A friend recently asked me, “What can I do to help?”
“Honestly, please pray for us.”
“Okay. What specifically can I pray for?”
In my head, swimming with lists of paperwork, and in my heart, riding over waves of emotions, I just wanted to answer Everything.
For a long time I’ve had friends who were in the adoption process and I’d end a conversation with, “Oh, this is so great. I’ll pray for you.” But besides praying for the process to move quickly and for the right child to be matched with the family in the right time, I haven’t really known what to really pray for.
So now that we’ve been matched and approved for adoption the reality of who we are praying for and what our prayers really mean have become so much more real. I want to share a few ideas (yes, in hopes you’ll pray with us) but so that you can also pray these for others, regardless of where they are in the adoption process.
10 Ways to Pray for Your Adopting Family and Friends
- Pray for the child’s physical health and protection. When I was pregnant, I just wanted a healthy child. And as a parent, I continually pray that my children will be safe. So whether it’s domestic adoption or international, an adoptive parent’s heart is tied to a child (or children) we may not even know about, but have already started to love. We do not know their health issues or be able to offer them protection and safety. Pray for their physical bodies to be safe from any kind of harm and for favor in being as healthy as possible.
- Pray for the child’s heart to be comforted and prepared for this transition. Five years ago, we moved out of one neighborhood and into another neighborhood, four miles away. I felt lost for a year. In truth, my kids did great with the transition, but Chris and I were their constant. This child is going to leave her foster parents, home, language, food, and culture—and be taken across the world by two people she’s known for five days. There is so much grief and loss this little one will experience that we can’t ignore.
- Pray for her heart and mind to know she is already loved. Pray for quick bonding and attachment, and for the child to know she is safe. Our child will be nearly three when she comes home. But I’ve heard from adoptive parents, who’ve adopted children as young as six months, that went through long seasons where the child never smiled nor showed any affection or interest in either parent. Pray the child’s mind, body, and spirit is open and capable of accepting us. Pray she quickly attaches to us and learns to trust us.
- Pray for our hearts to be open and able to attach to our child. Sometimes my son will be do the exact same thing as another child at the park, but for whatever reason, the behavior of the child I don’t know bothers me more than my own kid’s. There’s something about my own child that makes me more patient and accepting. It’s not talked about a lot, but adoptive parents can have trouble bonding with a child who, let’s face it, is a stranger in the beginning—even though we’ve longed for and loved them in our hearts. We need our hearts to make those strong bonding connections, too.
- Pray for the child’s current caregivers. Whether in foster care or in an orphanage, pray for people to genuinely care for the physical and emotional health of the child. Our daughter is in foster care, and I’m just praying that her foster family has and will continue to love on and care for her just as we would. From what I know of foster parents, this adoption will also be so very hard on them when our child leaves their home. Pray heaps of blessings on them.
- Pray for THE TRANSITION — I might just label the first six-nine months of her being home as “The Transition.” I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I know it can be very hard. Behavior, eating, sleeping: pray it will go well, however that looks in reality. Pray for resources and help when it is hard—for both the child, the parents, and the current children in the home.
- Pray for the travel. For us, we will be traveling across the world and traveling back with a three year old. I can’t imagine traveling with my own three year old let alone one I’ve known for just a few days. I met a parent who told me his daughter screamed for six hours straight on their flight back from Korea. I don’t know what else to say about that. Just pray for safe travel and that the parents aren’t also crying on the flight back.
- Pray for the children at home. Many adoptive parents bring a child home to a house with other kids. This is both wonderful for everyone and challenging. For us, my prayer is that my kids, who’ve been a part of this whole process, would easily love, accept, and bond with their new sister. As much as we’ve prepared them, and they seem to be excited, we know this connection can take time.
- Pray for finances. There’s no way around this one. Many people enter into the adoption process after years of saving or with a plan to pay for at least a good portion of it themselves. I’ve only known a few people who haven’t had to fund raise to pay for their adoptions. I’ve been thinking of it like paying out of pocket for all the care I would have had if this was a pregnancy. It adds up quickly to tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention buying a new car seat and new clothes.
- Prayers of Thanksgiving. I can’t tell you how amazed I am by all the very small, but very significant details which have come together unexpectedly. I’m even more blown away by the you-just-wont-believe-it big things. I’m walking each day expectant, reliant, and thankful. (To be real, I also feel overwhelmed, scared, and unprepared…but I’m trying to put those things in their place.) Please pray with us, or any adoptive family, thanking God for all He has and is and will do in this child’s life and the lives of all who are involved.
Bottom line, if you shoot a short and earnest “God, I want to pray for _____’s adoption” up to the heavens—He knows the needs and will take care of all the details. These are just suggestions.
Thank you for being a part of our journey!
Our t-shirt fundraiser was a sucess! (THANK YOU!!) We loved this picture of FAMILY and how it means something special to all of us.
If you bought one, make sure to post a pic of it on the blog’s Facebook page. We hope you wear it and share your own story of how your family came together!
For those who are still interested in helping with the financial aspect of international adoption, we have an account with PureCharity for donations. It’s a tax-deductible way to donate for fees that will be due to our adoption agency before we travel. Since our referral came SO fast, and were told to anticipate travel by end of Novemeber/early December, we are attempting to fundraise (what many people do in six months to 2 years) in 8-12 weeks! (!!!) We are grateful for any help.
Would you please share this post or our fundraisers with friends and family who have a heart for adoption?