Shattering the Myth of the Fairytale Adoption

by | 18 May, 2017 | 37 comments

There is no fairy tale.  Get over it.

There is no happily ever after. It doesn’t work like that.

You don’t just take one broken by the system, apply a bit of love, and expect them to abandon a lifetime of what they’ve been conditioned to think, often by the very ones who were supposed to be loving them in the first place. That’s not what happens…in our experience.

The system breaks kids. Badly. I never fully fathomed the extent of the brokenness because some of them, on the surface, just seem so normal. The adoption is final. They look normal and might even act normal, so everything is okay. Yet, this normalcy conceals a deep-seated anguish, a sense of utter loss, a trauma that those of us raised in a “normal” family can never fathom.

Divorce shatters many lives. I know adults who still suffer at the emotional toll from their parent’s divorce even decades later. The loss of the family bedrock destroys their sense of security, breaks their ability to trust, and negatively affects their relationships well into adulthood.

Now, imagine, if you will, a different loss. As a young kid, a stranger shows up in the middle of the night and tears you from the only normal you know. It is likely a dysfunctional normal. Why else would the department come calling, but it is normal to you. It’s all that you’ve known. And in the middle of the night, you find yourself on the doorsteps of a stranger. Maybe you’ve got a little Walmart bag with your toothbrush and a change of underwear. Maybe not.

You bounce around various foster homes—with each move you die a little more inside. Perhaps you become fortunate enough to find a forever family and be adopted but still, nothing can ever replace your loss! Nothing can ever atone for what has been done to you. The loss, in and of itself, is enough to traumatize. Couple the loss with the sheer nature of dysfunction previously experienced and is it any wonder that system kids struggle?

The trauma never occurred to me. When I look at my son, I see the gangly, young man trying to figure out who he is, just like other young men. I don’t see the beatings he endured at the hand of those he should’ve been able to trust. I don’t see the things he witnessed: the drug use, the destitution, the violence. I don’t see the uncertainty, the fear, the betrayal, the scars on his very soul.

I recall with complete clarity the day we picked my oldest son up from the group home to come and live with us for good. At 16, he had been in the system for as long as he could remember and after nearly three years of bureaucratic legwork, he was coming home at last. He eagerly climbed into our van and popped up between Ami and I in the front seats.

“Can we go to Taco Bell?”

This was it, the beginning of the fairy tale. We’d lavish love and affection on him. He’d recognize what a great thing this was, having a forever family, and we would literally live happily ever after. We couldn’t wait to get started with our new life.

We’ve since redefined success in that we are the first people our son calls from jail.

Now, it didn’t happen overnight and there were glimpses of the fairy tale, happy times…good times. He and another young man performed a rap song they wrote at a foster care festival. We played a lot of basketball at our church’s gym where my ACL fell victim to his sweet cross-over. He and I took boxing classes at a local MMA gym.

The prom stands out. He secured a date and Ami and I were coaching him through all the wickets and preparation. On the phone, his date inquired, “Where we going to eat?”

“Uh, Red Lobster…”

“Is that a buffet? I wanna go to a buffet?”

He looked helplessly at us and we just shrugged. This is how we ended up going to the Golden Corral for prom—or the G.C. (complete with the appropriate inflection) as I discovered it’s called. On the drive into the urban housing complex to secure his date, I looked over as he hunkered way down in his seat.

“Dude, what are you doing?” I asked.

“People going to think I’m with a cop!”

I still laugh at that one. Yet, unseen by us, the non-existent foundation had already started crumbling. I remember how surprised I was the first time he never came home. I remember my shock as he began to fall into affliction. I remember my astonishment when he first picked up a marijuana joint, when he ran off for good.

In hindsight, my foolishness is what is most astonishing. What would make me think that a few short months of loving care would relegate a lifetime of affliction? What would make me think that a bit of “normal” family life would mitigate years and years of the system and the world convincing him of certain things and ideas, convincing him of things about himself?

I have but a few regrets in life and when I consider the affliction of my son, the only thing I’d do over is I would love him that much more fiercely. That, and I’d simply not be as surprised when he strayed. And as another son gives indication that he too might stray, I’ll love him just as fiercely and I’ll do everything in my power to convince him of the truths that I’ve come to know.

A family member once remarked that maybe we would “succeed” with one of our sons one day. This remark gave me great pause. Yes, we had not “succeeded” with our oldest son. He lives currently enslaved to his affliction. But, for several years he had a stable home. He has a family that loves him and will always love him and most of all…he knows about the Lord Jesus.

