Adoption and the Destruction of Biological Children

by | 9 Mar, 2017 | 87 comments

Make no mistake about it, fostering and adoption will destroy you and your family. I had many of your concerns, “What about my biological children? How will they take it? I need to maintain the birth order.” You are right in being concerned. There is no way that adoption will not irrevocably and irreversibly affect your birth children.

About four years ago, “we’d” had enough. Fostering will tax the hardiest of families and “we” needed a break, “we” decided. We would focus on us. I sat everyone down and “we” decided this was the thing to do. I can only imagine God’s amusement as within a week we got the call.

“Baby, there’s two boys at the DCS office with no placement,” Ami informed me during my drive home from work.

“Baby, we talked about this and no. We knew this call would come.”

“Okay.”

An hour or so later, “Baby, they’re still there.”

“No! Absolutely not! We talked about this. No. Just no!”

“Okay.” I was intensely determined to “just do us”.

Another hour or two later – it was getting late at this point – “Baby, they’re still there. They just need an emergency placement for a night or two.”

After a sigh of epic proportions just to let everyone know how displeased I was with this turn of events and the deviation from the plan, “Okay!  But just a night or two! Just long enough to find a placement.” Reluctantly, I made the short drive to the DCS office with Ami to pick up two young brothers who had been waiting for the better part of 8 hours.

As expected, one day became two and turned to three and still no placement. My ire grew by the hour. We were just going to do us! In desperation I consulted my two youngest teenage daughters. The girls had just recently acquired separate rooms after sharing a room their entire life. They coveted their own rooms and I sought to leverage this angle.

“Girls, if we keep these boys, you guys are going to lose your rooms.”

“Dad, we know. We already moved back in together.”

“You did?”

“Yes! These boys need a home.”

In that instant, the Holy Spirit crushed my heart at the display of my daughters’ Christ-likeness. My resistance crumbled. “Okay, they can stay,” I conceded. Four years later and I am proud to call these two young men my sons.

I’ve tried since becoming a Christian a decade ago to bring my children up in the way of the Lord that when they are older they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) I’ve done my best to teach them what is most important in life and how to live a life of active faith and obedience to the Lord.

Yet, I fail, daily. I am a sinner saved by grace, wretched and self-absorbed in my flesh. One singular action betrays that and testifies consistently to the loving grace of our Lord Jesus, the fact that we adopt. This has been perhaps my most powerful witness to my daughters.

It is hard. I’ll not sugar-coat that truth. We’ve been stolen from, lied to, threatened even. We’ve shed tears, grieved, been frustrated. It’s no fairy tale. Happily ever after seems like a pipe dream on occasion. My oldest son, adopted at 16 from Memphis and deeply immersed in affliction to this day, testifies to this fact.

In fostering and adopting, you immerse yourself into the misery of the human condition. You reach deep into the cesspool of human sin and select one, or many, to rescue from their plight…just like Christ did for you, if you are a believer.

And through it all, our family has clung to the cross and to one another confident in the fact that despite the hardship, all that the Lord has brought have heard and seen the life-changing message of the Lord Jesus lived. I rejoice in that.

I rejoice that my daughters came to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus.

I rejoice that all of my daughters intend to adopt at some point.

Adoption has destroyed me. More appropriately, the Lord destroyed me, the old me, and made me a new creation in Christ. He did the same with my family, rearranging the entire order of our existence. Adoption is but a natural out-pouring of that newness.

Yes, adoption will affect your birth children…in the greatest possible way. I can think of few other ways to bear witness to the Gospel to your own children than to love another child as if he were your own, to adopt, as you have perhaps been adopted by our heavenly Father.

Considering this, maybe birth order is not so important after all.

87 Comments

  1. The Adopted one

    My mother is 88 almost 89 and dementia is taking her. Her son, my brother has ALS and he may leave earth before Mom. I was there when my father died as was my four children. We are a family. What would they do without us? #adoptionworks

    Reply
  2. Grannymaryp7

    Thank you for being faithful to your call. God bless you and your family!!

    Reply
  3. Deborah ELDER

    The Lord moves in mysterious ways. God bless your family

    Reply
  4. Philip Paramore

    What a great story of human sacrifice, or maybe not sacrifice, but the abilty to know whee your heart is and what you ca d with it. I salute you folks for helping these children. Phil Paramore

    Reply
  5. Mary Knapp

    God bless you and your family! This is a beautiful story so many of us can learn from.

    Reply
  6. Ann

    Thank you for the encouragement. God is moving in the hearts of those that love him. My daughter is adopting out of foster care, she shared this on FB.

    Reply
  7. Kerry Bryant

    Adoption is all well and good until you get a child with severe mental illness. This child will take over the intire household and will destroy family as you know it. When you get this child the State will turn their back on you. I heard in a meeting a social worker exclaim to an adoptive parent that if they had adopted a puppy they wouldn’t expect the animal shelter where they had adopted the puppy come and help them with it. I interjected that if I had adopted a puppy from the pound and it started biting people as it got older that I would have it put down. You would really frown of that if that was done to a child, now wouldn’t you. Once again the State wanting to divert liability, put the liability on people with big hearts, and then walk away. If your going to adopt, adopt with your eyes wide open. Use your head, not just your heart. Because even doing foster care and not adopting effects your bio children.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Not exactly what I believe. It can be very tough, I know. However, God will equip us to walk the path that He has called us to walk.

