The Blessings of Adoption

When I first started Mrs. Tips I had written a post saying I wouldn't post on Sundays. But my friend Linda over at Little Family Fun writes a spiritual post on Sundays. Imitation is the highest form of a compliment, right? So this new development on Mrs. Tips is because I want to be like Linda when I grow up!

The last couple of weeks have given me a lot to contemplate concerning infertility, adoption and the such.

We visited my parents over Mother's day and my childhood friend's older sister was home visiting her dad and had her two daughters - both of which they adopted as infants (the oldest is about 5 years old) and the youngest is just a few months old!

In our monthly Relief Society weekday meeting about 2 weeks ago (Relief Society is the women's organization for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many of the congregations throughout the world have monthly weekday meetings where the women can fellowship with one another), the president asked a panel of sisters to share how they coped with the trials they had or are currently going through. The first sister to share her thoughts has a son, but has been unable to conceive or stay pregnant with a second child. It was really insightful for me. I'm sure I didn't express properly to her how helpful her comments were for me afterwards, but her insight gave me more insight into what family members and friends who have struggled with infertility have gone through. She talked about how she felt 'broken' as a woman that she hadn't been successful in staying pregnant again. My dear friend Toni shared with me once about her inability to stay pregnant with a 2nd child that she got to the point where she didn't even want to get pregnant again because she didn't want to go through yet another miscarriage. I think I have a better idea how and why a woman would feel 'broken' that she couldn't conceive or stay pregnant - especially if she had been able to carry a healthy child to term previously! I still don't truly understand what it is like, but I think I 'get it' better now. 
Anyway, she and her husband traveled to Russia to adopt a little girl and when they got there they discovered that the girl the adoption agency had told them about wasn't really an orphan and wasn't available to adopt - so all the money and red tape they went through was for nothing since they couldn't bring a child home with them. How frustrating that would be!

The rest of the panel included an older sister who shared about her husband's passing 2 years ago, another woman talked about being a military wife as her husband was deployed for most of the year after their twins turned 1, another woman shared her experiences of being a divorcee and lonely and the 5th woman shared her experiences of having a special needs child. The purpose of this activity was to help us develop what the Book of Mormon prophet Alma taught his people, "having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another" (Mosiah 18: 21). I feel the activity fulfilled it's purpose!

Then last week I was reading my friend Emily's COTA blog for her special needs son Patrick she and her husband adopted about 2-1/2 years ago. He is currently waiting for a small bowel transplant. Reading her blog about all the medical problems their son faces as he waits for an organ to become available caused me to say to myself, "God certainly knew which adoptive parents to send Patrick to - not only were they capable and willing to take care of and adopt a special needs child, but Brian has a much better insurance plan that we do - we wouldn't be able to afford a special needs child on our current health insurance!"

That led me to think about all the adoptive families I know and how for many of them adoption was a long struggle as they either waited for a child to be placed with them or children they thought they were going to adopt they ended up not being able to adopt for whatever reason.... the following is just a short list of all the friends I can think of who have been through this: a family I used to babysit trying to foster or adopt 2 brothers and it falling through, my German exchange partner's sister and her husband trying to adopt a German baby (which apparently it's even harder to adopt babies in most Western European countries than it is in the States), my adopted Mary Kay Director trying to adopt 2 brothers and having it fall through, my friend's sister and her husband, my friend Toni and her husband trying to adopt after all of her miscarriages and having it fall through. I think most prospective adoptive parents go through this as they wait months and sometimes years for a child to be placed with them. They experience a lot of heartbreak and sorrow as expectations are not fully realized.

But then, as long and drawn out as the waiting process is - it seems that as soon as a child is born that is supposed to go to a certain adoptive family - it happens pretty quickly from the stories I've heard. I know the adoption stories for all of the people I've listed above save my exchange partner's sister... and EVERY SINGLE one of them had it happen really quick and unexpected that the birth parents/grandparents had chosen them to be the adoptive parents for their baby. Some of these families are LDS and some of them are not. I've realized it doesn't matter the religion, only that these parents are the ones the Lord wants to raise these spirit children whose birth parents do one of the most unselfish things any parent could do, give their child to another couple to raise and provide for that baby a life the birth mother and/or father couldn't give to that child.

So thinking about all of these families this last week, it made me wonder about a couple in our last congregation. They have been married for over 15 years and haven't been able to have children. About 18 months ago or so they finished all the requirements to be able to adopt through LDS Family Services (the same adoption agency that Patrick's birth mother used to find and choose Emily & Brian)... and I thought to myself this last weekend, "I wonder when they will be blessed with a new addition to their family."

Lo and behold this last Tuesday when I was on Facebook a mutual friend of ours posted this as his status: "Just found out that people we absolutely love received an adopted baby yesterday!" He didn't say which couple this was, but I suspected it was the couple I was thinking of. A few hours later I found out it was the exact same couple I was thinking of! I was so ecstatic and over the moon happy for them that they finally have a child of their own! And for their new baby that he will be with both a mother and a father who love and cherish him and that once the adoption is finalized, he will be sealed to his parents in one of LDS temples for time and all eternity. He will always be their son and that relationship will not change at death. 

I know it is very important for children to be sealed to their parents. I am sealed to my parents and my children are sealed to Tips and I. Life wasn't a piece of cake for me growing up, but I recognize now that it was made much easier because my parents were faithful to the covenants they made to God and each other in the temple. I am so grateful for the Holy Temple and that families can be together forever because of Jesus Christ's Atonement! It is just like one of my favorite Primary Children's Songs, "Families Can Be Together Forever", says, "Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can."


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