When death of adoptive or foster parent is emminent, adoptee or fostered person fears being an orphan once more. That fear can be quenched by turning to God.

What If Our Adoptive or Foster Dad Dies?

Dad was dying.

My Daddio.

I had already said goodbye and he was deep in a coma.

The physician entered the deathbed room shouting in escalating tones: “Mr. Cook, Mr. Cook!”

And, suddenly he opened his eyes.

“Dad,”  I gasped.

“Mr. Cook, do you know who she is?” the physician asked.

For sure, he would know his only daughter. What delight would fill his heart as he got to see the one he thought the sun and moon revolved around. For sure, he would welcome one more embrace from her?

Without hesitation, he bolted out an emphatic, “No.”

Oh, no, oh, no. 

How could this be?

How could he say this to me?

Didn’t he know how wounded I would be?

I understood intellectually about other states of consciousness  but it still hurt to the core to be outwardly forsaken by Dad.

After a few hours, he was gone.

Deathbed Lesson

I buried the insidious deathbed fear until a recent counseling session and it was then that I learned about the term “the gaze.”

The gaze was the basis of Jesus’ and the Father’s relationship. He spent eternity gazing into the Father’s eyes, feeling that closeness, bonding, attachment, and intimacy.

Learners Dictionairy defines “gaze:” 

I love what the KJV Dictionary says:

  • to be astonished, and to see or look, that is, to fix the eye or to reach with the eye.
  • to fix the eyes and look steadily and earnestly; to look with eagerness or curiosity; as in admiration, astonishment, or in study.

Talk about attachment. Gazing” is the sign of bonding and attachment that adoptive and foster parents long for with their beloved children. It’s attachment extraordinaire. Blissful bonding.

We experience “the gaze” when bonding and attachment occur between adopted and fostered kids with their parents. Let’s face it, it is what parents long for with all their hearts…for their sake, but mostly for the sake of their children.

But, if we read the whole story about receiving the gaze, we know that Jesus chose to lose the gaze.  He experienced abandonment and rejection on the Cross by the Father.

But, why would Jesus do that?

For you and me.

He wanted us to experience the heavenly gaze.

The price he had to pay was his death, burial, and resurrection.

And because he paid the price in full for our sin, those who believe in Him won’t ever have to lose the gaze of the Father, or Him.

Gaze into His eyes, dear one.

It’s your privilege and you are worthy.

Even at the deathbed of our adoptive or foster parent, we can gaze into the Father’s eyes and know we are not alone.



2 responses to “What If Our Adoptive or Foster Dad Dies?”

  1. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    Jonie, thanks so much for sharing your experience and insight. I knew the post wouldn’t apply to a lot of people, but I always pray that it will help at least one. You’re it! xoxo

  2. Jonie Krugmire Avatar
    Jonie Krugmire

    Sherrie, thanks for your blog and this great article in particular! It helped me to understand & to put my thoughts and feelings on paper to honor my Dad’s memory!

    December 10, 2017

    Today is your birthday, Dad. . . . I miss you so much! You’ve been in Heaven now for almost 14 years and I want to thank you for being the Best Dad Ever! People would say that you were an honest and faithful man with great integrity (rare today!); a true gentleman. In your own words, you were “a gem!” However, you were so much more than that. You showed me what my Heavenly Father was like! Your years of sacrificial love, servanthood and faithfulness to my Mom and me were nothing short of miraculous! I never EVER doubted that I was loved! I would always joke that you and Mom HAD to love me because I was your only child! Once I started to teach school, I quickly realized that being loved and cherished was NOT a given in every child’s life! People often told me that when my name was mentioned, your eyes would twinkle with delight! When they were rolling me into surgery, those same eyes told me that you would have gladly taken my place! When you had that TIA scare and couldn’t find the right word for my name, your eyes told me that you KNEW me!

    The “gaze” was the basis of the relationship between Jesus and His Father. They were intimately bonded together as one. Knowing Jesus meant knowing His Father, as well. Their eyes were fixed on each other with interest, eagerness, complete agreement, admiration, wonder, concern and love. “Gazing” is the bonding and attachment that is meant to occur between child and parent. But Jesus chose to give up “the gaze of His Father” for me. On the cross, Jesus bore my sin. Since God is perfectly holy, He can not tolerate sin. Thus, “the gazing relationship” between Jesus and His Father was severed as Jesus took my sin upon Himself and died to pay the full price and penalty for my sin. Jesus wanted me to experience this “heavenly gaze” as an adopted child of His Father!

    Thanks, Dad! Growing up with your “gaze” and your sacrificial love has given me a firm foundation for the relationship with my Heavenly Father! HAPPY BIRTHDAY & MERRY CHRISTMAS, DAD! Until we’re all together, again . . .love & hugs to both you & Mom, from Your Grateful Daughter and your Precious, Adopted Granddaughter,
    Carey Lynn!

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