I have been asked whether I am angry or upset that I was placed for adoption. No, not at all. There is no way of knowing what my life would’ve been like if I had stayed with my birth family. Or been placed with a different family. Or if any number of large or small things had gone differently than they did. Life is an unpredictable series of highs and lows. My life certainly isn’t perfect. There are things I love about my family and things that drive me up the wall. Difficult and stressful circumstances arise. Parents can’t shelter their children from this. What they can do is help provide those children the support and skills they need to face life’s challenges and overcome them. Though they knew they wouldn’t directly be able to do this, my birth parents chose an adoptive family that could. They carefully considered what I would need and picked the family that was to become mine.
Adoption is a difficult and complicated decision, but I’m grateful for the courage and discernment of my birth parents. There isn’t only one way of being a good parent. I am lucky enough to have been loved by two families in different ways.
*Name changed for confidentiality
By Samantha Cosette
(cont from Spring Newsletter)
Hope shared about discovering she was pregnant at 14, her life as a birth mother, and how she navigates her relationship with her daughter. As I watched her tell her story, I could see the significant pain and love in her face. I always imagined adoptions being completely closed, even though I knew that there are open adoptions. Hope shared that she sends care packages, letters, and gifts to her child as much as possible. She visits with her every year while trying to keep up with her exciting changes in life. The best part of hearing Hope’s story was seeing that even though she made the difficult choice to place her baby for adoption, she knows now that she made the right choice. There are still struggles, but she is so proud she chose to give life to her child and bless her adoptive parents with a child they cherish more than anything.
Adoption is a beautiful process and I feel so thankful to learn more about a personal story from a birth mother. Now I believe birth mothers are some of the strongest people in the world. They are undoubtedly selfless in their decision to carry and birth their child, and then make a choice to bless another family with the best gift she could possibly give them. Hope’s story shows the pain of adoption for birth families does not just go away, but birth mothers grow and can have peace knowing they made the right choice for their child.
Women’s health services looked different in the early 80s when we started the adoption agency. Unexpected pregnancies carried more stigma, but when we set up an office out of our home for single women to come get a free pregnancy test and decision-making counseling, my toddler running around had no preconceived idea about these ladies and why they were there.
Our goal has always been to assist women who wanted to make a carefully thought-out decision for their future and the best for their baby. Choosing life is not easy, regardless of what next decisions a mom makes for her health, support system, and baby’s well-being. Community education is a priority for CFLS and we want women to know they have support and a community who understands what the adoption process looks like today, not 30 years ago. Making an adoption plan is not “giving away” a child, and the more we can encourage positive language the more babies we can save. My little toddler impacted many hurting women in our home just by sitting by them and they could see hope and grace through a child’s eyes. Giving Hearts Day is YOUR day to have a bigger impact with your online donation. I challenge YOU to change the life of a child and expectant parents. Will you #GoMatchyMatchy with me?
We asked local social work students to survey friends and family to get their answers on what comes to mind when they hear the word adoption. Here are some of their answers:
I first think of the word hope. Adoption means someone is blessed with a child... -Olivia Toft
It gives birth parents another chance at a successful future and gives the babies an opportunity to succeed, be healthy, and be happy with a loving family.
I interviewed my parents about adoption. They both think it is a wonderful thing for everyone involved. My mom’s sister had a baby out of wedlock back in 1965 and it was much different back then...A lot has changed since then and they think it is a wonderful thing. Both my mom and dad give birth parents and adoptive parents credit because it does take a lot of courage but it is a beautiful thing.
It was so awesome to hear from the community about your thoughts on adoption. As Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close, we hope more people have found a chance to talk about adoption at home, work, or with friends and consider how to support and encourage people going through the adoption process or where to find resources for an expectant parent trying to make decisions for their baby's future.
We are grateful for you!
The Perry Center and Christian Family Life Services invite you to tour a Save the Storks mobile medical unit equipped with ultrasound and other pregnancy resources. This is a family “open house” style event is on Tuesday, August 16th from 4:00-7:00pm at the Perry Center – 2355 Meadow Ridge Parkway, West Fargo with desserts, outdoor games, and a chance to consider how you might play a part in reaching more expectant moms to choose life. More info on our Facebook event. RSVP here or by phone: 701-237-4473
Infertility, loss, and disappointment have nothing on God's goodness and love for you. Contact us today to find out about adoption through CFLS. We can't help but be amazed by the creative ways God works to get our attention!