Now, he doesn’t yet know the Lord, but for years, our family poured the Gospel of Jesus Christ into his heart and mind. We lived the Gospel to our best ability in choosing to love him and continuing to love him even as he forsook that same love.

Yes, my son is broken, broken badly by an unforgiving and relentless system that continues to break so many on the ever-turning wheel of sin and affliction. But I know One who makes all things new and whole. I know One who heals and mends. I know One who saves.

Because of this, I have hope. We will never give up on our son and I anxiously look to the day when he might be reconciled. Perhaps the fairytale is true after all.


  1. Bonnie Shaw

    This is a wonderful article and so true! My husband and I have adopted 10 children. 5 of those were teenagers. Some are “successful” by the worlds standards and some are not. We love them all! And most important is they know that we love them and that Jesus loves them. Thank you for putting into words what we have always known.

  2. S. Wharton

    As a Christian African-American mother of five children, two of whom are adults near age 30, I can’t understand your apparent belief in the inevitably of those victimized by the foster care system becoming agents of a self-fulfilling prophecy of violence, drug abuse, and incarceration. Could part of your sense of futility be rooted in your obvious grief over your son’s life choices? As a parent, I fully grasp the genuineness and intensity of such pain.
    I don’t have specific answers to this conundrum, but I can’t believe your experience is typical. I can’t believe that most or all African-American fostered children will inevitably make the same choices your son made. That may be due to my lack of familiarity with situations such as the one you describe, since my husband and I have provided a loving and supportive home to our children for almost 30 years.
    However, they each could have accepted the lies our society feeds them about their lack of self worth. They could’ve chosen to anesthetize the pain of mistrust, ostracism, and discrimination with illegal drugs, but so far they haven’t.
    I’m not sure what to attribute that to, other than God, who is sovereign. Based on your story, I can’t attribute it to their having access to a loving home, for your foster children had the same, but maybe it came too late for them to benefit from it.
    However, I can’t believe that either, for as long as we are alive, it’s never too late. Consider the thief on the cross.
    The next step for me will be erasing my ignorance of the foster care system and discovering how I might help one or more of its wounded souls.
    I sincerely pray for the restoration and healing of your family and for your son’s salvation, in Jesus’s name.

    • Amanda

      I love your response so much in that you are genuinely seeking and offering to dig deeper to gain more knowledge of the system and be an agent of change for children who are growing up in inconceivable places. I hear your deep sadness over the thought of all childrennof color ending up destined for this kind of heartache and defeat. One question I’ve asked myself after years and years of work with these children is what is it that makes some have the power to overcome and others not. I married an overcomer and my son from the system is so similar to the young man described here. If there was a “thing” I’d bottle it up and inject it to every kid I know who’s hurting, but there isn’t. What I can tell you from a medical, clinical standpoint is that one- this effects kids of every race in the system alike. Trauma during certain stages of brain development can literally change how the brain forms. Having a constant environmental change often leaves children unable to attach, therefore they self sabotage anything that resembles relationship bc they don’t want to be hurt again, so they build walls and they self destruct. It’s so complicated. I don’t know the author, but I don’t feel he intended to damn all kids in the system to some bleak existence, rather what I heard, probably bc I can identify, is the desire for people to understand these children and love them for who they are. Realistically, all the love in the word will not undo abuse, & neglect for every child who’s been hurt by those who were supposed to protect them. I’ve seen MANY families go into fostering or adoption assuming kids should be grateful and happy to have a family and expecting things to just carry on- but that’s so unfair to the kids who have been put into this situation by such great loss. Our son is in federal prison right now as we speak. He is 23 and he told us he never understood our love until he really messed up big time and we were still there to answer the phone and tell him we loved him. Not success by the world standards. We’ve heard plenty of I told you so’s. But we don’t measure success by the worlds standard. He isn’t fully healed and I don’t know if he will be this side of heaven, but I know a lot of families gave up on him before he landed with us, many bc they thought he should just buck up and be thankful for a new start… much easier said than done. I pray every day for him to be free. Adoption is beautiful but it’s also born from a huge loss and sometimes years of trauma that doesn’t go away bc you get a new address. I think the author was just trying to show the reality of living in the tension of that. God bless you and yours and what a gift you all could be to some child somewhere- even if just as a mentor or safe place, to show them what a healthy, thriving family looks like! There sometimes is no greater gift that space and time in our real lives. Grace and Peace.

