Motivated By Love
Loving First in Adoption by Amanda Hogue
Growing your family through adoption is beautiful. It is filled with so many challenges but the rewards of expanding your family make it completely worth it. Your objective starting out may be to ‘have a baby’, but it becomes so much more than that.
All of our kids (bio or adopted) are children of God FIRST. This truth this should cause us to pause. As my husband and I are considering our next steps to pursue adoption again, we are challenged to adopt in a way that honors God. Our primary motivation for adopting the first time was to grow our family, and while that is still the ultimate goal, our eyes have also been opened so much more to the tragedy that marks adoption.
When I look back on our desperation to be parents, I realize that our judgement was clouded and it would have been so easy for us to look the other way if it meant that we could become parents sooner. I’m so thankful that there was absolutely no opportunity for that, but it grieves me just the same. It helps me understand why agencies can practice coercion, charge more for certain gender/ethnicities, and require reimbursement from expectant mothers that feel empowered to parent, leaving them without option other than continuing with their placement plan.
I understand why agencies practice in this way, because the “end consumer”, hopeful adopting parents, are so desperate to grow their families.
The standard for adoption ethics starts with the adopting parents, and that starts with challenging our motivation for adoption. Being motivated by love strips us of the selfish ambition that can get tangled up in the process.
What motivated God to adopt us as his children? Adoption cost Jesus everything, and as he was hanging on a cross, gasping through his tightening lungs, he offered adoption to the criminal next to him. He was motivated by love.
Loving first means changing your language to “we want a baby”, to “we want to love first”. Love first means treating expectant parents with honor and respect throughout the entire process, before and after placement. To love first means that if a woman becomes empowered to parent, you will fully support her decision; and letting her know this throughout the pregnancy. Even if this would be devastating to you.
Loving first mean changing your language from “failed adoption” to “disrupted match/adoption”. We made the choice to wait to have a baby shower until after we brought our little one home and revocation papers were signed. We didn’t consider ourselves parents before that. Until the paperwork was signed, we were her caretakers.
To love first is to honestly consider an open relationship with your child’s birth parents, depending on their state and health. Obviously, keeping your child safe emotionally and physically is the first priority, but I always want it said that we made every effort to keep the lines of communication open. Our commitment to our daughters birth mother was that we would send an update every month, so I email a quick 3-4 sentences with a few photos. It takes less time than writing an Instagram post.
Adoption is a result of a broken, messy world. Adoption is costly. Adoption can crush the birth mother, adoptive parents and eventually the adoptee. Adoption was not God’s original intent, and it’s okay to grieve that. But adoption is also so redemptive, and you never know what details God is weaving together for you and the other members of your adoption triad.
Post written by Amanda Hogue. Amanda is a stay-at-home mama to her sweet adopted daughter. She enjoys long conversations over an iced coffee, mystery novels books, and any type of chocolate. You can find her discussing adoption over on instagram and sharing adoption resources at her own corner of I Am Fruitful!