Monday, March 31, 2014

Birth Families

Adoption Ministry of YWAM has a three-part ministry philosophy when it comes to the adoptive families we have worked with – both domestic and Ethiopian adoptions.  We partner with families who share these beliefs:

  • Adoption is a calling from God and a commitment to a life-long healing process

  • Adoption is about giving a family to a child not about getting a child for your family

  • Adoption includes understanding and appreciating the circumstances and sacrifice a birthparent has made (whether relinquished or abandoned) and being willing to provide post-adoption pictures and updates to be shared with the birthparent or the orphanage

Joy always does her best to meet with birth family members when she goes to Ethiopia and it’s our desire to provide them with photos and updates at least once a year.  When she goes to Ethiopia in May, Joy will be traveling to the towns in the Western areas where many of our children are from, thanks to a generous adoptive family who are paying for her travel expenses. 

She will try to find and meet with as many of our birth parents as possible and deliver photos and a little update from each adoptive family.  We so appreciate the effort our families make to provide these appreciative birth families with a happy report about the children they have relinquished.

We have several links to share today that reflect our commitment to honoring birth families.  The first two are written by YWAM adoptive moms and the last is one Joy wrote in May of 2012. 

May We Never Forget
by Kate Hannula

To Ethiopia With Love
by Haley Ballast

Desperate Mothers
by Joy Casey

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Delivering Hope

by Kameron Shadrick

Ethiopia -getting Sarah Jan 2011 292
About four years ago the Lord began to nudge four separate families to adopt children from Ethiopia.  But unknown to us, the Lord had been separately working in each of our hearts to do something beyond adoption. We were all deeply troubled by the maternal deaths that often result in the orphaning of so many children, including some of our own. And our hearts wept when our own older adopted children shared of the heartache and pain from watching a newborn sibling die.

Proverbs 24:12
Don't excuse yourself by saying, "Look, we didn't know." For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.

One day, after years of tears and prayers, the Lord gave us a clear burden and vision to help mothers and infants survive childbirth in developing countries, specifically Ethiopia. We had NO idea what this meant, or how we were going to help, but we were excited to see what God had in store.

Habakkuk: 2:3
This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

We began to research maternal care in low resource countries, and were shocked to learn that every 90 seconds a mother dies bringing forth life, and in that same 90 seconds, 14 newborns die, usually from preventable causes.  We enrolled in midwifery classes, attended global midwifery trainings, read studies and reports on the global maternity crises, and became doulas, all while praying about what to do.

We began to ask WHY 99% of the women and babies who die live in developing countries… and found that the reasons include: not enough hospitals, rural living, lack of transportation, medical costs, fear of treatment by medical staff, lack of education….

We developed a name for ourselves… Delivering Hope International (DHI).  And wrote our mission statement…Delivering Hope International exists to bring hope, healing and compassion to those most vulnerable in our world. Compelled by Christ’s love, we improve maternal, newborn and child health, and promote family preservation and the prevention of orphans.

And then we prayed, prayed, prayed...  Finally one day after feeling discouraged about the “bigness” of the problem, we felt the Lord give us a unique solution… “What if we use Doulas?” We immediately began work on a plan, and started picking the brains of anyone and everyone who works within international midwifery. We called and emailed OBs both here and in Ethiopia, directors of birth clinics, international missionary midwives, midwifery university professors, and NGO directors. We shared our vision, each time waiting for someone to tell us that this vision makes no sense, but were repeatedly encouraged when they responded with excitement and gladly offered advice, wisdom, and guidance.

We ultimately developed a plan that included well trained and certified Doulas who will:

1) Provide education on maternal and newborn health: lack of knowledge is a leading cause for women making unwise health choices

2) Provide “Clean Birth Kits” and “Postpartum Care Kits”:  maternal and newborn sepsis (infection) is another leading cause of death.

3) Help families develop emergency transportation and medical savings plans: this will address the delay in receiving care due to lack of transportation or fear of medical costs which increases risk of death. (DHI is also developing an Emergency Medical Fund that will ensure that women in our care are never denied medical services.)

4) Provide 4 Prenatal and 4 Postnatal visits, and compassionate, dignified Doula support during labor: Midwives, Nurses, and Doctors are often overworked and understaffed, resulting in lack of maternity care at all stages. Our Doulas act as an extra set of “eyes” for the medical community, watching for “danger signs” and other problems.

