Wednesday, May 12, 2010
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” -Eph. 1:5
A few weeks ago, the world watched in horror as a mother made the decision to “un-adopt” her adopted Russian son by simply putting him on a plane and sending him back to Russia. Unbelievable. Unthinkable.
You may have read the story about the little girl in the 1st grade class. One day, the teacher asked the kids where they were born. The little girl answered, “I’m not sure, I was adopted by my mommy and daddy.” Later, at recess, one of her friends commented, “I never knew you were adopted. That sounds weird.” The little girl responded, “No, it’s not weird. Your mommy had you in her tummy, but my mommy had me in her heart.”
1.7 million households in America have adopted kids. Most of these families are thriving as wonderful parents reach out to love their families. Yet media tends to slant adopted kids as alienated and unhappy. But most adopted kids grow up just fine, with normal struggles just like all kids.
A famous study in the 90’s by the Search Institute of Minneapolis showed that a majority of adopted teens were strongly attached to their families and psychologically healthy. In fact, adopted teens scored better than non adopted siblings in connectedness, caring, and academics. I have worked with many adopted kids in my years at Shelterwood. Do adopted kids have problems? You bet. But so do non adopted kids.
Here are some famous adopted adults:
• Nancy Regan (former First Lady)
• Halle Berry (actress)
• Robert Byrd (U.S. senator)
• Peter and Kitty Caruthers (figure skaters)
• Eric Dickerson (football player)
• Former president Gerald Ford
• Melissa Gilbert (actress)
• Scott Hamilton (Olympic gold medalist skater)
• Debbie Harry (singer, A.K.A. Blondie)
• Faith Hill (singer)
• Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computers)
• Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s)
•Jim Lightfoot (congressman)
•Jim Palmer (professional baseball player)
Another more recent study was led by Matt McGue at the University of Minnesota and included over 1000 children, including adolescents and their siblings. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, it is called the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS). Researchers concluded that adopted kids had as close a relationship to their siblings as non adopted kids. In addition, they found no greater risk for emotional problems than among non adopted kids. You can read more about adopted kids in Parenting your Adopted Child: a positive approach to building a strong family by Andrew Adesman, M.D. (McGraw-Hill, 2004).
If you are feeling led toward adoption, let me strongly encourage you to “stay the course.” The choice to be a parent, through adoption or not, is a choice to love. Either way, God is in control and knows just what we need.
After all, God knows a lot about adoption. He adopted us as His sons and daughters a long time ago.
By Joseph Staples ©