By: Cambria Larson
A connection was made. A nearby county was working on placing an eighteen month-old and I knew the foster parents. They were doing what they could to support the biological family, working towards reunification, but it was looking unlikely. Tina took a call with the county social worker and foster mom, but within a week or so, an extended family member was identified as the best option for the sweet little guy's placement.
Shortly after, though, we got a call from that county social worker. There was a sibling group of 4 who had been awaiting placement. Did we have any couples interested in adopting older children or siblings?
These are the moments we work for. Answered prayers of the agency, of waiting couples, of foster parents, of children who want a forever home....
Don't get me wrong. This journey was long and the process was tough. The waiting family and foster parents did not agree on everything along the way. The county required different steps than possibly what CAS would have. Despite all of it, this forever family is together and happy.
Christian Adoption Services has not focused on foster-adoption. Though we collaborate with the foster care system and county offices, we have primarily served clients in the infant adoption process. Whether or not you feel called to pursue foster care in this season, we are all instructed to care for the widow and orphan. Whether or not you think you "have what it takes" to welcome an older child into your home, there are many ways you can support families who do. What might it look like for you?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
By Jean Nasers
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There is no typical or “cookie cutter” situation of those who face an unintended pregnancy, and this is why it is vital that we provide education in as many areas as possible in our communities.
It has been a privilege to see firsthand how simply educating people makes a difference in our ability to change lives. From our presentations, individuals are given the opportunity to see how many unintended pregnancies end in abortion verse adoption, who are the faces of adoption (birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents), and what adoption truly entails. After being presented with these facts, they are prompted to challenge their professed thoughts and opinions on the complex issues that surround a woman’s “right to choose.” This is extremely vital because it is only in the personal conversion of hearts and minds that we as an agency are able to persevere in the work God has given us of building forever families through adoption.
We are called to be children of the light. To produce every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth (Ephesians 5:9). By supporting us in entering our schools, pregnancy centers, clinics, and churches to provide education on adoption, you are ensuring that hundreds of people are being given the opportunity to know, understand, and possibly consider this beautiful, life affirming choice.
History has shown that it often only takes a few people to change the world. At Christian Adoption Services, we are greatly motivated to change lives and make a difference. We are blessed to be supported by our community and ask that you consider supporting us in our mission of providing education on adoption.
First and foremost, we humbly ask for your prayers, for this is delicate and sometimes trying work. Second, we ask you to consider any personal or professional connections you may have that would benefit from receiving any adoption education (i.e. church groups, schools, community centers). Third, that you consider directly financially supporting our education efforts through a one time or monthly donation. All of our education programing is funded completely by donors and we need your support in order to continue providing this service to our community.
Our staff went to a screening of the movie Unplanned about former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson. It is a compelling story, mostly because it is true and shows very directly what the procedure of abortion is like. Earning an "R" rating solely because of showing the graphic reality of both a surgical abortion & medical abortion (with medication RU-486), the film is difficult to watch and does a good job of showing the humanity on both sides of the abortion debate as the story unfolds. The film is only scheduled to play theaters through this week, so don't miss your chance to see it and support the hard work of getting this controversial true story out in front of audiences.
After watching the film, I couldn't help but think of the work CAS does with abortion-vulnerable people and efforts to provide services to post-abortive women who are struggling. Pat just wrote a story for our spring newsletter about a recent conversation with such a woman, and these important stories are vital to keep abortion from being normalized/rationalized and to identify the pain and regret. We serve a God who forgives - read more about Pat's story...
Brave Love is an organization we have been blessed by through their video content and beautiful stories shedding light on a birth parents' loving decision. We use their videos when we speak about current adoption practices and positive language. Some of our adoptive families have purchased gifts from their shop and we are grateful for this pro-adoption movement. We spoke with Laura, their executive director, about being an agency partner. If you look at their map, North Dakota is not represented and we would love to be that beacon of hope for pregnant women who stumble across Brave Love looking for another option for their child. This partnership includes an annual fee of $600 and we would love to make that commitment, but we need your help. Would you consider coming alongside us in this partnership with Brave Love? Co-sponsors investing up to half the cost would really help make this commitment possible for our ministry. Donate now or contact us at 701-237-4473 if you have questions.
The plus side of this podcast is that the guests vary regarding the type of adoption journey they have had (domestic, international, foster-adopt..) and it is a good survey of the many different situations and challenges facing adoptive families, along with some stories from the adoptees personally. I would say the negative thing** for our CAS clients is that of all the episodes I've heard so far, the birth parents are not integrated into the conversation as much. Since many of the stories I have heard so far are not domestic infant adoption, conversations about openness and navigating the relationship with birth parents haven't been as prevalent. I'm hoping to hear more of these themes as I listen to more episodes. Even in the host's personal domestic infant stories, unfortunately the birth parent perspective is not well-represented. Since the audience is definitely adoptive families, I can get past some of my misgivings when I think of the encouragement this podcast can be for families in many different stages of the adoption journey. The host, April Fallon, is very faith-centered and intentional about approaching each story with grace and support. There is an awesome segment in their first episode (AJ's Adoption Story) about their personal adoptions that April and Noah discuss what God taught them through their first adoption....
"It reminds us of God's adoption for us...God changes you.
I recommend checking it out for yourself and I hope you find stories that you can relate to and receive encouragement from.
Office Manager @ CAS
**Post Update: I was pleasantly surprised to have a response from April Fallon, host of Adoption Now, within 24 hours of our post. She gave some suggestions of what stories to listen to with more focus on open adoption and birth parents. She also invited our families to share their stories as guests on her show, so if you are looking for ways to share positive adoption stories, get in touch with Adoption Now. I can't wait to give these a listen...
From April Fallon, Host of Adoption Now:
Lauren Stokes is an adoptee that was adopted in Denver 37 years ago into an open adoption. She is now a therapist and speaks on the value of knowing her birthparents and having a relationship with them while she was growing up. Corrine Christian is an adoptive mom of 5 kids (3 adopted). She shares about open adoption and how she takes the birthparents on trips, she just took a birthfather to Peru. She shares how much she loves open adoption and the healthy benefits her children experience through knowing their birth parents. She also holds birth parent retreats to help in their healing after placement. In Ashley Mitchell's story, she is a birthmother that shares what it was like to place her baby into adoption and how she has a relationship now through open adoption with her son. My husband and I have adopted 4 children and two of them have the same birth parents, we also have an open adoption. We have discussed having boundaries due to the birth parents drug addictions but the wonderful benefits of knowing our children's birth family. This week we will be interviewing Ashely again who is now writing curriculum for agencies on birthmother care. She is teaches adoptive families how to have healthy open relationships and how to interact with your birthmother. This is a topic it sounds like you are looking for and we hope you will check out some of these recent ADOPTION NOW podcasts! If you have a family that would like to tell their story, we would love to hear from them. Thank you so much taking the time to listen!
Working with expectant parents who want to make a life-affirming decision. Preparing couples to grow their family through domestic infant adoption.