      • Cjo

        Amanda, your information is dead on. I am a foster provider myself. My husband and I entered with such false hopes that our love would be enough to mend our first little boys heart and soul. Two year later I’m sorry to say we’d failed at our task.

    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am, I never distinguished anything about being African-American. I have two other adopted sons, white, who come from equally horrid circumstances. Yet, we were able to adopt them at a younger age so I believe that things might be a bit different though one of them is showing signs of drifting as well. Again, they are white. Trust me when I say that the system is very rough on these kids of all races. One move sets them back in development many months and many of them move multiple times. Thank you so much for the prayers. They are needed! We’ve been praying for our son for many years and have not and will not give up on him. God bless!

      • C. Allain

        You are spot on. The system cares not what color of skin these children are. Occasionally some will succeed to the worlds standards. Personally I feel if we can get them beyond teenager we have succeeded. I too have adopted special needs children. Each and every one of them are different. Good luck to you and God Bless all Foster Parents/Apoptive Parents!

    • Adam

      S. Wharton – There’s nothing in this article about race at all. You are responding to arguments not being made.

    • Kris

      I’m the mother of a 16-y-o who we adopted from foster care. I didn’t see that this article was about skin color as much as itv was about the experience of foster kids, children from hard places, kids who didn’t have a sure foundation in their early years.

    • T

      Sadly it isn’t just the African American youth/young adults who fall under this same situation. Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Russian, whatever race. When your born to a family whose “normal” involves abuse either physical, mental l, sexual etc. neglect, substance abuse, being raised where all that is seen as “normal” and “this is jist how families are” or living in conditions beyond disbelief and children not properly clothed or cleaned or fed. This is what MANY kids across the world grow up to believe is “normal”. There are of course the families, like yours, mine, this man’s story where unconditional love is given, support for a positive future, while letting children learn from mistakes on their own in a positive manner where the children feel comfortable to discuss any hard life choices they have on their plate, maybe it’s not knowing what sport to play, or if this girlfriend or boy friend is the right one for their dreams they have in the future and if this relationship will last through highschool and through college or where ever they go from highschool. The homes that they know this year they’ll get new properly fit clothing (even if it’s gently used clothing but still has lots of life to it!) A warm bed to sleep in and a hot meal on their plate. Parents who work hard everyday to make this possible, and so their kids can have this life branded into their “NORMAL” sure it can’t be said that children from these homes won’t get mixed up in the wrong decisions and wind up on a criminalistic lifestyle, but it is far less likely than a child whom had been removed and put into the system. Children move home to home for various reasons, they don’t fit the families schedule well (maybe too frequent of therapy appts, Dr appts,) they show severe signs of mental illness, is a threat to another in the home or themselves because the home is not what they “need”. They fit better in a home being the oldest child, or even the youngest child. Teens are the hardest to adopt out when in the system because of this uneducated idea that foster teens are just too far troubled and there is no hope, you can’t imprint your happy healthy lifestyle into their brains like you can on an infant, small child or your own biological children. So when a child gets comfortable at one home, then that home decides the child just doesn’t fit they request a move which happens in 14-30days or the agency decides to move the child to a home that better suits their typical demographics of what they grew up with, the child thinks “okay…ive tried really hard to make this work, I thought this was going good. What happened? Once again, I was let go…” you can’t take a city born and raised child and place them into the middle of cornfields and soy bean fields on a ranch and think it’s going to work, same as your far less likely to get a child born and raised in the country setting and drop them off in the inner city of Detroit and expect that to work either. It just doesn’t work, but it happens. So again a child is bounced around until they find a home that suits them until they are adopted, or the more likely chance, the age out and are left without that forever family to follow them through life and try to help. These children are broken by their first homes and situation, and although fosterhomes do AMAZING things for children in care as far as trying and doing the best they can to inflict some type of normalcy into their hearts and brains, They are repeatedly broken as they move through the system. And eventually many of these children who get adopted as a late teen, or even age out, they’re going to revert back to what they were originally raised to know. Why? Because it was the only comfortable thing without too much expectation of a positive outcome. If you don’t TRY, you can’t fail, right? Not exactly, but that’s how it’s seen to them. So not necessarily saying that it’s JUST African Americans who fall victim of this broken system, and that it is just blamed on foster care because as a parent your disappointed in your child’s life choices and actions, but because the second part is the truth. It IS the system who continuously fails these children… over and over and over again then one day as a foster parent, one of your previous foster children are now in the system again, but on a new level… They repeated the cycle, they have now lost their children for the same things or ideas that their parents once lost them…

  3. Brian

    I have no words. As an adoptive parent of 5 boys, from foster care, this article irritates me a bit. This was one guy, you’ve turned this into a foster kid scary tale.

