Adoption: Pro-Life Follow Through

We attended our first foster care support group this past week. The group is part of a ministry at a church in our area. It’s intended for anyone who is a foster parent, who is an adoptive parent, those who have been adopted, or anyone who has involvement in the child welfare system. It was awesome and we left feeling so encouraged in our goals.

We got to hear Tony Dungy’s wife, Lauren, speak about their experiences with the five children that they have adopted. She was a great speaker and we really enjoyed hearing about how God has provided for them as the care for the children He chose to give them. She also answered questions about how their daily life works with such a large family. Mrs. Dungy read a verse from Ephesians, which was familiar to me since I’m studying Ephesians right now…

Ephesians 1:5
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

My big take-away from the night was the reminder of how important adoptive families are! We hear the arguments for being pro-ife all the time… but what happens to the unwanted babies after they are born? Who will take care of the child after convincing the mother not to have the abortion? Is that child any less important now than it was in the womb?

I had never really thought it all the way through from that perspective. I’m pro-life. It was painful to hear the statistics of how many (thousands) babies were aborted in the last year, just in our county. But it does make an interesting question as to who would have cared for that many babies had they been born.

Pro life

It seems to me that if you’re pro-life, maybe there is something more you could do to be pro-adoption. Not that every family is called to adopt, but there are lots of other ways to make a difference in a unwanted kid’s life.

We’re so excited to see what’s in store as we take on one of our biggest challenges yet!

  • Megan Murray

    Beautifully said, as always. I love that you and Jesse are both challenging others to look at their own views a little more carefully.  The statistics are quite saddening, and I’m so glad that you two are working to change the lives of as many children as you can.  We are, as you know, doing IVF for our first child, but after that we are seriously looking at either fostering or adopting another child (given my health holds out).  I don’t think my body is capable of doing pregnancy twice, but I have also always wanted 3 or 4 children.  It sounds like a perfect way for us. I can’t wait to continue to follow you both on this journey.  As I said to Jesse, I give you both so much credit for doing such a wonderful service in this world.  You two are inspiring – pure and simple.  

  • Ginger

    First, congrats on entering into this journey, and I’m so glad you already have a support group to lean on because that is a critical piece of this process. We adopted our first child internationally, and after going on to have two more biologically, we are now just days away from being certified for the foster-adopt process.
    I agree & have always been frustrated by the fact that many are quick to say that they are pro-life, but that’s where they stop…those words don’t mean a whole lot if there is no action behind them (and I don’t consider standing in front of a clinic with signs to be action). True that not everyone can (or should) adopt, but there are so very many ways to care for children in need and support adoption (child sponsorships, mentoring, contributions to a family’s adoption fund, etc).
    As you enter into this blessed journey, I would challenge you to begin to choose to focus on more positive language when referring to the children in need of alternative care.  Its easy for us to judge birth families (I’ve worked alongside Child Protective Services in the past so I’ve seen first hand the situations that lead to a child’s removal, so I know its hard not to judge) for what are often poor & destructive behaviors that cause harm to the very children we love, care, & pray for, making it hard to see some of the causes for that path they are on.  But its healthier for everyone invovled to let it go & thank God that there are those of us able & willing to step in to protect the children when they need it.  Words like “unwanted” have very negative connotations that can wreak havoc on the already fragile self esteem of a child who, for whatever reason (the reasons can be so very varied & complicated & rooted way bag in their own difficult childhoods), could not have their needs met by their birth family.  Even a child who has been left in a garbage heap is wanted by the Father (& Mother) of us all, our First family. I found many adoptive families, as well as several books about creating lifebooks, to be very helpful in becoming more sensitive & in choosing healthier language to describe difficult & painful circumstances (for example, rather than tell my first child he was “abandoned”, I’ve chosen to explain to him that he was left in a safe place where there were caring people able to keep him safe & meet his needs while they helped to find him an adoptive family).  Of course there are situations that are nearly impossible to explain in a way that isn’t negative & its critical to be honest with our children about the history we know of (age appropriately of course), but often we can make it less harsh based on careful word selection. 
    Many blessings on your journey!

  • Kristin

    Congrats on being so close to being certified to foster/adopt! That’s awesome!

    I certainly didn’t mean to sound negative when I said unwanted children. My intention was to say that a child in the system, for any reason, is still of great importance to God and therefore should be important to us too. I might need to reword that sentence.

  • Kristin

    We wish the two of you all the best as you continue with IVF. Personally, I am not brave enough to put myself through everything involved with that so I truly admire your determination to do it.

  • Ginger

    Sorry Kristin, I hope my comment didn’t sound harsh…after becoming an adoptive parent & learning more positive adoptive language, I think I’m more “hyper aware”, but I simply try to share what I’ve learned wherever I can because I’m thankful to those who have taken the time to help enlighten me along the way. Its been a journey for me for sure, and one that continues to challenge me! Blessings again!

  • Kristin

    No, I’m not offended and I do appreciate you taking the time to leave the comment. I really didn’t ponder the word too much when I wrote it out so I probably do need to be more careful with language like that… especially once we have a child(ren) in our care. Thanks for your input!

  • Kristen

    Dear Kristen,
    My husband and I were foster parent to a beautiful baby boy.  He came into our family when he was just shy of two months old.  He was placed by Dept of child services. He has a broken in two femur and crack ribs (old and new).  We gave him a lot of love and wanted to keep him.  However, DCS had different plans and wanted him to go back to his birth mother and her live in boyfriend.  We expressed our concern to everyone would could in the system.  I was not comfortable with him going back.  Unfortunately the judge decided he must go back with his at 10 months of age.  That was in November.  He has now went on to be with the Lord Jan 20th of this year. Just two days after his 1 st birthday.  The DCS didn’t even call to tell us we heard it through the prosecutor. I got to see him at the hospital, but he was already brain dead.  We loved that child like our own.  Please be very discerning when dealing with the state; they do not put the children first. I pray that your walk through foster care is not as hard, but know there is challenges .  I want you and your husband to fight for these precious children.   We have had 13 children in our home and I’ve loved them all.  I hope this does not upset you I just need the truth to come out hopefully in Christian love.  Please pray for all the children in foster care and was who are abused and for the child in our church who are hurting over this and my own children.  

  • Blair Allen

    So true!  I’ve been taking the a class at church called Orphanology.  It’s great!  Our church recently partnered with the Lifesong organization where we can donate to help other couples in our church with their adoption expenses! 

  • Jenni @ Simply Prudent

    Amen!  My husband and I are hoping to adopt in the near future. :)

  • Kristin

    Thanks for sharing your story with me. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Kristin

    Orphanology! That sounds fascinating! What an awesome way to reach out to those who are being called to adopt.

  • Kristin

    That’s awesome, Jenni!

  • [email protected]

    Thanks for posting! I am pro-life AND pro-adoption! My husband and I are hoping to start the adoption journey in the near future as well. As a 4 year infertile couple, valuing life…we are open to whatever God has planned for us and hope to encourage other to do the same! Can’t wait to see where He takes us (and you!)

  • Ronnie Sharpe

    Love it! I’m so excited for the two of you.

  • Kristin

    Sounds great! You’ll have to update me as your journey progresses.

  • Ingrid

    I was just thinking about this the other day.  I am pro-life as well but am I willing to adopt?  What about all those babies?  It is a great question to ask and challenge the church to think about.  “We” preach pro-life but are we actively involved in caring for those unwanted babies?  Great post!

  • Kristin

    Something to think about for sure!

  • Kristin

    Thanks, Ronnie.