Spirituality in Adoption

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Did you pray for a child? Did your child come to you in a dream? Did you feel a sense of total peace once you decided to adopt your child? Did you and your spouse feel "called" to adopt? Do you thank night every night for bringing your child into your life? Have you prayed for wisdom to help you parent your child through her challenges?

Many adoptive parents speak of their religion, their convictions, and their spirituality when it comes to adoptive parenting.

It may start when a couple is unable to conceive and they pray for a child. Sometimes they may be led toward adoption and feel that this is truly the direction that God meant them to go in.

It may happen as a single parent-to-be agonizes over her ability to adopt as a single parent. Then she is given a sense of peace and fulfillment that this life-changing event is the direction they are meant to proceed.

It may happen as parents make decisions about what type of child they are capable of parenting. They may be convinced and supported by the conviction that God will lead them to the child they're meant to parent.

It may happen as one parent shares their vision with their spouse that they feel they are meant to grow their family through adoption. Both parents may come to feel God's presence as they adopt one, two, or more children.

Some parents, during bleak times of parenting a very challenging child may be sustained by the feeling that God chose them to parent this child, no matter how difficult things appear to be.

A spiritual conviction may sustain parents during their child's illness, emotional disorder, or behavioral issues. They may hold onto God's presence to sustain them and give them wisdom.

The presence of God or other spirituality presence may be the only source of support when family and friends disappear during tough times with a child.

Adoptive parents may not necessarily turn to organized religion and be weekly attendees at a faith gathering. Adoptive parents may not necessarily call their spiritual presence "God." However, many adoptive parents look to varying types of spirituality to sustain them through pre-adoption and post-adoption parenting issues. Everyone may call it different things, but the spirit of something greater than us often supports us, sustains us, and blesses us as adoptive parents.

Credits: Susan M. Ward, an older child adoption specialist, provides parent coaching and resources for adoptive families. Susan's training has focused on adoption issues relating to attachment, grief, and parenting. She's also the adoptive parent of a child healed from RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Her website is www.OlderChildAdoptionSupport.com.

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