      Reply
    • Amanda

      Mr. Bryant-
      The state should be supportive of its adoptive families with post adoption services but what if it was your birth child who developed mental illness, what would you do then? These children are not comparable to puppies from the pound they’re comparable to your birth children. I hear the pain and frustration in your comment and I’m not trying to add to that.

      Reply
      • Michelle

        You deal with it, learn to adjust to it, and do EVERYTHING in your power to make sure that, that child gets all the help you can get for him/her, and you STILL love them no matter what.
        I was a foster parent, who adopted our foster son. It wasn’t until he was 3 or so before we realized that he had mental/behavioral issues. Once we realized there was an issue, we took every step possible to make sure he had the help he deserved. We are still taking steps to help him deal with these issues and will continue to do so until the day we die. You do not turn your back on these children!!! He was 11 weeks old when we brought him home, to our 16 and 13 year old biological children. Were they angry? You’re dang right they were!! They refused to get close to him because they feared that once they did get close, he would be gone. They however couldn’t help but fall in love with him! He is their brother!!
        He was in 5 (five) that’s right 5 foster homes in 4 weeks, and people wonder why these children have the mental/behavioral issues they have!!! His therapist says that even though he was so young, he doesn’t remember the actual events that happened to him (thank God) or he doesn’t remember being placed time and time again, HOWEVER, his brain remembers when he was in fear, when he was being removed time and time again, being separated, etc…so when he feels any type of these emotions, his brain triggers it’s natural response. So, he will have issues for years. Hopefully, he will be able to learn to deal with them, but there is a chance that he will NEVER learn to cope accordingly. So, when you sit there and tell people to overlook the mental/behavioral children because it will not be worth it, ask yourself again, if I was that child, I would probably have a lot of issues too. These children need love, support, guidance, everything!! It makes me so angry to know that DHS and our government, time and time again, have failed these children!!! We begged and begged the 4 weeks he was in the other foster homes, for him to be able to just come home with us, but for some reason it wasn’t allowed!! Paperwork!! Paperwork mattered to them more than getting this child into a home, where he was going to be loved and secure. Now, he is paying the consequences of this!! Between the many foster homes, parental visitations for over 2 years, which was allowing him to be with his birth mother (I say birth mother only because the birth father was the reason behind him being removed and never made an effort to have anything to do with him. So this ultimately led into another form of seperation and inability to form bonds and to not be able to learn coping mechanisms. These children deserve better than what the state and Dhs give them. They would rather these children be placed time and time again, than to allow someone who is willing and able to give them a home that is full of love, kindness, support and stability. I know HE DESERVED BETTER!!! The children are the ones paying the price!! I wouldn’t trade anything for what we have had to do. He is a precious angel sent to us for safekeeping of his heart and soul, and I will not sit back and allow someone to say that they are not deserving of a family.

        Reply
    • Angie

      I agree with this post. I adopted a child with mental illness that almost destroyed our WHOLE family; she is in a residential treatment for now because of what SHE did to my other children and animals–Yet JFS doesn’t accept any accountability for not fully disclosing!!!
      However, I have adopted three other children that bring joy and show me everyday if GODs love…

      Reply
    • Katie Gonzalez

      What would you do if your bio child was mentally ill? Once a child is adopted, they are as if born to that family (we’ve adopted 7 from foster care). Struggles and all. I wish DFCS supported post adoption better but I also wish we had better support for families with biological children with special needs. A struggling child is still a child and mine are mine regain how hard the struggle or how they came to our family.

      Reply
    • Katie

      I totally respect your opinion. It is your opinion, but wow a child with a mental illness or chronic/congenital illness is still a child. They are amazing and a miracle to watch.
      I am a registered nurse at a children’s hospital. I see sooo many children in foster care, healthy and not so healthy. The unhealthy, chronic, challenged kids needs an amazing, loving, Christ-filled home just as much as anyone!
      Yes, they are a lot of work. Tube feedings, turning them so they don’t get bed sores (if immobile), possibly tracheostomy care, multiple hospital admissions with long stays. Yes, that will turn your family around, but it can also completely bless your family. It can open your eyes and humble you. It can make you praise and worship God in a way you never have before. He is an amazing and miraculous God who can do all things. He has a purpose for each child, no matter the shape, size, or mental capacity.
      Yes, these kids who are challenged in many ways are not for everyone, because they do need very special care. God calls a special heart to care for these amazing creations.
      Just be mindful and respectful of these children. They are just as beautiful as a normal healthy child.

      Also, to this article… God bless you and your family! What an amazing story. I am newly married. My husband deploys to Iraq in 2 short months and will be gone for a year. However, when he returns and decide to start a family, we too would love to adopt someday..god willing.
      Thank you again!

      Reply
      • Bradford Smith

        God bless your family during this deployment and God bless you all as you prepare to start a family. I pray that the Lord would guide you as you consider adoption.

