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Entries must be postmarked by NOVEMBER 23rd!
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Homeschooling & Adoption
Galatians 4: 4 – 7 “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
The typical homeschool family is one that places a high value on children. It’s no surprise then, that there are many homeschool families who are interested in the possibility of adopting. I recently asked an acquaintance of mine, Kim Shafer, about her experiences with the process of the adoption. She has four birth children and has adopted two sons through Bethany Christian Services. She has had experience with international (China) and domestic adoptions. Following are her responses:
On Adoption Requirements: Different countries have different requirements. They examine such factors as: parents’ ages, number of children currently in the home, health of the parents, marital status, criminal record, family income, etc. Many countries require adoptive parents to spend several weeks in the country they are adopting from.
On the Adoption Process: Depending on the age and needs of the child you are waiting for, getting matched with a child can take months or years. Because we were open to many different special needs, we were matched almost immediately with both of our sons. It took about a year for each of the adoptions to be finalized.
On Expenses: Adoption is expensive but my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10 “for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.”) Adoption is close to God’s heart. Ultimately, God provided all that was needed for each adoption.
On Adjustment: My youngest birth son had a very difficult adjustment and actually regressed a bit. He is close in age to the older of our two adoptive sons. However, it has now been 4 years since the adoption and they basically act like normal brothers.
On Managing Homeschooling: China required that we a take a 1 to 2 week trip there for the adoption. My mom moved in and did school with the kids while we were in China. When we came home with our adoptive son, we took the next several weeks off from homeschooling to adjust. As part of our homeschool education, we learned a lot about China that year.
On Language Barriers: The language barrier did not last long. Within 3 months my son was speaking all English and no Chinese.
On Adoption Fears: It was scary to travel to a different country, but we always had a guide/translator with us to help. I was afraid something would go wrong – some important paper would be missing.
On Adoption Advice: Adoption can be very overwhelming, but if you work with a good agency they will walk you through each step of the process. Adopting is a lot of “hurry up and wait”. You have to hurry up and get your paperwork done, and then wait for approval. Be prepared to be patient. Be prepared for hard times. Seeing my birth son regress was hard. Being away from home to travel was hard. Learning to care for some of my youngest adoptive son’s special needs has been hard. My biggest advice is to educate yourself: to the process, to the countries you can choose from, and to what special needs you can handle.
Kim says that she and her husband had always wanted a large family, and they both have always had a heart for kids in need. Adoption was a natural fit! She points out that as Christians we are called to look after the orphan. (James 1: 27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”) We may not all be called to adopt, but we can always help by supporting another family who is adopting through gifts, meals, encouragement, listening, and offering a helping hand.
Thanks Kim, for this invaluable insight! To find out more about adoption you can check out this website: http://international.adoption.com/. Kim highly recommends Bethany Christian Services. Their website is: http://www.bethany.org/main/international-adoption?link=menu. Kim blogs occasionally about her adoption adventures. You can check out Kim’s blogs by clicking http://journeytojonathan.blogspot.com and http://akindofcrazy.blogspot.com/.
More Scripture About Adoption:
Romans 8:23 “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
Ephesians 1:5 “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…”
Esther 2:7 “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.”
Exodus 2:10 “When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
2 Kings 11 – 12 Story of King Joash (Jehoiada the priest raised him and instructed him after his family was killed.)
Copyright November 12th, 2013 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)