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Category Archives: Adoption



This is a guest editorial from our statewide partners Abiding Love Adoptions in celebration of National Adoption Month. For more information, contact Vicki Colls and Carrie Murray Nellis.

Delving into one’s family tree is a favorite pastime for all peoples throughout the world! Ancestry.com has sold over 15 million kits.  Many older adoptees, placed for adoption during the closed adoption era, are using Ancestry.com to locate birth parents and birth families with great success. Most everyone…..E V E R Y O N E wants to know more about their roots! Therefore, it begs the question, why does closed or semi-open adoption still have a seat at the table?

At Abiding Love, we believe wholeheartedly in the concept of One Big Family (#onebigfamily) created through Open Adoption. Research shows the devasting effects in which closed and semi-open adoptions (a tiny step above closed) have on Adoptees and Birth Parents. At Abiding Love, 98% of our adoptions are wide open, sharing names, phone numbers, emails, and visits. The other 2% are different because it was the desire of the Birth Mother at the time, with the hope she will change her mind to have an Open Adoption in the future, and the adoptive parents are ready when she does.

Abiding Love walks with an Expectant Mother through her pregnancy, delivery, and post-adoption (hands-on; face to face interaction). We come to the Expectant Mother; she does not have to worry about coming to us. Once a woman comes into our lives, she becomes a member of the Abiding Love Family to always be treasured and loved—1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years down the road—Never Alone, Never Forgotten, Always Loved. Abiding Love’s advocates stand in the gap for the expectant mother, ensuring she knows her rights, understands the legal paperwork, and signs a legally enforceable open adoption agreement. The legally binding open adoption agreement is the one listed in Georgia’s Adoption Code and ensures the original open adoption the birth mother agrees to is enforced. 

One of the many things that makes Abiding Love different, is that we have NO WAIT LIST.  For us, we believe that in order for us to truly be advocating for an Expectant Parent, we cannot have a list of Prospective Adoptive Parents waiting in the wings to adopt her child.  Likewise, Prospective Adoptive Parents should not be limited to one agency to work with.  While we provide Home Study services, after we complete the Home Study we encourage Prospective Adoptive Parents to work with Adoption Consultants.    

Our passion, our mission is to love women through one of the most challenging times of their lives. Adoption is not for everyone, and there are times where the women we work with choose to parent. In these situations, we are called to be their cheerleaders.  There are other times that adoption is the best option and plan for the Mother and her child, and Abiding Love is there to advocate for her through it all. Abiding Love is known for being present post-adoption through support groups and professional counseling. Again, once a member of Abiding Love’s family, always a member. 

Want to learn more, or are you an expectant mother needing help? Visit our website at www.abidingloveadopt.com, call or text 1-800-277-0748; or call Vicki at 912-660-8227.

Running Toward Special Needs Adoption

We are blessed to be able to publish this piece written for us by Stephen Story – Guest Author, Adoptive Father, and Executive Director of Covenant Care Adoptions.

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Creating a vibrant culture of life is about not only the unborn, but also the many other at-risk people in our community. Some of the most vulnerable in our midst are children with special needs who are waiting to be adopted.

Those of us who are Christians are uniquely equipped to engage in the high and noble calling of special needs adoption. We see the image of God in the face of every human being, particularly those with special needs. The Savior we follow and the gospel we affirm give us insight into how to welcome and care for those many would consider to be “the least of these.”

Counting the Cost

In the world of adoption, “special needs” often implies “a child for whom it may be difficult to find a family.” Physical or mental disability, a history of abuse or neglect, drug exposure, a complicated social history, unusual medical conditions—these are children who will need more attention, care, and patience than most. Sadly, many of them wait year after year for a family.

Those who follow Jesus should be at the forefront of efforts to care for, support, and ultimately adopt these children. But there are real reasons that not many people adopt a child with special needs. The Bible we read doesn’t gloss over difficult realities, and neither should we. It’s essential that we acknowledge what a challenging road this can be.

My family’s experience with special needs adoption revolves around the youngest of our three children. His story is one of premature birth, medical fragility, extended hospitalization, physical disability, developmental delay, and autism. We love our son deeply, and being his parents can be absolutely exhausting.

Deciding to adopt him was perhaps the most difficult decision my wife and I have been asked to make. Having said yes, we were catapulted into the immediate and total upheaval of nearly every aspect of our lives.

While the oft-cited statistics about special needs families and divorce may be somewhat exaggerated, there is no doubt that special needs parents experience incredible strain on their marriages and their lives in general.

Our family sticks out like a sore thumb everywhere we go. Our days are planned around a never-ending stream of therapy sessions and doctors appointments. Money is often tight. Exhaustion is the norm, especially for my wife. And these are not transient challenges; they may very well remain for a lifetime.

As Christians we have a faith and we follow a Savior that demands truth. And the truth is, special needs adoption can be really hard.

Embracing brokenness

My wife, in great insight and wisdom, once observed, “We are all broken. Some of us just wear our brokenness on the outside.”

That’s one way to explain what it can mean to have special needs. It’s a person who wears their brokenness on the outside for all to see, instead of just on the inside like most people. (Although many special needs are unseen, to be sure.) Brokenness is scary and we tend to run from it. But special needs adoption demands the exact opposite.

Most special needs parents did not choose to live with such brokenness. They gave birth with all the hopes and dreams and assumptions of a healthy, typical child who would lead a typical life filled with the joys and occasional challenges that come with typical childhood. But things played out differently, and now they live in a world they never expected.

But special needs adoption is different because it has the added element of choice. You don’t have to do this! To some degree, you know what you’re getting in to. You’re being asked to consciously opt in for suffering.

