Adoption and hope
A Christian Science perspective.
My heart goes out to children who have no families, particularly in troubled parts of the world, and to prospective adoptive families who have had their hopes and dreams for family put on hold.
Given my husband’s and my desire to be parents, I’ve found some helpful insight and encouragement in the Bible. A psalm says, “God setteth the solitary in families.” This is not only a promise but a divine law. God, divine Love, is always at hand to set or establish our thought in the right sense of family – whether or not a parent is physically there. It’s the birthright of each child to know and feel the presence of our Father-Mother God. This divine Love cuts through any sense of grief, loneliness, or abandonment. This true Father and Mother is right now protecting, guiding, guarding, and supplying every need, including a tender presence of family.
This can’t be hindered by government, bureaucracy, disorganization, or corruption. Likewise, nothing can interfere with adoptive families taking the steps that are right for them. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “neither red tape nor indignity hindered the divine process” (“Unity of Good,”
p. 11). Nothing can obstruct, check, prolong, or oppose God’s purpose for each family. For in reality, it is complete right now.
Many of these ideas were helpful while my husband and I waited to adopt our second child. At one point, after waiting one year, a sweet 2-year-old boy was placed with us as foster-to-adopt parents. The social worker seemed hopeful he would be available for adoption. The previous adoption of our son, Chris, had gone so smoothly, and we were overjoyed to have this child who fit in so well with our family.
This was short-lived when, after only a few weeks, he was taken from us and was rejoined with his birth family. Feelings of grief, anger, and frustration tried to overwhelm me. But then a Bible story about a man called Isaac rekindled my hope.
The book of Genesis records that Isaac was successful in finding water after reopening his father’s well, which had been plugged up. But jealous neighbors forced him to abandon it along with two other wells.
At the fourth well, instead of fearing he’d again be told to leave, he prayed, “For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land,” and God blessed him. Subsequently, three of his adversaries visited him. They acknowledged that God must be with him, and they came to a peace agreement.
Throughout the experience, Isaac conducted himself with grace. I believe this grace came from his faith in God. It enabled him to patiently move on to the next well. By the time he dug the fourth well, however, the biblical account indicates to me that he was convinced that no matter what happened, God was with him and he couldn’t be separated from where he needed to be. This realization not only blessed him but brought peace with his neighbors.
Isaac’s example reminded me that God had already made our family complete. If it was right for us to have another child, nothing could interfere with it. Since God was the source of all good, I could let go of the loss and look forward to the wonderful way God would bless our family, which was already complete and not waiting for another child to make it so.
Likewise, I could trust that the little boy we had fostered could never be separated from a loving sense of family either. One way or another, God would meet our need perfectly, just as He had done when we’d adopted Chris. This brought a sweet sense of hope and expectancy of good.
Over the next year, we fostered some children transitioning between families, and learned some good parenting lessons. Just at the point we were ready to try some other adoption avenues, we got a call about a 1-month-old little girl. She arrived late that night and has been with us ever since. Her adoption was finalized last year. Our daughter is a wonderful addition to our family, and we have been greatly blessed to have her.
God does indeed set the solitary in families. No one is left out of our Father-Mother’s plan. God’s love is big enough to care for each child.