        Reply
      • Jamie

        Katie…..love your reply. God created each child and they are unique and deserving of love and care. It breaks my heart to think people don’t feel some are as “deserving” because of things they deem “problems”. Everyone deserves love and I’m so glad has placed a burden of the hearts of some who can and will adopt those children. My husband and I hope to start the adoption process soon 🙂

        Reply
      • Selah

        Love this! I adopted our son when he was an infant, and now he is 9 with mental illness and severe behavior issues. We are blessed by his life still. None of our other 4 biological children have any mental illness, but we love all 5 of our children just the same and see them no different! What you said is so true and so good! Thank you for sharing and I hope your life will be blessed with adoption one day!

        Reply
    • Carrie

      Kerry Bryant, I REALLY hope you don’t adopt and if you already have then I feel for your children. When you adopt the child becomes yours and yours alone. The state isn’t going to help you; it’s not their responsibility. If your bio child(ren) have an illness would expect the state to take care of them too?

      Reply
    • Rebecca Cook

      That was our experience and it almost destroyed our family and our marriage. The child had severe attachment disorder from being neglected and mild brain damage from birth mother being an alcoholic and also severe emotional issues. No one told us what to expect. We thought love would conquer all. We were wrong. Our daughter, who was very tender hearted and who saw through the years how this child was so destructive and how we received very minimal support from other Christians, became suicidal as a teen. Oh, we were judged by other Christians and given unsought advice, but little help and understanding. A few people, including my parents, finally came to the realization that we were not being overly dramatic and that there were serious issues and asked for our forgiveness and began to try to help. We finally were accepted in a state program which gave us some relief. Yes, God does equip you to walk the path He has called you to walk, and sometimes that means to be willing to accept that the child will be in your family to be given as much love and teaching as you can, then be willing for him to go to specific homes where he will be given what you are not trained to give, that He does not call on you to destroy the family for the sake of one child who needs more than you are capable (with the capability He gave you), of giving. Unless you have experienced life with a child like this, or have been close to someone who has, you have no real concept of what this experience is like and any comments about it otherwise offer no real help. This child is now almost 25 years old and is one of the most manipulative and lying persons we know. I now have severe PTSD, and am thankful that our marriage has bonded us together as we fought to honor our vows before God. If we had had a biological child who was born mentally ill, the situation would have been different – there would not have been neglect the first year of life (attachment disorder) and there would not have been alcohol induced brain damage. If you look through research which has been done about these two specific issues, these are rarely reversible issues as far as behavior, which is very destructive. This child is not to blame for what happened to him, but the normal average family is not capable or trained to deal with these serious issues either.

      Reply
      • JJ

        God bless you Rebecca. That is what some in our family are going through as well. I totally agree that the kinds of mental illness would not be present without brain damage and abuse at early ages. People who have not been through this have no idea. What you said is exactly true. Families who trust the Lord, love him, and have tried SO hard to help kids like that for years CAN and DO reach a breaking point. There are several articles now being shared about attachment disorders, etc. People need to be prepared. May the Lord bring healing to your whole family. Know you’re not alone and that you shouldn’t be judged by all these people who have no idea what they are talking about!

        Reply
        • Rebecca Cook

          Thank you so very much. It’s healing to hear from others who understand.

          Reply
      • PR

        Rebecca, my best friend’s family has been struggling with issues like those you had to deal with (with TWO children with FASD, autism, and RAD), and I agree, it can be absolutely devastating for the adoptive family. God bless you and give to you His peace and to the child a healing that only He can provide.

        Reply
        • Rebecca Cook

          Thank you so very much. It’s healing to hear from others who understand.

          Reply
          • Lisa MacLean

            My son also has an attachment disorder, learning disabilities, and behavioral difficulties. (This is the child God wanted me to have and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.) But people forget that biological children have issues as well, two relatives were special needs even though their mothers did nothing wrong during the pregnancy. I know plenty of people whose biological children have broken their hearts. Children are gifts from God and I’m sure yours are in good hands.

      • ELAINE

        We’ve adopted 5, and have 3 birth. Two of our 5 have neatly destroyed our home. They definitely stole our peace. We have lived under lock & key for years trying to protect ourselves from those 2 children. (Assaults & theft) We have done all the therapy, medications, rehabilitation programs available to us plus I am a child welfare social worker. We love all 8 of our children but frankly unless you live in the depths of the turmoil you have no way of understanding the emotional devastation. We have thrown everything at thier diagnosis, tried to address their pre-adoption trauma, kept positive birth relationship to minimize their loss, yet all we can do is hope & pray that someday all the love & devotion we gave them will actually make a difference and change their ways of living. Both are adults now living lives that would make Jerry Springer blush.

        Reply
        • Donna

          I’ll not say why, but I wish I could hug you and thank you. May God bless you and give you peace (and safety!)

