Friday, July 17, 2009

If, for Adoptive Parents

If, for Adoptive Parents
by Vernell Klassen Miller

If you can freely give children your heritage and graft them into your family tree, and if you can point them to their first roots with honesty and gratitude - then you can parent with confidence, knowing you are offering a lifelong gift.

If you hope your children will mature into the likeness of Christ (even more than you desire them to resemble yourself) - then you have chosen the highest goal of parenthood.

If you listen to others describe the births of their children and feel just as proud of the way your children came, then you know the true meaning of "childbearing."

If you look stereotypes, false reports, and myths in the face and wonder what on earth they are talking about; if you can listen to thoughtless words of friends with patience, and say to yourself, I will overlook that: they don't know how it sounds (yet be able to discern the time to speak); and if you can read research and psuedo-research and sense any bias - then adoption has done more than bring you children. It has sharpened your ability to identify with minorities.

If you can step into a type of parenthood upon which society places a "role handicap," and not assimilate that perception into your own; if you have ever looked into the eyes of your child and known that he or she was always yours; if you have at the same time given thanks for another woman with whom you share the title of "mother" - then you can help your child build strong self-esteem.

If your heart swells with pride at your child's successes; if you hold that child when he or she fails; if you do not blame the failure on genetic origin nor blame yourself but "own" it because your child is yours; if you pray desperately for the salvation of your children, saying (like Moses did) that if they cannot join you in God's kingdom, you cannot go either - then you have learned to pray. Then parenthood has seeped into your soul, even if it didn't emanate from your body, and you will never not be a parent again.

If you rise each morning resolving to be an ideal parent but break your best intentions before noon, forced to acknoweldge your humanness and humbly press on; if you offer your spouse and children the same forgiveness you receive from God; if you can point your children past your own sins toward God and his family - then you have truly become a parent. Then your family will be a beacon in a dark and lonely world.

May God go with you, and may you experience JOY!

1 comment:

Kate said...

What a beautiful photo of your family! This essay is so touching and made me cry (in a good way). I'll call you later to set-up a playdate. BTW, Chris said he got a bunch of great photos of your kids at the pool and he'll make a CD for you. Talk soon!

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