Adopting Joy

May 27, 2015

soup joyAdopted families, like those formed exclusively by birth are fundamentally the same: parents and children love and are committed to one another forever. But our journey included more twists, turns, and an array of “intermediaries” (social workers, lawyers, etc.) than in the creation of a biological family.

When we write our blog Growing Intentional Families Together, GIFT family services intentionally focuses on the total adoption experience. We know that adoptive families who have the courage to “see” the entire scope of adoption will reap huge benefits. We move beyond the fairytale, get real and deal with the reality that fills our homes. Neither parent nor child needs to play a role of perfection. They savor the blessings and then gird themselves for any challenges. More importantly, these children and parents enjoy the freedom to be authentically themselves—warts and all.

By acknowledging and welcoming the entire spectrum of adoption-related emotions and experiences, these parents become the safe harbor which their children seek. Children turn to parents for refuge with all of their adoption-related thoughts, feelings and question. Wrapped in the comforting knowledge that the painful parts are not taboo; children understand their parents are strong enough to hear it all, to hold it all, and to accept it all. With a sigh of relief, kids understand it’s okay to reveal/admit their struggles so parents can help shoulder the challenges as well as celebrate the pleasures of being and adoptive family.

So yes, we recognize that adoption is imperfect but in today’s blog we choose to focus on the joy that grows in adoption. There are many and they are profound, soul-shaping and transformational. We turn to an uplifting, poignant book: Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Joy of Adoption. Like all of the books in the Chicken Soup franchise, this collection succeeds at tugging heart-strings. I burned through several tissues as I read through the stories. As the title advertises, this is a book which focuses exclusively on the joys associated with adoption. It does not try to be a complete picture of the total adoption experience. The stories immerse the reader in events and moments that amaze, confound and touch the reader’s heart.

Its strong religious slant illustrates the deeply held beliefs of the authors and the strength which their faith provided along the way to adopting their children. Whether or not readers see the hand of God in the forces that brought families together, they will still be moved by the depth of emotion, commitment and the effort that people dedicated to accomplish the outcome. To bring home their child/ren, some parents overcame mountains of paperwork. Some besieged government officials, others enrolled the help of high level military officers. Dogged persistence weaves throughout the collection as parents determined that nothing would impede success. They crossed seas, continents and expended astounding effort, often strung across years of waiting—all in pursuit of a child in need of a family. Their child. Their family.

Take some time to savor The Joy of Adoption. Feed your spirit, fill your emotional tank and remind yourself of the yearning that drove your decision to adopt and the  overwhelming joy you felt when you became an adoptive family. Then return to handle and overcome any challenges. For those contemplating adoption, this book will inspire and encourage you during the arduous and complicated process of adoption.

The publisher has offered a free copy to one of our readers. Please enter your name in the comment on section here and on our Facebook page. Share with us your thoughts about this book and/or your favorite adoption-themed book.We will choose one random winner. on Wednesday, June 10, 2015


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