          Reply
    • Maxie

      It just sounds like you aren’t strong enough to handle a mentally ill child, and that’s okay, it’s just not for you. These children have been through so much, and their mothers have potentially done drugs while pregnant with them. And yes having a mentally ill child can be extrememly difficult but there’s measures to take to help them. Someone needs to help them, just leaving them or wanting to get rid of them is mean. They are people too, they will grow up one day. We can be the ones who help them become functioning adults. Again, these are humans…not puppies.

      Reply
    • Marny

      Thank you for sharing a very real side of adoption and fostering. We fostered a child with severe mental issues. It was beyond my capabilities to handle. You are right about the state turning their back. When the safety of our children were at risk and we no longer had the capacity to care for this child we could say no. She had wonderful adoptive parents who were burned out. Child & Family thought they were terrible parents and took their daughter. When C&F ran out of options they told the parents they ‘had’ to take her back. The parents loved their daughter and begged for help and resources. C&F told them it was their problem and both child & parents suffered greatly. There was no happy ending to this story. Sometimes there isn’t. Just like in other areas of a fallen world…things don’t always work out the way we fervently wish. We have fostered many, many children and regret none of them. Yes it changed us all. Everyone brought and took something. We are richer for it but it does not always work out and it is not fair to lay blame or guilt when it doesn’t.

      Reply
  8. Clara McKnight

    I know a family well who have adopted (have 2 biological kids) 5 & are on the way to making it 7 – some from third world countries, some in the USA. I have to admit “what would this do to their biological kids” entered my conversation with others about this. Well the Lord was in this so these kids are a family and yes, they certainly have their challenges as you can imagine. But I have watched the miracle of this family unfold (one with special needs that’s doing great!) and they’ve been a living testimony of what God can do!

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Praise Jesus! This is what I’m talking about.

      Reply
  9. Bonnie

    My daughter (Annalisa Boyd) ‘re-posted this. She and her husband have fostered 34 (35?) Babies and adopted 6 children (their 3 biological daughter’s are now 23, 21, 18).
    You bet it’s hard! Some of my grandkids come with extras. They have been exposed to drugs or alcohol, neglected…and one is missing a chromosome, one is bipolar.
    These days it seems like people want a guarantee that their baby will be born perfect, with no disabilities. But you don’t know really what the future holds.
    With adopted and foster children, we know that odds are, we’ll be confronted with bumps in the road and we’re going to go through trials with God’s help, willingly.
    Her bio daughter’s love their brothers and sisters and are active in their lives.
    Yes, we are also a Christian family and my daughter is a writer and author also.

    Reply
    • Christy M

      Our bio children don’t come with guarantees, either…

      Reply
  10. Joseph Misiaszek

    We recently embarked on this road – fostering two children one girl from one town and a boy from the other end of the state. There have been many days when I ask God, “Why Us?” And then I think why no – if not us – then who? We have been told that we cant save everyone, but if we saved these two – then its a start and its two less that the state has. Our kids have been tremendous but it has worn on them but when asked if we give up – they all say no. God Bless to you for sharing your story. We are wrecked and we still have bad days but man I love these 2 kids!

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Joseph, “if not us – then who?” – what great words. Thank you.

      Reply
  11. Nonnie

    You, your amazing family, and people like you…make God smile.

    Reply
  12. Beth

    Good stuff! I’ll admit, I’m intense. We have seven bio kids, 5 are adults, we thought it was a good idea to do respite care for OTHER foster parents. Within ten weeks we were suddenly in a pre-adoptive placement. (When people ask, so when did you decide to adopt. Uh, never! Adoption chose us.) We have done foster care for about 50 kids and adopted 3 out of foster care. 2 of the tummy moms I told,” I’ll adopt your kid but you don’t get to walk away.” They needed parents too. It has been a good thing. When they all show up for the Christmas plays it sure is confusing to onlookers. Our kids now have an age range of 30 to 4. We have said we are done so many times. Only God knows if we truly are. Btw, I’m sure we have all made God both smile and wince, but I believe He mostly smiles.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am great testimony. “Adoption chose us” – exactly how I feel.

      Reply
    • Val

      I couldnt agree more. I feel strongly that Adoption also chose us. Our family decided to go through the licensing process in 2012 and we never once thought we would adopt. We were just going to help, nothing permanent. Today we have 2 biological, 2 adopted, 3 foster and 1 soon to be guardianship. It has been a tough road and it definitely impacts your biological children and sometimes it’s a negative impact. However, I pray that even when we are at an all time low, that we at least learn something positive.

      Reply
    • Michele

      Love this! Your family sounds a lot like mine, Beth. We have had 38 Fosters, 4 bio, 2 adopted, and two in heaven. Our kids ages for the adopted and bio kids range from 2-27. We are still in it and looking to add siblings to the youngest. All the others are adults now. We have had some of the challenging ones like some have mentioned. Our oldest adopted is now almost 25, but has emotional and mental issues that willl keep her needing our support and guidance for most, if not all, of her life. We have had several that needed RTCs or extensive therapy. There have been many days I have wanted to quit. It is a calling that we can’t escape.
      The Lord touched mine and my husband’s lives for adoption very early. He was adopted at 10 days old and I was a birth mother who gave up a son at 16. We knew the Lord had a ministry of adoption in store for us. My bio children did have some negative effects from things they were exposed to through our foster children and the time lost to them. However, God had used it all for their good. Even the pain has made them the Godly young men and women they are today. All of them intent to adopt and several plan to do foster care someday. Most are involved in mission work. All of this comes from them learning the heart of our Father through their experiences with kids from hard places.