Adoption is a lifelong commitment, so it demands a full-hearted embrace of a child’s brokenness. The parent who thinks, “This kid is a mess right now, but I’ll adopt her and fix the problems and then everything will be normal,” is mistaken. Adoption means stepping into a broken situation and accepting the child’s brokenness as your own.

So why would you do it? Why would you choose to enter into a situation that is guaranteed to be challenging and that could well last for years or a lifetime?

This is the crux of special needs adoption, and it is the area where Christians are especially suited to lead. The good news of Jesus pulls us to say yes to hard situations we would normally not consider apart from the Holy Spirit living in us. The good news of Jesus calls us to run toward brokenness, not away from it. Remarkably, it’s in the midst of brokenness that we find Jesus.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40 ESV)

When you give of yourself to care for one of “the least of these”—when you adopt one of the weakest among us—it is as if you are offering that care to Jesus himself. In ways that we don’t fully understand, Jesus particularly identifies with the weak, the vulnerable, and the undesirable. Jesus is watching when we care for these people. He promises to reward us in eternity.

Daydreaming about eternity

This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV)

We love our son exactly the way he is. In many respects we’ve come to love his special needs. His feeding tube, the ways he communicates non-verbally, his obsession with picking up and throwing shoes playfully—they are all part of what makes him so unique and loveable and such a treasured member of our family.

But our faith tells us that those things will one day fade away. Things are not the way they are supposed to be. One day, God will restore the world to what he originally created it to be: a flawless paradise of perfect communion with him. We rejoice in that hope and look forward to that day! We can’t imagine the joy of knowing our son in a new and perfect way when he is free of the brokenness that today marks so much of his life.

In “The Life We Never Expected,” special needs dad Andrew Wilson refers to this as “daydreaming about eternity” and writes movingly:

Like the spring thaw, turning sheets of ice into fresh running water, the power of God will extend to every square inch of this world and turn every curse into a blessing. The tube-fed will enjoy home cooking. The wheelchair-bound will go waterskiing and climb mountains. Those who cannot speak will sing and describe and discuss. There will be no need for words like “syndrome” or “degenerative” and no place for DNA testing, Epilim, Ritalin, hydrotherapy, or physical therapy. […] O autism, where is your victory, O cerebral palsy, where is your sting? (p. 135). ( Wilson, A. & R. (2016). The life we never expected: Hopeful reflections on the challenges of parenting children with special needs. Wheaton: Crossway.)

Special needs adoption is hard! But we who are Christians do it because it helps real people in need, because it honors our Savior, and because embracing brokenness is what Jesus has called us to do. We do it because we know it is “light, momentary affliction” that will one day fade away to be replaced by a perfected world with Jesus at the center.

We have been entrusted with this hope; let’s share it with the most marginalized and vulnerable in our community. Let’s run toward, not away from, adopting children with special needs!

For more information: The Georgia Department of Health and Human Services lists online profiles of children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted.

The author is the director of Covenant Care Adoptions, a domestic infant adoption agency that offers adoption as an alternative to abortion.

 

 

Adoption – A Loving Option

Talli Moellering – A Beacon of Hope

Guest Blog by Talli Moellering

As the leader of a Women’s Clinic there are times I’m with the general public and I’ll hear comments that really frustrate me. One of the highest on my list is when someone is talking about being adopted or choosing adoption as an option and they use words or phrases like “gave me up,” “put me up,” “gave we away,” “I was unwanted so my mom gave me to another family,” “my birth mom was messed up so she needed to get rid of me.”

Please know, I don’t want to discount your feelings. Your feelings and your experience is real and part of your story.

BUT! Abortion currently ranks as the #1 option over parenting or placing in our country. Why? Our culture. Perception. Lies! Words! Phrases! “Convenience”

(Parenting ranks #2)

There’s several reasons why the adoption number is so low but one main reason is our culture, the leaders of our community, and individuals speaking in front of thousands using terms like “she gave me up.”

Every adoption placement has a story. Some good. Some hard. But if we want to change the perception of adoption, and we do, for the sake of the unborn whose lives are in danger, those speaking in front of thousands need to select their words wisely.

Placing a child for adoption takes courage. Placing a child for adoption is selfless. Choosing to place a child from an unplanned pregnancy is an act of love. It’s not an unwanted pregnancy, someone wants this baby. Someone has been waiting for this baby.

What if a leader speaking in front of thousands would say, yes, my mom was messed up so she chose a very courageous, selfless act, she chose life, and she lovingly placed me into the hands of a wonderful family that could provide and care for me. A family that desperately wanted me. My guess, they had been praying over your arrival for years.

If it were said like this, perception would begin to change. The young girl in the audience dealing with an unplanned pregnancy would have just heard a positive related to adoption. Wow! Now she might consider it.

Come on leaders. Let’s learn positive, appropriate verbiage. Help us, the leaders in this field, on the front line, at least get the courageous option of adoption on the table.

It wasn’t the focus of the message but it was still heard, I would assume someone heard a negative connotation. I pray she walks into one of our clinics so we can share the beauty of the adoption option.

___________________________
Talli Moellering, the Director of A Beacon of Hope. Talli is a certified Sexual Risk Avoidance educator, a Post Abortion Recovery Specialist with additional certification as a Crisis Pregnancy Coach through the American Association of Christian Counselors.  She has worked within the field of sexual health and unplanned pregnancy for 20 years and travels regularly around the Southeast sharing the mission of A Beacon of Hope and speaking to parents and teens. Talli is the mom of three daughters ages 23, 20, and 17.  She and her husband David have been married for 25 years.”

 

See our two-part series from Adoption Month last year with Stephen Story of Covenant Care Adoption.
You can find it here