5) Encourage women to birth with a Skilled Birth Attendant (Midwife, Nurse, or Doctor), rather than attendant at home: 90% of Ethiopian women birth without a skilled attendant. This is a dangerous and leading cause for high maternal and infant mortality.

Just this past February, Sara and I went to visit fellow DHI board member Shelly Weiland, who lives in Ethiopia. We shared our vision with those working in the field of maternal and newborn care, and with potential ministry partners, and we asked for honest feedback. We were humbled and encouraged as, once again, we found those within this field to be optimistic and excited too.

Q 8th bday DHI ET 054 (559x800)
On that same trip, we were also able to test out our DHI Doula training curriculum with 13 Ethiopians, and found that the curriculum is sound and complete, and ready to be translated for use by Doulas. (To learn more about our training, visit here)

DHI feb 2014 ET trip 024 (800x534)
We learned more about the needs within the medical hospitals and clinics, and were met by encouragement and support for our plan. (Visit here and here for more.)

IMG_1643 (800x533)
We were humbled to visit pregnant and postpartum women at a Women’s Prison, and further established a relationship with a prison ministry, through which we hope to provide doula services to women who are incarcerated.

Q 8th bday DHI ET 069 (744x800)
We are continuing to establish the foundation of our work in Ethiopia, are raising funds to provide supplies and salaries for our Doulas, are developing Postpartum Care Kits, and are preparing for our first full Certification DHI Doula Training this coming Fall.  Maybe you would like to host a Mother’s Day Party!  Visit here to learn more.

We are honored to serve the Lord in this manner, and it is with joy and thanksgiving that we are able to show through this work the power and grace of our God, who delights in using the ill-equipped to do things that glorify Him.

With His Hope,
Kameron and the DHI Team (Sara, Shelly, Jennifer, Michelle, Alyssa, and Marvin)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I AM the Bread of Life

Lake City Church in Washington has adopted a church in a predominantly non-Christian area of Ethiopia and is reaching out to 50 families in this town through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  Most of the families are single mothers laboring under harsh conditions… almost impossible scenarios.  These women are without education, have no husband or family support, and have many mouths to feed. 

New convert

The religion and culture of this area does not offer hope to women in general, but these women and their children are low on the food chain (literally!).  It has only been six months since Lake City Church members have adopted these families, but the impact of simply having enough food to eat is astounding. 

Each month, the women come to the Church and are given their monthly food staples.  Twice a month, the case manager, accompanied by a pastor or elder from the church, visits each home and listens to and problem-solves with the mother.  They pray with her and answer her faith questions, explaining that they are supplying her with food in the name of Jesus, but that Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life.   Through this amazing practical ministry, single moms are experiencing Jesus’ love for them, all made possible by generous Christians here in the U.S..
Recently, five women wholeheartedly embraced Jesus, and we are rejoicing along with the angels in heaven.  It is gratifying to see the radiant faces of these worry-worn women.  Because they will receive much persecution from their community because of their new-found faith, it is crucial to have a vibrant church family embrace them.   The sponsors of these women will be praying with extra diligence!

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence
of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. 
Luke 15:10

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hopes and Dreams

Remember the dreams and hopes you had in your youth? You had hopes of what your life would be, what you would become.  You were full of life and full of plans. You were excited about landing your first job that would bring you one step closer to your dreams!

But what if something happens that changes everything.  The person who gave you your first job takes something from you that was not his to take.  He takes your innocence.  He shatters your self-worth.  He rapes you.   You experience pain and shame you never knew before.  Soon you learn you are pregnant.  Now, all your hopes and dreams for a bright future have turned to dust and you feel everything has been taken away from you.   What are you going to do now?

Meseret (BB-0036)
Hopefully this isn't your story.  But it is the story of a young woman named Meseret.  This beautiful woman still in her youth with her little boy, Abraham, clinging to her side lives among Ethiopia's poorest in a village called Bole Bulbula.   She struggles daily to feed herself and her son.

Who will God use to stir new hopes and dreams for a brighter future?  Who will tell her that dreams can come true again?

