My name is Kiana and I’m 34 years old. I was met and baptized in the teen ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1998. I’m currently in the singles ministry in the Asheville Church in North Carolina. In my current position I research youth with special healthcare needs and the transition to adulthood and adult healthcare.
I have a clematis vine that climbs the outside of our screened-in porch. Unfortunately, from the inside we can’t see the beautiful flowers, only bare vines and a few green leaves. It's not very pretty, but it does a nice job of blocking the view of a busy road. A while back I noticed a couple of cardinals spending more than their fair share of time on the vine. Then a nest snuggled in its branches. And most recently, two sparsely feathered babies, instinctively craning their necks toward the sky. So tiny and magical. The kids set up a little viewing stool on the porch and starting referring to them as “the babies.” And suddenly from our side of the screen we were no longer staring at bare twigs, we had a birds-eye view of miraculous.
In August 2003, five families from around the U.S. traveled to China together to adopt our children through HOPE for Children. We arrived in Changsha, the capital city of the Hunan Province, early Sunday afternoon.
It's perfectly normal for adoptive parents to look at their new child and wonder if they will ever fit into the family, or if you'll ever truly love that child or even if they will return that love. Often parents find out that their expectations of what the bonding process would be like is inaccurate and they find themselves in a state of disappointment or frustration. The journey may go smoothly or may be bumpy, but here are some strategies for bonding with your adopted child.
The month of May brings wonderful thoughts of spring flowers, and Mother's Day! As an adoptive mom, my mind floods with joys of parenting and my dreams for my children. I am also reminded of the challenges and how scary it is as a mom to watch them navigate the waters of adulthood. It's thrilling to know fine young men and women who are adopted and thriving. Rebekah Brandenburg is one of them.
One of the most valuable bits of advice I ever received in an adoption class was, "Adoption is not about adopting the perfect child to fit into your perfect family." If you do enter into adoption with that mindset, buckle your seatbelt…because your world is about to be rocked!
When our children were very small, we found that reading adoption related books together was a way to touch on sensitive topics or reassure them of our love in a way that was non-threatening, indirect and just plain fun. This “back door” approach is still at times our only approach when our kids are not emotionally in a place to ask questions or to talk about their fears. A good book doesn’t have to be specifically about adoption and a few of these are not. You may be surprised to find some ordinary titles taking on a completely new meaning when viewed through the lens of adoption! Here are a few of our family favorites for the preschool through early elementary age range.
Have a burning question? We certainly don’t have all the answers, but what we can offer you are four inspirational families and their responses to some of the most commonly asked questions of adoptive parents. First off, some introductions…
In adoption lingo, we often talk about the “journey.” The uncovering of God’s amazing plan to bring this perfect-for-us child into our hearts and homes. Well, we parents are on our own journey! One of unexpected blessings and unconditional love. Part roller coaster, part Sunday drive, and plenty of live comedy along the way. Does this sound familiar? Then it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that, as an adoptive mom, some of my emotions leave me a little stumped.