      Reply
  13. Kristy

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you for sharing your story…..your home, your heart, your family! To God be the glory!

    Reply
  14. Leslianna

    This my friends….This is what Jesus has done in my life….in my husband’s life. Family doesn’t at times understand us. Friends at times don’t understand us…..but this …this is probably the best words I have heard to date to sum up how Adoption has changed our entire family for His glory. Our son and daughter are constantly asking when can we bring another brother or sister home. I love that Jesus has changed our hearts for Him…not for anyone else but for Him. Each of us profoundly and deeply changed forever because of His love thru adoption.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      We were just discussing tonight how we sometimes get pushback even from our own family.

      Reply
  15. michelle schaffner

    So needed this right now. Thank you. The Lord bless you and your family.

    Reply
  16. E

    I’m the baby of 3 bio kids. My parents began doing foster care when I was a freshman in high school, and, speaking from experience, foster care/adoption absolutely 10,000% affects your bio kids. When my parents began praying about becoming foster parents, they asked me what I thought. When all was said and done, we had all prayed and prayed, and felt God was telling us to do it. Not just my parents, but my grandma, myself, and my older siblings. We became a foster FAMILY. We started out doing respite care, moved into full foster care, and eventually into adoption. I’ve lost count of the kids who came through our home. My mom knows the final numbers.
    But we always prayed that God would send the ones He wanted in our home specifically. We agreed we would never say no, trusting that God would place every child where He wanted them. And 18 years later, I now have 4 younger siblings that are mine forever. They’re all adults now, the youngest having come to us at 4 months old and just turning 18 in November of last year.
    I can’t imagine how any of our lives would have been without each and every child who came to us. We learned from them all. Not just different ways to deal with kids, sicknesses, and paperwork. We dealt with mental illnesses and addictions in our kids. Yes, those things have taken a toll on our family as a whole. We all bear terrible scars. Some of us still have open wounds in our hearts. But all of these kids showed us how to love. That’s the bottom line. My parents are fantastic people, and have always have huge hearts, but the kids who came though our home taught us more about love than I thought a person could learn.
    People can tell you to be cautious all they want. And you should be. But being scared of kids in the system, and of the system itself, will rob you of being a blessing to those kids, and of the blessing you will receive in doing what God has asked you to do.

    Reply
    • Christi Sampson

      Beautiful!!!

      Reply
    • Michele

      Beautiful!

      Reply
  17. Shannon Guerra

    Living this out over the last five years. Yep, it’s hard. It hurts when dross is burned off us in this process of sanctification, and hurts a little more when we see our biological kids go through that sanctifying, too. Thanks so much for this important post.

    Reply
  18. Amelia

    Wow this is so powerful, thank you for sharing this wonderful story and testimony! Amen we have all been adopted by the lord!

    Reply
  19. Lynn

    I am a foster Nana. I am so proud of my girls and their husbands who had the courage to follow Gods call for adoption and foster care. How much I am learning about unselfishness, sacrifice, true love, and how God equips those families he calls. Each family has suffered thru trials and loss, but never has God abandoned us. I have learned to pray and cling to God in every situation. I see my biological grandson love and care for his new brothers and sisters and new cousins. As Nana of these precious children, I am on my knees and praying way before the sun comes up. God has this !! Everyday I pray for our Churches to come to the truth of what God calls us to do. Support single moms, leave fear behind ,and love those children abandoned or neglected.

    Reply
  20. Christi Sampson

    Raising a child that’s been traumatized is by far the hardest thing my husband and I, and our 12 year old biological son, have ever done! But God has, and continues to reveal Himself to us, and change us daily, for His glory and purposes. Tomorrow marks 2 years since we’ve adopted our now 3 year old daughter, whom we fostered first. We thank God for trusting us to teach her who He is!!!

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      It wasn’t until this year, after years of fostering, that I even began to realize the amount of trauma these kids experience.

      Reply
  21. ig

    I appreciate, result in I found exactly what I was looking for.
    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.

    Bye

    Reply
  22. melissa

    When my husband passed we had 6 children (5 adopted) between 2 and 17 years old. I had no clue what to do next. A few months later I found out that two of my boys’ bio mother was expecting again. That child was born drug addicted, as were his brothers before him, and taken from her custody. As a widowed mother of 6 there was no way I was able to consider taking on another child … until my kids asked me at dinner one night when he was coming home. In their minds there was no doubt, that little guy was their brother and he needed to be here. He is three months old now and will soon be, legally, my 7th child and I cannot imagine a life where he wasnt here with us. There is a plan for each of us and it is not always what we think it is going to be. We are instructed to train our children, but sometimes they lead us.

