of the needs that are mentioned.”

business calligraphy close up composition

My Take On Adoption Reform

Unfortunately, the subject of escalating stress between prospective and new moms isn’t discussed by the majority of adoption agencies, child protective services, or adoption professionals. Some agencies are required by State law to provide this type of education and preparation, but for others, it’s too scary to broach the topic. What adoption professional is brave enough to tell prospective parents that their child may reject not only their love, but them? Isn’t this action like throwing a bucket of cold water on the adoptive parent’s desire to adopt? And, do prospective parents really want to hear harsh possibilities? In my research with 50 adoptive moms, the answer is a bold yes.

Adoption Freedom Podcast

Good News for the World of Adoption Via Podcast

My new podcast-20 THINGS ADOPTION-announces good news for the world of adoption! Adoptive moms and traumatized adoptees can now find freedom–adoptees from their painful past and adoptive moms from their painful self (you know, the self that reminds you you’ll never have what it takes to meet the needs of your adopted child). As an adult adoptee in her seventh decades of life, I experienced this freedom nearly three years ago. You see…I was painted into a corner circumstantially and emotionally. Someone in my current life wounded me in a way I didn’t deserve and I hated that person. Through research I learned that I could either forgive the person me or go to the Stress Center. The hate was so strong and I couldn’t get out of the situation, like I was squeezed in a vice. 

A Birth Grandfather's Letter

A Birth Grandfather’s Goodbye Letter

My son and his beautiful girlfriend conceived you out of marriage. As parents we loved the two of them and hoped they might marry, but at ages sixteen and eighteen it seemed unwise. Our children wanted to make the foolish, but understandable choice to abort their unplanned pregnancy without telling us. When they revealed their secret, we parents assisted them for a time, even to the point of taking your birthmother to a nearby town for a procedure. We couldn’t follow through with our sin—it was too painful for us all. Through God’s strength, your parents and the parents of both your birthmother and birthfather chose to see you through birth and adoption.

Mike-Retha-me

What Scared My Adoptive Parents

Who can even imagine how Retha felt? Perhaps, like a bucket of ice water was thrown on her? She probably shook in shock, like anyone when something unfathomable happened. Where was Mike? Was he holding her close? Knowing him for a lifetime, he was probably running for the back bedroom. And, there Retha was. All alone. No one to help her, no one who had the presence of mind to hold her close, even my grandmother.

photo of man looking on child

Cheat Sheet for Talking Adoption

What comes to mind when you think about initiating a conversation with your child about his birth family? Do you feel defensive, like the birth family is the enemy to be avoided at all  costs? Do you feel sad, and does your lip begin to quiver at the thought of their possible presence in your child’s life? Do you fear your child will love them more than he loves you? If so, this section is especially for you. Kids are experts at reading body language. You can’t pull the wool over their eyes. If you are upset about something and trying to hide it, they will sense it.

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Why I’m “Pro-Adoption”

In order to communicate this foundational truth, I’m using two words: relinquishment and adoption. When the First Mother signs off parenting rights, the term “relinquished” is apropos. This word refers to pre-adoption pain and trauma. However, when your child is placed, this is adoption, and it is positive, for it provides a forever home for an orphaned child. Of course, there are bad actors amongst adoptive and foster parents. But, adoption itself is positive. Adoption doesn’t mean a certain set of societal professions arrange it, but instead, it means that the homeless child is legally placed in a home where parenting is provided. For example, the adoption can be a lawyer(s) arranging the legalities, family members stepping up to parent, or foster parents adopting through DCS.

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Adoptees Suffer Phantom Pain

Adoptive and foster parents, would you consider the possibility of phantom pain in regard to your adopted child’s relinquishment wound? A great example of an amputee with phantom pain is Amy Purdy, the Olympian whose legs were amputated from the knees down. The location of pain for an amputee is the body, brain, and spirit. […]