Embrace, Equip, Empower

When a family from the U.S. steps forward and “adopts” Meseret and Abraham, Adoption Ministry’s case worker, along with the pastor from our partner church, will have opportunity to speak into her life.  Through practical ministry they will demonstrate Christ’s love, and once again Meseret will dream of a future filled with hope.  

** Meseret has been adopted - we are praising God!!
There are so many more just like her...

If you would like to ‘adopt’ Meseret and Abraham for $40 per month, we will send you a prayer card and updates as we get them.  Your gift to her will provide food and shelter, as well as hope for a future where she can provide for herself.  Please visit our website to see bios of Meseret and others like her who are ready to be embraced, equipped and empowered.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Hope Looks Like

by Jeff Butler
Adoption Ministry 1:27 Director

I am just getting back from two weeks in beautiful Ethiopia!  Now that the jet lag has worn off and I am sleeping again, I have had time to reflect on what I observed and what was accomplished on my recent trip.  

JB in ET
There were so many people and so many places filling each day with amazing experiences and encounters.   One thing I can state without reservation: The Adoption Ministry 1:27 program is working!   I had the chance to visit all but one of our project areas. I focused my time on our partner churches, case managers, and AM 1:27 families.  What I saw was change, healing, progress, preservation, hope, joy, faith, and life!   AM 1:27 families are moving from vulnerability and the verge of collapse, to health, strength and sustainability!

Jeff and BB-0008
There were moments on my trip when I would meet an AM 1:27 family I visited last year, and when I saw them this year, I could hardly recognize them for the positive changes!  They were transformed by the love of Christ, transformed by the generosity of their American supporter, and transformed by the care of the local church.  Some of our families have already started a small income-generating business and many are on the cusp of starting.  I believe that we will see many families “graduate” from the AM 1:27 program because they have become self-sustaining. 

I know what hope looks like now better than ever. Hope looks like a radiant smile rising up out of the ashes of despair!  Hope looks like a widow who is selling vegetables and saving for her tomorrow!  Hope looks like an orphan who has a family because someone took him in as a result of your support.  Hope looks like a mother who has enough food to feed all her children. Hope looks like a child who can now go to school for the first time because their uniform, lunch and school books can be purchased. 

I extend a huge thank you to each and every one of you who have adopted a family.  I only wish you could have been there with me to meet your family and see for yourself what hope looks like!

To find out more about Adoption Ministry 1:27, where we are partnering with the Ethiopian church to preserve families and prevent orphans, please visit our website:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

That First Year Home

first year
Deborah Gray is a clinical social worker who specializes in attachment, grief and trauma.  She is passionate about empowering adoptive parents to meet the needs of their children and develop close relationships.  She is the author of several books and articles, including Attaching in Adoption and Nurturing Adoptions.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences relating to adoption.  Here are her Top Ten Tips for the First Year of Placement:
  1. Spend ample time in nurturing activities.
The most significant process of the first year home is creating a trust relationship. Intentional and ample nurturing promotes this goal. Restrict your hours away from the little one. Do not leave your child for overnight trips for this first year.

Meet your little ones needs in an especially sensitive manner. Feed on demand. Respond quickly to fussing. Allow the toddler or child to regress, bottle-feeding, rocking to sleep, lapsitting, and being carried. Let your child experience you as the safe person who is sensitively meeting her needs. Play little games that promote eye contact, like peekaboo, ponyride, and hide-and-seek. Make positive associations between yourself and food.

Rather than children becoming more dependent through this extra nurturing, they instead become trusting. Anxious people do not know who they can trust to help them. More secure individuals understand that they do not have to be perfect and that they can rely on significant others. Children who do not learn to depend on others tend to be anxious or emotionally constricted. Their "independence" is a false one, meaning that they do not trust others and can only rely on themselves. The child who has learned a healthy dependence is more secure in trying new things and venturing out. She always has a safe, home base to come back toyou!
  1. Teach children to play with you.
Many little ones have missed the joys of play. Act as an amplifier, teaching toddlers and children the pleasure of play. Most children have missed the experience of having parents express joy as they played. Because of this, their reward centers were not stimulated. This restricted the association of exploration and play with pleasure. Set aside at least thirty minutes a day for play with your children. Younger children may want this in segments. Do not hesitate to use voice tones and expressions that are ones usually meant for infants and younger children.

If your child can already play, then continue to build your relationship through play. Shared enjoyment cements relationships. Make your family one that develops a pattern of having fun. Throughout life having fun as a family builds self-esteem.