    Reply
  23. AK Mom

    I adopted my foster son four years ago when he was two and my biological son was 5. I wasn’t looking to adopt- a child advocate who I knew through business told me about a little boy who needed parents. All I did was say yes. When God sent the angel Gabrielle to Mary – she did not question what was asked of her – she said yes. I knew immediately God was sending me a request. Sadly, I divorced the father of my children last year after he developed an addiction so severe the children and I were not safe. So now, friends- I am a single adoptive mother. My adoptive son is hugely challenging. He has behavioral issues and I’m called by the school regularly. He’s also a spectacular little boy- a talented athlete and determined beyond belief. How I love him! How I love that my sons have each other, and love each other – and that when I rest with the Lord, they will not be alone.

    Reply
  24. Monty Monett

    As a teen, I didn’t want to marry or have my own children. There were too many in the world without parents or love, I wanted an orphanage as a missionary. God had other plans. Met my husband the first day at Bible College in the registration line. When we felt ready for children, we filled out the paperwork for biracial or hard to place children. I got pregnant. We lost the baby before 3 mo along. Had to wait 6 mo before continuing to mourn the loss. Had our first appt and I was pregnant again. Had a daughter and pregnant 6 mo later. My pregnancies were very hard, throwing up every day, all day, for all 9 mo and worse with our first we lost. NO more thinking of adoption if it meant birth control pregnancies!!! 5 yrs later we had a son, conceived after 1 conversation about adoption. Sick all 9 mo again. Knowing I never wanted to be pregnant again, I had surgery to prevent me from being able to!!! The needy children never left my heart, mind, or prayers. When the girls were near grown, one graduated, and the second close, we all sat down and discussed foster care. The agency was anxious to get us signed up. The tragedy we learned was the lack of care about the kids emotional well-being from the agency and moving them for no reason except they received money from the state for every child placed. From who didn’t matter, just place and get money. We also learned the agency was not interested in adoption, even though they spoke of it and some took place. We were asked to adopt a 14 yr old after having him for 18 mo. He was old enough to ask and said yes. BUT an Aunt and Uncle they hadn’t disqualified like the rest of his biological family came into the picture and he was told he had her to spend a month with them in another state to see if they would want him. He was on meds for ADD, was in counseling for the transition, and though he drove everyone crazy, we loved him and we considered him ours. He didn’t stay with the Aunt and Uncle, SS knew it, but he was the ward of a different state than ours and his biological family. He was never returned to us but sent to the state he was ward of. He had gotten in trouble with the law where his biological family was, and that state didn’t want to pay for his detention time and our state didn’t want him, so he ended up in a state with no family and no one who wanted him. We were able to contact him through his lawyer (not GAL) and we could write. We asked the state he was in to let our adoption finish but he was not on meds from the time he arrived to visit for that month and told he could do anything he wanted. Quite enticing for a 16 yr old. Before we could get to the state he was in and see him, he stole a bike and was in detention again. Since we were not family, we were not allowed to visit him. Placed in a foster home he’d been abused by the other kids their, he ran away the next day and hitch hiked back to his grandmother’s, broke the law and jailed until he was 18. We sent a letter to his lawyer who made sure our boy got it. He wrote to me and one sister until out of detention and we never heard from him again. During the time he was with us, we did respite care for a brother and sister who walked in our door straight into our hearts. They had been in the same home since they were 3 and 4 for 5 yrs. Our youngest daughter asked if we could keep them the first night after they were asleep. The foster parents were in a lawsuit with SS, the state, and the governor because a family of kids they had fostered and wanted to adopt had been taken from them and moved more than 350 miles from our town and placed in a foster home where they were abused. SS was afraid of them and more so after they won the suit. By then their kids were with a family who loved the kids and the kids loved them back and adoption was desired if the first foster family would allow and not take them back. Since they loved those kids, they let the other family adopt their kids. Bitter from their loss, they agreed to never be attached to any foster kid again and look at it as they were just taking care of someone else’s kid. I didn’t know this at the time and couldn’t imagine having kids for 5 yrs and not feeling they were mine. When the youngest, the boy, asked us to adopt them and I said it would break his foster parents heart, he said they don’t love us-you do-and they don’t want us to be happy because the kids they wanted weren’t given that with them. So we filed adoption papers. We were no longer allowed to see them being told they didn’t want to see us again. A meeting of the girl with my oldest daughter picking up her brother gave us the rest of the picture. They were told we didn’t want to see them and both wondered what they had done wrong. By now she was a teen and in a group home because the foster parents couldn’t deal with the hormones. She had to ask permission to see you our daughter and was gone in 3 days. Her brother wasn’t told where either. I quit SS before this because I wasn’t doing this to hurt kids or be part of SS lies. A very hard choice which needed help from our pastor. We couldn’t be part of such sinful behavior to hurting children. God sent us to a different agency 2 days later. We lived in a small town where a juvenile detection center was so far away the kids had to be flown there. This agency had received a government grant to place non violent teen offenders in homes in the area. We were called proctor parents. In 2 1/2 yrs, we took in 88 kids, only 6 were girls. During that time the boy was placed in the group home having become hormonal and the people didn’t want to deal with that. When I took my kids to court, I would stay to see what happened to them. During one of the court times our boy was before us and was already before the judge. A private company had just finished building a detention center and what was going to happen to the program depended on how well the center did. The judge was addressing our boy