    • Bradford Smith

      Sir, being a foster/adoptive parent to my sons has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done but also one of the best if not the best. I have zero regrets, perhaps that I didn’t pray hard enough, but other than that, I am filled with hope. If you took away despair from my article, then I communicated poorly.

    • Tribe of 6

      Thank you so much for being bold and sharing your experience.
      It happens A Lot. I know as I have experienced the same thing with one of my adoptive children and I am in a support group with a lot of moms who have experienced the same type scenarios. The only difference was my child was very violent to siblings &I myself.
      This NEEDS to be said to people thinking of adopting any child. Love cannot fix everything. And there are not a lot of resources out there After the adoption is finalized. You won’t get all the info on the child upfront. Right now, you’re lucky to get any info at all. That is something that needs to change. And parents need a better understanding of what it is to adopt a traumatized child. We all thought we had enough resources and love to help, but we were wrong.

      Again. Thank you for being bold and speaking up. You will get criticism and people who don’t understand. But it happens a lot and we don’t come forward because of the ridicule and judgements. Instead of an understanding.

  4. Connie wilson

    Adopted six—-all with LOTS of baggage. They have been taught the word of God loved unconditionally and yet they reject us and our love. We will never stop loving them, even after we have been lied to stolen from, mentally and verbally abused. All my life I wanted to adopt, however would I do it again, probably not. Would I encourage others to? I would say REALLY think about it, and what breaks my heart is it is the children who pay! The system is PATHETIC! It’s all we have but it is not working! Praying for all those who decide to continue and for those children who need someone. I love mine and that won’t change but I remain broken, abused and destroyed at times!

  5. Sheryl

    I so needed to hear this. My husband and I invited a young homeless man to live with us for a transition. We were so naive and unprepared in understanding brokenness. ‘Love does’…right?! Learning to love without expectation is truly what my church calls ‘outlandish love’. No fairytale.

  6. James

    I’m not a Christian. I believe Jesus was a good man who showed us the right way to live, but I have seen the Church destroy children. And it doesn’t matter what church: Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Protestant. Your son knows the Lord in his own way through the love that you showed him. We are all saved by God’s abundant grace and there is nothing that we can do to earn that or take it away. Trust me, he knows the Lord and the Lord knows him.

    And no – this isn’t a fairy tale. The work of the Lord is dirty work. It is painful and hard and frustrating and dangerous. But we’re all the same.

    • Dianna

      Incredibly well said.

    • Bradford Smith

      Sir, with all do respect, you and I do not worship the same God or the same Jesus. Your thoughts on God, though you are certainly entitled to believe what you like and I respect that, but that is not the Jesus of the Bible.

  7. Paul Calhoon

    Glad Bradford Smith wrote this article, In response to Wharton, we adopted our Caucasian son when he was 10 after spending 3 years as his group home parents. He really appreciated us for the first couple of years, but as he became older he started to have problems. We tried to get him counseling. but he refused to talk to counselors. He would spend an hour with the counselor being almost completely quiet during the entire session. At 16, he ended up in a boot camp for boys in trouble with the law We paid for his lawyer that time, but we told him if it happened again he was on his own. He got so he would not come home nights. I finally, left him a letter in which I told him we loved him, but his choices were to either obey our rules or leave. He chose to leave. He was back in trouble with the law after he left when he was 18, not for stealing, but damaging golf carts. He had a good public defender who got him off with a minor sentence. He is, now, 36, and has been in prison in several states off and on, with sentences of less than two years. He is a good worker and can always find a job working in a junk yard when he is out of prison. He seems to be more settled but is still on probation. I do not totally blame him or the system for some of his problems as I made some decisions after we adopted him that were not in his best interest. Most of his problems with the law occurred while he was drinking.