While some children take off in play, others cannot stay engaged for long. Continue to stretch the more tentative child, engaging her in mutually enjoyable activities. Look for different sensory modalities that might feel safer or more interesting. For example, a boy who was afraid to play outdoors began to use sidewalk chalk with his mother, even though the grass seemed overwhelming. Gradually a ball was used on the sidewalk, and then onto the grass. Take things in steps if children are wary.
  1. Talk to your child.
Parents of infants use exaggerated voice tones to emphasize important concepts. Their "amplifier system" helps children with attention to most important parts of the whole environment. After children move into the preschool age, some of this "cheerleader" amplification diminishes. Continue to use this brighter emotional tone with your child as she understands your shared world even if she is not an infant.

Explain things to him, even though you might think that the meaning of what you are doing is obvious. Not only are you conveying information to him, you are revealing your view of the world to him. Your voice tones guide him to better understand the context. Be sure to use your fingers and gestures to point out important things to him. This helps him to both attend to and understand the meaning of the context around him. Early language not only teaches us words, but a way of understanding our world through the subjects selected for attention and their associated intonations, expressions, and gestures.

Most of us have an internal dialogue going on during the day. (Yes, we are actually talking to ourselves.) Simply make some of this internal language external. This is a typical activity for parents of infants. However, it tends to diminish as children get older. Since children have missed this early activity, parents should feel free to describe things as they would to an infant.
  1. When toddlers or older children have behavior problems, use your body to stop them.
Be gentle, but be consistently and predictably competent in stopping negative behaviors. Do not use over the shoulder commands or across the room reminders. Stay within arms reach of the child, moving their hands, bodies, feet, to where you want them to go. Never tolerate hitting, kicking, or hurting. Some parents allow a child painful "exploration" of the parents faces. This is teaching that will have to be undone later. Gently move their bodies to where you want them to be. For example, if your little one is reaching for an item, move the child or the item. Use the voice for a back up. Do not remind or repeat several times. Instead, describe in a pleasant manner how precious or pretty the item appears to you as you move your child. Teach boundaries of respect from the beginning.

Obviously, most parents will not be getting much done except parenting when their child is awake. Remind yourself that your primary job is parenting when your child is awake.
  1. Get enough sleep, good food, and exercise to stay in a good mood.
Little ones who have been moved and/or neglected tend to be irritable, fussy, and hard to soothe. Parents use their own positive, well-regulated moods to help calm and engage these little ones.  Your own emotional stability will help to steady your child’s moods. A depressed parent struggles to form a positive, secure attachment with her baby or child. Depression makes the parent emotionally less available. The parent who is tired, eating junk food, and inert by days end does not give a child a competent source of emotional regulation. Parents who find that their moods are slipping, even with good self-care, should see about counseling and/or an antidepressant. It is simply too hard to do this essential, nurturing parenting while being depressed.

Model respect for yourself by taking time for showers, good meals, and sleep.
  1. Be part of an adoption support group.
The relationships between families are invaluable. The relationships can be emotional lifelines on hard days. If possible, find a mentor who is positive, and who likes you and your child. Ask her to be part of your circle of support. We all need to feel understood and authentically accepted. A mentor who can provide that sense of nurture for the parent helps the parent to be a good nurturer. The mentor relationship provides a sense of being heard and accepted, and tips and information. Parents are working harder emotionally when parenting a baby or child who has lived through uneven parenting. Parents need someone who cares for them. Sometimes this can be mutual support, and sometimes one-to-one.  
  1. Keep a calm, but interesting home.
Match the amount of stimulation in the home to the amount that is within the child’s ability to tolerate. Many children have been massively under-stimulated before they came to parents. Neglect massively under-stimulates children. They do not build neurology to process as much sensory stimulation. After adoption, their worlds can suddenly be overwhelming. Things are too bright, too loud, move too much, and tilt too much. Slow things down, buffering your baby or child to the extent that they can process the information coming their way. Often children who are overwhelmed by noise will begin shouting, or those overstimulated by too much movement will begin running with arms like windmills. Lay out predictable, consistent events for the day. Some children find the movement of the car to be disorienting. If your child is having difficulties, try a couple of days limiting the car, determining whether or not this makes a difference.
  1. Explain to children basics of your relationships as they gain language.
For example, "A mothers job is to love you. I will always come back home to you when I leave in the car to go shopping. You will live with me until you are as big as I am. I will not let anybody hurt you.  I will never hurt you. We will always have enough food." One mother told me of her sons relief and better behavior when she told him that she would never allow others to hurt him. "Why didn’t I think to tell him the first year?" She questioned. "He was afraid every time we went to the mall. He has been thinking for two years that just anyone could haul off and hit him." Another parent told me of the melting smile that her daughter gave her when she said that a mothers job was to love her child. "I just assumed that she knew that. But she didn’t. She looked at my face much more after that."
  1. Do watch for signs of an exclusive attachment by the end of the first year.
Children should be seeking out their parents for affection and play. They should be showing off for positive attention. They should prefer being with the parent. They should show some excitement about time together. When hurt or distressed, the child should seek out the parent. In a secure attachment, the child will calm with the parent and accept soothing.