telling him the group home didn’t want him back, the foster parents didn’t want him back (laws had changed and if you had a foster child for 4 mo, $90 paid to the court would allow you to know what happened to the kid and even be part of hearings) and the foster mother was sitting with the DA, but his offence wasn’t bad enough to leave him in the detention center. I leaned over the bench and whispered to my caseworkers that I knew him and wanted him. The judge said, “Do you have something to say?” I looked behind me and no one was there, so looking back at the judge I pointed at myself and he said yes. I told him I knew the boy and had tried to adopt him but we were separated by that action on our part. The foster parent said, “He doesn’t want to go there!” Fortunately, he had a court appointed lawyer who asked our boy if he would want to live with us and the answer came loud and sure, “In a heartbeat!” The judge had a problem because he was accused of threatening a 6’4″ male worker who was being antagonistic while our boy was eating telling him several times that if he had put in a request for special school supplies for a project, they would be there, and our boy kept saying he had. In exasperation with a table knife in one hand and his fork in the other, he stood up (all 5’3″ of him) and shouted “I did!” I told the judge I’d known him since he was 9 and he was NOT violent. The judge asked my caseworkers if he was in their program and he wasn’t. So the judge asked if a 10 min recess was long enough to make calls and arrangements, the answer was yes and a recess was called. My boy turned and smiled at me and the foster mother turned and frowned at me. When court resumed, arrangements were made and I was to pick him up the next day. The judge and DA liked me because the kids who came to our house seldom re-offended because they came to us with a clean slate, was treated like part of the family, and were told my story when I was young to a teen leaving for college and had already decided my kids in the orphanage were not going to go thru what I did. My parents did their best, but both had been abused by parents and family members and forgiveness wasn’t something talked about much even in churches except that God forgave us. They were stuck in their hurt and the dinner table was a battlefield. The only sure thing was they loved us kids the best they could and wanted us too. We got our boy, found his sister 350 miles away by one of the boys recognizing her from a picture they had given us that they had torn themselves out and we kept it in our family picture on the wall, the agency had lost the grant, and we were moving closer to aging parents and he was allowed to come with us. He had been asked if he would let us adopt him since he was 15 and had been granted visitation with his biological mom. It was the first decision he had been allowed to make without some adult telling him what he wanted was acceptable, not even clothes. We wanted him to say yes, his GAL wanted him to, his SS caseworker finally wanted him to,. So the only answer that would have been his was to say no. When he was 19 he asked why he said no, and thought the reason was dumb. We told him not when you’re 15 and it’s the first decision he had made that was his. He almost didn’t move with us because he was born there, but on his way to a different foster home he cried from the moment he got in his caseworker’s car. She finally pulled over and stopped and asked him what he wanted. He said to go home to us. Our youngest daughter was married and living in the town we were moving to and had come to help me pack. When he left, she gave him her address and phone number so he’d have contact info for someone in the family, hugged him hard and told him not to take too long to contact us! His caseworker called me, told me what had taken place since leaving our house, and asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her to bring him back! When they came in with some of his packed stuff, he put it down fast and hugging our daughter asked if that was fast enough and hugged me. He loved us and hated us because we “made” him love us. Truth is he had loved us since he was 9. Her second son is named after him and her first son’s middle name is her other brother’s name. His first name is her husband’s uncle’s name who had been killed in Vietnam. Our life with him was far from easy because of the hurt, abuse, and loss he had suffered. He was so angry, which was allowed as long as I wasn’t blamed for it. Then it was required to stop. We even had to send him away for awhile. He apologized for how he had treated us within a few months but was afraid to ask to come home because he couldn’t bear it if we should say no. He told our youngest daughter and she assured him that wouldn’t happen, but he chose to stay with other foster homes in a town about an hour away but came home for all birthdays and holidays and sometimes for the weekend to visit at church the kids he went to school with at the church. He’s 22 and still not legally adopted though he was our son and we were Dad and Mom. The best part of the story was that we finally made it to the courthouse when it was opened when he was 29. He asked me not to tell his story even though I loved it and just answer yes or no. I agreed if it would be possible. The judge kept us for last so that we were the only ones there except court staff. He stepped down from the bench and came t to face us. He asked us all our names and then why we were adopting an adult. I looked around Dad at our son because that was not a yes or no question. He shrugged and between the 3 of us we told him the story. He verified that our son was of sound mind and this is something he really wanted and wasn’t being bullied into it. He assured the judge this was what he had wanted since he was 9 and the paperwork didn’t change we were family, but because he had living siblings, mom, and other biological family he wanted to be sure we were the ones who had the say if something should happen to him. He is now a RN in the Navy, has contact with his biological family except his mother (which we encourage) and is so lonely being away for he doesn’t know how long he hurts. He graduated from officer’s training and was stationed in Oct. Our oldest daughter and husband spent Thanksgiving with him and his birthday was just a week away from then so it was celebrated then with Dad’s brother and wife less than an hour away. Our Anniversary was the end of January and we flew up and spent 4 days and had a meal with Dad’s brother too. And his best friend from high school with his wife, who was his friend before they married, and their two kids just came back from seeing him. He is well loved and missed and a family trip is being planned for everyone to go up together this summer. He has several nieces and nephews who miss him too!

