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 Anonymous CFLS Volunteer
I’m your biological sister. I am 21 years old. We have the same birth father. I have known about you for over half my life. I have often thought about you and how you have grown up. Were you involved in sports? Do you like to travel? What are some of your hobbies? What are your parents like? Do you have other siblings?
Over the years, I have tried to understand why our father created an adoption plan for you. I know that he was 15-16 years old when he found out you were on the way. He, along with his girlfriend were very excited to become parents but they were on a tough road. Both your mom and your dad were still in high school. They decided adoption because they wanted to help others who could not have babies on their own. It’s been over 20 years since the adoption and a lot has happened since then. We have a sister. She is 23. She also has been curious about you and what you have been up to. I am currently a senior in college going into the field of social work. I am getting married next summer. Our sister is going to start Grad School next fall in the field of criminal justice. Did you go to college? Are you married? Do you have kids?
We have missed out on so much of each other’s lives and my goal in life is to know who you are. I understand the difficulty in making this step and if you are even interested in meeting your biological family. I understand if you have no interest in knowing where you came from. I am prepared to handle that when and if that time comes. I just want you to know that you are loved!
I have started the outreach process in hopes to someday meet you. I have so many questions and so much to tell you!
-Your biological sister
*CFLS works with clients to conduct a search of biological family when applicable. See our Adoption Search page for more information.
Come find out more about Adoption Awareness Month tonight...
by Tina Bloch, LSW
What do you think of when you hear the word “Adoption?” Where do we get our information about adoption from? Some people hear about adoption from the media & movies. However, you must ask yourself if that is a true and accurate representation of what adoption is like today.
Adoption has been around for a very long time dating all the way back to the days of the Bible. The first story in the Bible about adoption was with Moses. If you need a refresher about his life, check out the story in Exodus 2.
In adoption, unfortunately the history includes shame and secrecy. Openness can be an “antidote to shame.” Moving along the time periods, closed adoptions stayed the norm for many years. In the early 1930s, it was believed that adoption should be a “discreet process and that secrecy should be maintained to protect not just the adoptive family, but also the birth parents.” However, in the 1980s, people realized that this secrecy, guilt and shame lead to resentment and depression. In closed adoptions, the adoptive families were unable to even access their adoption records or resources to help them. The child had no sense of where they came from and the women who made an adoption plan lived hiding their adoption story. As a result, adoption is very different today.
Today, most agencies conduct open to semi-open adoptions, with closed adoptions still being an option for birthparent(s) if they so choose. First off, openness in adoption means maintaining some degree of contact between the adopted child, their birth families, and the adoptive family. There are different forms that openness can take in regard to the type of contact, frequency, intensity/emotional impact, time and location. The openness continuum can range between the exchanging of non-identifying information through a third party, to arrangements for face-to-face contact and many types of openness in between. For more information about open, semi-open and closed adoptions please visit our Types of Adoption Openness page. At Christian Family Life Services, most of our families choose a semi-open adoption plan where non-identifying information is shared through letters and pictures. In addition, occasional face-to-face visits take place at a neutral location.
*We encourage families who are considering adoption to take time to research stories of openness and talk together with your spouse about your personal comfort level regarding your relationship with birth parents. Transparency is important in this process, and the CFLS case work will provide more education and tools as couples walk through the home study process.
If you have more questions, please contact CFLS or come by for our open house next Thursday!
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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The latest News and updates from the CFLS offices and the adoption ministry.