Trauma and traumatic grief are the common culprits when children are remaining wary, fearful, and controlling of their parents. Signs of trauma with younger children include regular night terrors, dissociation (child shuts off emotionally and stares away), scratching, biting, extreme moods, freezing in place, and destructiveness. Parents who see these symptoms should be finding a mental health counselor to help their child. If the child is under the age of three, the parent is given special parenting advice. Usually therapy with an experienced child therapist can begin not long after the age of three.

Do not have an artificial timeline of "fixed in a year," for the preschooler or older child. Consider the year marker as the time it takes to really get to know your child not to iron out any behavioral irregularities.
  1. Enter your little ones space positively.
This often means getting low and looking up for eye contact. It means trying hard and trying patiently for a longer time. You are the one who has the responsibility of engaging your child positively. Do not use punitive techniques to try to build relationships. After all, no one wants to attach to a mean person. Instead, be strong, dependable, available, and kind. Veer away from advice that is strong, controlling, and mean in tone. Sensitive and kind parents gradually build empathy and security in their relationships with their children. That process takes time and the type of parenting that caused you to want to be a parent in the first place!

Maintain a sane schedule as you move into year two. Many parents decide that the first year is the marker until they can re-enter a "normal" schedule. Among family therapists there is national concern about the taxing schedule that Americans are considering "normal." Resist this widespread but unhealthy pace. Continue to parent with margins of time that allow for sensitivity, with margins of emotional energy that allow for appreciation of those around you. Model a healthy, emotionally fulfilling lifestyle to your child.


We highly recommend Deborah's books as excellent resources!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

From Helplessness to Hope

God is helping us bring real hope to over 300 families in Ethiopia through those of you who have adopted an at-risk family through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  Several have now received training and are beginning an income-generating activity (IGA) so they can become self-sustaining.

See what can happen to change lives...


Please visit our website to find more families waiting to be adopted.  We are so grateful for the many generous families here in the U.S. who are embracing, equipping and empowering the desperately poor in Ethiopia.

Friday, March 7, 2014

With Ethiopia

Our wonderful friends at Brooklake Church in Federal Way, Washington have made a short video telling about the way folks in their congregation are embracing families in Shashemene, Ethiopia through Adoption Ministry 1:27.  It is extremely gratifying to see the body of Christ link arms with a church across the globe to meet needs and extend Christ's love in very tangible ways!

Brooklake is sending a team to Ethiopia in April to meet the families they have adopted and to get a first-hand experience of life for those they are supporting.  We look forward to sharing their trip with you!

For more information on how your church might do something similar, be sure to read Joy's post "The Radical Church" and visit our website Adoption Ministry 1:27.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

10 Things

By Joy Casey
During February I had two times “away” where I quit doing and took time to just be. These unique interludes caused me to reflect on spiritual things and gave me time to think about other aspects of life, too.

The first part of February our staff had a retreat. Of course, we picked the coldest weekend of the winter so we couldn’t sit outdoors and have s’mores around the fire pit and sing Kum bay ya… (thankfully for the latter, disappointing for the former), but we gathered as a team at beautiful YWAM Discovery Bay and thoroughly enjoyed time to laugh, pray and get to know one another better on a personal level without interruption.