    Reply
  25. Sharlene C

    We adopted our son from foster care. We knew he was special needs and we were older. What nobody knew at that time was he will probably never be able to live on his own. Would I do it again you ask, in a heartbeat

    Reply
  26. Ryan Bomberger

    As an adoptee (from a family of 15 with 9 other adopted siblings) and an adoptive father, this story moved me! Love how the Holy Spirit works, proving that from the human perspective, some of the best things in life are unplanned.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Yes, from our perspective! I could never have planned what the Lord has done!

      Reply
  27. 78Frederick

    I must say you have hi quality posts here.
    Your website can go viral. You need initial traffic only.
    How to get it? Search for; Etorofer’s strategies

    Reply
  28. Bonnie B

    It is the hardest thing I and my husband have ever done but also the most rewarding. I have desperately sought God and His wisdom ever since. My grandson is an amazing blessing as are my other grandchildren.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      It is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

      Reply
  29. Deborah Swain

    I was adopted when I was just 4 days old. Your story moved me, as I have known all my life that I want to adopt a child just like I was. My birth-mother’s sacrificial love and selflessness still moves me to tears. She could have just had an abortion or allowed anyone to adopt me, but she made a list of all the qualifications the adoptive family had to have in order for her to hand me over…number one on her list was they had to be a Christian. She wanted me to have a better life that she knew she could never give me, and that her decision to place me up for adoption was not out of selfishness. I have never met her, but I admire her so much. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and thank you for everything you do for these children…they are so blessed to have you in their lives!!!

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Thank you for those kind and thoughtful remarks. I pray that the Lord Jesus would richly bless you.

      Reply
      • Deborah Swain

        Thank you so much, I pray that God richly blesses you as well!!

        Reply
  30. Angela

    “In fostering and adopting, you immerse yourself into the misery of the human condition. You reach deep into the cesspool of human sin and select one, or many, to rescue from their plight…just like Christ did for you, if you are a believer.” Just like Christ did for me. Wow. That nails it. I’ve always heard pastors and speakers talk about how God has adopted us but never, NEVER have I ever heard them take it a step further and strongly encourage the church to follow suit and foster and adopt. I think that’s very telling about the church in America today. Thank you for your obedience to the Lord and for your encouragement to others.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      I believe that pastors miss a great opportunity to exhort the Church to foster and adopt. I believe that the existence of children with no homes is to the shame of the Church.

      Reply
  31. Verity

    Thank you! We are 8 months in here, and it’s hard. I needed this tonight!

    Reply
  32. Lisa

    More Christians need to do this work. I was a foster mother for ten years, closing my home to adopt one of my foster sons who is handicapped. He is now 12, having been placed with me as an infant. I prayed the whole ten years I was fostering, and the last eight years I have been raising my son alone, for a godly man to come to me so we can serve the Lord together in this fashion. It seems the men I meet who say they are Christian are very turned off by this work, and are more concerned with exotic vacations, expensive hobbies, and their own comfort rather than actually serving the Lord. You are a rare gem.

    There are over 300,000 churches in the US (many with thousands of attendees) and over 100,000 foster children. 22,000-28,000 of them will “age out” with nothing. They do not fare well. If only one person or couple out of every three churches adopted ONE child, the children would be gone.

    “Learn to do good; encourage the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the cause of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
    “Religion that God Our Father will accept as pure and righteous as this, is to care for widows and orphans in their distress.” James 1:27.

    Reply
    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am, feel free to email my wife and tell her what a rare gem I am:) Ha, just kidding but I believe it to be the shame of the Church and really the shame of Christian men that so many children do not have a family.

      Reply
  33. Mira

    I am forever indebted to you for this inotmrafion.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Author - Founder

Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).

THE 413 REPORT

If you loved this article, and would like to learn more about foster and adoption care, and to stay up to date on our projects, missions, and programs, as well as the release of Bradford's third book, Brave Rifles, please sign up for our Newsletter. The 413 Project is made up of common people empowering and serving others to accomplish an uncommon good.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This is a powerful read in a small book. The subtitle hits the mark with its description of, "A Biblical Treatise on Adoption." The author poses a challenge to the reader to stop reading the book upfront if the reader does not want to be moved to action.

   Janice S. Garey  

The call that sounds for the incredible need of emotionally and physically abandoned and orphaned children and one that when answered manifests the love of Christ.

  Anne Rightler

This book is a must read for anyone affected in any way by addictions. So many of the situations in this book seem hopeless, but as Brad so clearly points out, Christ is the solution and the only hope of man. As long as there is breath, there is hope!

  Scott Doherty

In Scourge, Brad offers us more than cold statistics or a cautionary tale. Instead, he offers us the solution - faith backed by action - to overcome this insidious problem Insightful and provocative, Scourge is a warning flag, guide post and rally to hope for all of us.

 Chad Chasteen

Share This
%d bloggers like this: