Most adoptive parents see the title of this post and experience a range of emotions. Birth family can bring such an emotional response from adoptive parents from anger to pity to love to jealousy. Today I’m not talking about adoptive parents feelings but adoptees feelings towards birth family. The topic has come up a lot recently.
Each of our kids has drastically different memories, attachment, and emotions about birth family members. With all children we strive to be open and honest while sill being respectful (which can be hard at times, but that’s a topic for another day).
Recently Preston asked out of the blue while driving home from preschool if he could invite birthdad to his birthday party (this upcoming summer). I took a breath and answered that no, he couldn’t. That the judge decided for his safety he couldn’t see birth dad until he was a grown up if he choose. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see a very sad 4 year old and my heart broke. I have my own very strong feelings about birth family but there is not getting around the fact that it is a loss for my kids. It’s my job to keep them safe so there is no way we will have contact with them but I knew I had to think of something. I just couldn’t leave my child that broken.
I looked back at Preston and let him know that I was sad for him, that he could not see him for safety. Preston asked if I knew where birth dad was. I told him honesty that I didn’t but that when he was 18 if he wanted I would help him look. Then I told him that I knew someone who knew where birth dad was, that God knows where everyone is and what they are doing. While we can’t see or talk to birth dad, we could pray to our amazingly powerful God to help birth dad make good safe choices. Preston silently considered this and asked if we could pray about this at dinner time. I smiled and told him that while we usually pray at meals and bedtime we can actually pray whenever wherever we are, that God will always here us.
So we held one hand while driving and I prayed that God will work in birth dad’s life. That God would protect him and turn his heart to God. That he would accept Jesus into his heart and learn how to make good safe choices. That by the time Preston is 18 birth dad would be a safe person to have in his life.
When we said amen I looked back to see a very thoughtful 4 year old who then asked “What about that lady that lives with birthdad?” I asked if he meant his birthmom. He said he did so we prayed the same prayer for her.
Not sure how the birth family discussion will play out in years to come, but I know that redirecting the hard questions to God get peaceful for me, because in the end I can’t do anything to change the situation but God can.