Later in February I flew to Montana to be with my big sis and 95-year-old mother for a week. I have impeccable timing and picked the snowiest week of the winter so far… but it was beautiful and quiet as only a snow-filled landscape can be. No one expected us to go anywhere and the scenes out my mother’s window looking at the Bitterroot Mountains were breathtaking.


1. I despise the word “wait”. This word has become an anathema to me over the years and I blame it all on adoption work. Painful waiting started with my own two adoptions that grew into working in the adoption field (what was I thinking?) and “The Wait” has morphed into sinister draconian dread and frustration since working in Ethiopia. Yet … God has been whispering to me about Waiting who is the twin of Patience. Impatience and I have regular coffee klatches, and Impatience almost convinced me that she was virtuous! She most definitely is not, and God’s Spirit and His Word are gently revamping my perspective.

2. The only thing consistent is change. For people like me who like things nice and tidy and predictable, embracing this truth is a huge step. It is also liberating. I hope that with my newfound acceptance of the inevitability of change I will hold most things loosely while holding tightly to God’s Word.

3. This month I have taken another small step to consciously step aside and allow God to author my life. Most of the time I have only permitted him to edit my plans, but God is not just an editor. He wants to write my biography. When hard chapters come, I am confident He will meld it into His epic story.

4. I have enjoyed relaxing. I blame my constant need for projects and outcomes on my father’s Scottish heritage (I can’t blame it on the Irish half!), but I have always felt guilty doing nothing. And, worst of all, I turned the guilt into virtue which made me look down on dreamers and those who were not driven. Really ugly. But I loved sitting with my mother who is mentally acute but physically handicapped and marveling with her on the incredible scenes displayed outside her window.  Playing cards with her of an afternoon or giggling with my sister at midnight when we should be sleeping opened my eyes to the wonderful refreshment of doing nothing but being in the moment with those I love.

5. A cozy fire and a good book are two of life’s special joys, made even better while sipping a cup of Lady Grey tea.

6. I learned that I will never get over my son’s death, and I never want to. He was born on Valentine’s Day and these last 3 ½ years since he died, February has been a dreaded month. This year, in a very private way, I celebrated his life and allowed myself to remember.

7. Becky is an inspiration to me. She is our Ethiopia administrator and does everything with excellence and she has become my good, good friend. Her dedication to detail and her integrity and desire to change and grow as God would have her has always been her hallmark, but this month I have slowed down enough to process and verbalize the immense impact she (and her husband Jeff) has had on my life.

8. If I know something is very, very wrong, do I do enough to stop it? There are two things I am passionate about. Most other things I can view with ambivalence or maybe have an opinion about, but children without families and babies who are deliberately denied life thrust me into the arena of action. But am I doing enough? Am I lending my voice, my resources, my talents, my energy, to end abortion and stand for the orphan?

9. The abundance of my life, the shear amount of blessings bestowed on me, unearned and undeserving, overwhelms me. Why was I given a wonderful family and place to live while others were born in less than optimal surroundings? Gratitude for all God has allowed in my life should define my every thought, word and action.

10. Sitting at our staff retreat with the incredible people God placed in this ministry to offer hope to pregnant women, adoptive families and children on two continents, demonstrated God’s ability to use every day common folks to impact lives, one person, one family at a time. But the thrust of our time together centered on sitting at His feet as our first and foremost priority. Only out of our intimate time with Jesus will come ministry pleasing to Him.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Links You’ll Like


@Empowered To Connect
The ability to see, think, and feel things from another’s perspective – to empathize – can be difficult for anyone, especially parents. I often find myself more focused on what my kids should be doing rather than considering why they’re doing what they’re doing.

It is from a broken place that children and adults who were adopted come from, and we have many issues, some of which will never go away despite how wonderful our family is. We all have stories and have gone through a lot; and we all process our adoption experiences differently.

I decided to let it go. To open my hands and let loose my ideas about what love should look like on any given day. I decided to keep on loving him well, freely, even when he's difficult or sad.  (He's done the same for me a hundred times, and he hasn't even known me that long.)
What you feel is what so many others felt at one time in their lives. When you’re adopted, you’re going to have questions. It’s as normal as breathing.

Laying Down Your Isaac
The father asked us if we’d take the baby away, if we’d take his son, his only son, to the orphanage. It’s not that he didn’t want the boy. He only wanted to make sure that his son might live.

And just for fun…

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