  8. Deb

    As a former adoption social worker of over 33 years, you are right on many points. But, the system did not totally break your son. His biological parents are partly responsible and your rose colored glasses played a part. Please know I will admit the system has many faults and being in the system adds problems to those that were already there, but you cannot entirely lay the blame on the system. When you do that you are taking away the responsibility of the other factors in your sons life. I have seen many children who were adopted through the system that turned out to be productive citizens. I am a firm believer that if an adopted child does not deal with their loses through the means afforded them they will not be what we would wish for them. Another point, in regard to children who have been in the system, is because of their losses and the fact they did not deal with them the child is often stuck in a stage of grief. I venture to say your son is still in the anger stage. Until he (and only he can) deals with those losses he will continue to be in that stage. Your part in helping him deal with those losses and the experiences he suffered is to help him identify what they are. Also know that children who go into the system are already broken through no fault of their own. Encourage your son to take advantage of the counseling offered to him and encourage him to discuss those. I know people find it very easy to blame the system for all of their adopted children’s problems, but until you admit the system is not totally to blame your son will also believe it. Adopting an older child is not easy. It is like trying to refinish a piece of furniture that will never be exactly like it was when first made. Because it isn’t the same who is at fault. You are saying it would be the person who refinished it, but does age, wear, damage, etc not filter in? Your setting your own goals realistically for your son makes your experience more positive. Also, the system can only do with what they are given. Until the social issues are dealt with in our country and people understand the needed to appropriately support that system there will always be a broken system.

    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am, I understand that the system is not totally to blame. Really it is the sin of men.

  9. Deanna

    Thank you.

  10. A Estrada

    A great article for those who may have an unrealistic idea about adoption from the foster care system. Thank you for your honesty.

  11. CBR

    Oh this is so so true! Thankful we have 4 years with our daughter before she’s 18 and also terrified that we only have 4 years to work through her 14 years of horror. We pray our way through every day and have an amazing “village” to support our whole family.


    Thank you for your courage, love, and honesty in writing this. I would encourage you to look into modern definitions of “trauma” as this term is used in education and emotional support. This impact on a child’s life, no matter where it originated, is a complex emotional wound with similarities to PTSD.

    Trauma can be from years of medical intervention, including misdiagnosis and interventions that fail. “The system” in its many forms can hurt while trying to help. Mental illness at an early age is also traumatic. Dealing with family members with emotional, physical, mental health, and addiction problems aslo creates trauma in an ortherwise healthy child. The not knowing of separation from a family of birth is also a loss.

    All parents, but especially foster and adoptive parents, need to know that all the love, patience, prayer, and investment in our children is GOOD. We are called to do this, we follow through, but there are no guarantees that we will have fairytale outcomes. We will make mistakes — we were not called to be perfect. We have to rest in the hope that God will bring whatever good we have done into fulfillment, and that God can mend where we have failed. God bless you and your whole family made of those God gave you to love. Keep loving and praying dear brother.

  13. Tamara

    Thank you for sharing your story. We have adopted 8 children over the last 12 years and 6 of them were 11 – 15 years old when we adopted them. We have seen miracles happen for each and most are doing amazingly well but some struggle with the same demons that put them in jepardy in their birth homes. It is sad to feel like we weren’t able to help them make the change but when I look closer I know that they are still a head of the game from where they started. They can always choose a different path in the future and it won’t be unfamiliar to them, having experienced it in our home. And, they will always have us rooting for them in every step or even lean in the right direction.

  14. Robin

    We’ve been foster parents for 10 years. Our son came to us at 4 as a foster child. I love him so very fiercely. He does not love himself. He honestly believes that attachment is overrated and works hard at avoiding it. We’ve been his family for the majority of his life, but the connection he feels to his first family is still strong and pulls him in that direction. The only thing we can do is love him harder, hold him accountable, seek treatment. His choices aren’t exactly shocking, but they are heartbreaking. He, too, has had the Word poured in, been showered in the love of Christ, and yet cannot find the worth of himself. This is a tough life we live. It’s not without joy, but it so fraught with the ever-present potential of answering the call of before. A psychologist once told me that we can nurture as profoundly as we want, but nature will eventually show. We were at the opening performance. I’m just hopeful that our son comes to believe that he doesn’t have to go to prison just because so many members of his family did.

