Earlier this week I received a message from a former pastor of mine from when I lived in Nashville and he and his wife have been dear friends of mine for many years. I was asked by Brother John to write down what does adoption me to me as an adoptive mother and what values would I teach others about being a parent for him to use in his sermon today. Below is what I sent to him.
First off, I’m very honored to be asked. The second thought that they crossed my mind was, “Oh no! What am I going to say?” I took a day or two to ponder these questions as thoughts started flooding in and yet were also fleeting. (I need a record button inside my head to record down my thoughts when I don’t have anywhere else to record them while I’m thinking.) One of the first things that popped into my head was that I honestly don’t call myself an adoptive parent. I consider and call myself a parent. A very blessed parent. You see someone else not only gave birth to my now 16 year old son but they were so selfless in that they saw a better life for their child with someone else. That has got to be one of the most selfless acts! My son, Samuel, was prayed for before he was ever conceived. He was loved before he was ever a thought in anyone else’s minds.
So what exactly is adoption? Merriam Webster gives the definition of adoption as 1. the act or process of adopting a child. 2. the act or process of beginning to use something new or different. 3. the act of process of giving official acceptance or approval to something. I look at adoption meaning the child meant for you may not be of you, but instantly a part of you. Adoption means that I am automatically a parent and have a license to parent….literally! Adoption means hope.
One phrase as an adoptive parent that we all hear a lot is “you were born in my heart, not in my womb”. I’ve never really liked that phrase even though it is basically true. Then I remembered (and yes, I do still have it packed away somewhere) the sermon that John gave on the day that he baptized Sam. I remembered him saying that we are all adopted by God. That made the aforementioned phrase take on something different to me. No, God did not give birth to me but I was born out of love. God’s love along with my parents love. Whether that parent is biological or adoptive that love is never ending and never wavering.
As far as what values I would teach others about being a parent….that honestly is a loaded question for me. I would say that first and foremost you need to be patient. Remember that they are children (yes, even the teenagers) and that they will make mistakes. You also need to remember that you made mistakes as well. Bottom line is that I’m a parent to an awesome son! No, he’s not perfect. Yes, he’s made some mistakes. What child hasn’t. Yes he has a lot more to learn. Don’t we all. Adoption really all does boil down to one thing….. I’m blessed to be his Mom.
Here are some photos that I've shared with you all throughout the years of the wonderful boy that made me a mom.