The term "foster care" conjures up feelings for many people who have experience with social services in this way. Many expectant mothers considering an adoption plan shy away from their children receiving temporary care before going into their adoptive home and many families pursuing adoption look specifically at domestic infant adoption to avoid the baggage or messiness that is assumed or associated with the foster care system. We understand the range of emotions and have seen concerns validated in news stories or hearing personal stories, but some times the associations come more from dramatized accounts in movies and TV rather than an accurate account.
At CFLS, we have seen some very helpful temporary homes for a baby receiving placement in a few days. This can help a mom who didn't know she was pregnant with making an adoption plan after delivery, or help when there are other factors that allow for the adoptive family to not have a risk placement.
We also believe families can be pro-active with their adoption, and once they have received education and completed their home assessment, they are welcome to see what connections they might have in their community to provide a two-parent, Christian home to a child in need of a forever family. We recently saw God's hand in bringing a family together that sought traditional infant adoption, but the couple kept their eyes and ears open in their community and were blessed with a surprise. We'll let them tell their story...
His ways are not our ways. They are better!
My wife, Erika and I had a wonderful experience adopting our first child, Austin, through a private adoption agency, Christian Family Life Services. When we were ready to add to our family, it was an easy decision to work with them again. After getting everything in order, we settled in to wait. A year went by, then two. After nearly three years of waiting to be matched, we received an email from a friend who forwarded a post from someone in our church: "Two siblings in need of a forever home. Please call if interested." I showed Erika and we agreed I should make the call. Ray and Milo (2 yrs and 9 mos at the time) were in the foster care system, being fostered by their aunt and uncle who could not adopt them permanently. After a couple of weeks of questions on whether or not we'd be considered candidates by the county, we got a call asking our social worker to contact the county social worker. We never thought about doing foster care to adopt, yet here we were, considering that this may be what God had in mind to add not just one more child to our family but two! We met Ray and Milo on a Friday. They were in our home the following Tuesday and have been with us since. Amazingly, our agency and the county were able to work things out so that by last November, on National Adoption Day, we officially made Ray and Milo part of our family, and we made Austin a very proud and happy big brother! We thank God for the creative ways he has made us parents by entrusting us with our three sons. His ways are not our ways. They are better!
“Hey, Beth, what size does Lucy wear? I’m getting her a birthday present,”
Trevor said when he called CFLS about his daughter’s first birthday. This proud father has only met her once. He does not live close to her, nor does he have the means to provide a home for her, but he loves her dearly, talks about her frequently, and was willing to work
with our birth parent caseworker, Beth, as an adoption plan was made for Lucy in 2015. Trevor and the mother are no longer together, and he did not consider adoption when hearing the pregnancy test results from his girlfriend....
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and see the full Spring Newsletter!
In this week's news, CFLS has expanded our services to both birth mothers and prospective adoptive families by publishing a portion of the waiting families profiles to our website. Many agencies across the nation have employed this web service as a means to present adoptive families to women who are researching their options and looking at adoption online, and we are happy to utilize this technology. As you'll see on our "Waiting Families" page under the Birth Parents tab, our clients who have completed a home study and are waiting to be matched can include a photo as well as a brief profile and birth parent letter that have previously not been seen by birthparents until they come in to meet with our birth parent counselor. We hope this assists in connecting forever families! Please join us in prayer that birth parents will chose life and consider all their options. We trust the Lord will bring women to the agency and guide their decisions.
After many months pondering, editing drafts, and selecting text/pictures we are happy to have new brochures for the agency with our updated address, mission statement, and other vital information. We wanted to reach birth mothers where they are at and we hope this new brochure will assist with that goal. If you would like hard copies of either of the brochures for your church or if you work in or have access to a high school, college, social services center, hospital, or clinic where you think they might use them, please contact us!
Join us in prayer that Beth has more access to schools and secular pregnancy centers where birth moms can learn about their options and discover more about how our agency can serve them!
The latest News and updates from the CFLS offices and the adoption ministry.