  15. Jennifer

    We adopted our son at 9. He had been in custody with family members from birth. He was a crack baby. Even though he’s been in a loving family for years, he has a tremendous amount of anger. His first four years were with my sister in law but she died of cancer and never finalized the adoption. Then my nephew decided to take him. We wanted to take him at that point but was overruled because we lived 9 hours away. Anyway, my nephew had him for about three years, and after a serious threat to their baby from this boy, they decided they couldn’t keep him anymore. We again tried to get him but other family members overruled again and sent him to a local boys home. He was at the boys home a little over a year and they kicked him out. By this time no one in the family wanted to take him but us. By default we were finally able to get him. We ended up having to move back to his birth state because he had never been put in the system and if birth mom wanted him back, we could be considered kid-nappers! Anyway after two years we’d gone through all the paperwork and red tape to finally adopt him. He’s been adopted for 2 years now. His behavior has come a long way. But there’s still much anger and resentment. He hasn’t attached to us as a family either. I just say all this to say, there are many facets of the adoptive child’s story – most horrendous – and it doesn’t all come from the system. My son was never in the system but he has deep seeded issues. We’ve tried counseling but it didn’t improve. In fact, the counselor asked us how we manage to put up with him because he knows how to push her buttons!! Needless to say I didn’t take him back! But there are really no other options available here. I’ve come to realize this is no fairy tale, and may possibly be a nightmare, but God orchestrated him to be with us. God is also using this to make us more like Him….unconditionally loving a stiff-necked rebel. Just like us!!

  16. Jana

    I look forward to reading more of your work.
    The photos of your dear boy are precious. I will pray for him. It is an honor.
    I am an adoptive mom and sometimes I wish I could just take it for a day, so my son could experience joy.
    This is their story to walk through and I don’t know their pain. I believe when they finally grasp the Love of the Father, they will perceive it and receive it far deeper than I have!

    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am, thank you for your kind remarks. I believe exactly as you do, that God is not finished with them yet.

  17. T P

    I find it incredibly sad that you have created additional trauma for your son by publishing details about his life for your own gain. You get the praise and credit for your article, and yet it is your son’s story to share. Not yours. That is more trauma for him to have to deal with, while you get to coast on the accolades.

    Please, for your son’s sake, take this down.

    • Bradford Smith

      Maybe you should ask about it. And I seek no accolades. If that’s what you took from this, then I communicated poorly.

  18. Robin

    As someone who is just beginning the adoption process this scares me to death! My husband and I (48 & 50 Yrs old) do not have any children, we believe without a doubt this is God’s will for us, and have always planned in adopting an older child (10-15). My heart breaks for these children. My husband grew up in a VERY broken home that he and his siblings probably should have been removed from. We are trying to be very real in our thoughts and preparation for the boy that God has for us and that we are already praying for. So what piece(s) of advice do you have, how can we be even more prepared? How can we help him transition? Would pursuing counseling help in anyway? Obviously even raising you own child from birth does not guarantee no troubles,but our hopes, desires and prayers would be for him to endure further hurts & struggles than what he has already experienced in his life. This doesn’t discourage us, it just makes us want try to be even more prepared ( if there is even a way for that!)

    • Bradford Smith

      Ma’am, you hit the nail on the head. I would never want to discourage anyone, just ensure they understood the reality of what they are getting into. If anything, the trauma of these children should motivate us to seek them out and love them selflessly even if they never love us back. Practically, I would seek any and all resources available including counseling, family counseling etc. Ensure you and your husband are unified on how things will work, how you will handle the child, discipline etc. Adoption, though beautiful, can definitely induce stress in a marriage if not addressed appropriately. Pray, pray, and then pray some more. Redefine “success”. You have a chance to introduce a child to the life-giver Jesus Christ and then to show them Christ-like love. It can be a battle, but it is a battle more than worth fighting. I’d love to hear some updates sometime. God bless you in your obedience to God’s will! I pray that more followers of Christ would listen.

  19. Stephane

    I wouldn’t say that you were unsuccessful. I’ve been in a relationship with your son for 3 years. I’ve learned a lot from him as well as taught him a lot. He has seen a lot in life some things I myself can’t fathom at times but I know this for certain he is a great father to our children and great man to me. He may not go to church regularly but we pray together all the time and he definitely knows God because without him he wouldn’t have come this far. It has not been easy to get him on the right track but it’s a work in progress. I’m forever grateful to the Lord for bringing your son into my life because he keeps me strong when I need to be uplifted and I love him for that. It may not seem like you succeeded but you have. You gave him a life/family that he only dreamt about and I know for a fact he is grateful that you took him away from his norm and gave him a better oppertunity and a better life. If hadnt been for you he doesnt know where he would be right now. So from me to you thank you for helping him out of his worst nightmare.


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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).


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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


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