National Adoption Month is recognized across the country as a way to spread awareness of of the many children who wait in the foster care system for their forever families. Through our adoptions program, Lutheran Services of Georgia works with children who are considered to be special needs. This means that they are older, part of a sibling group, or that they have developmental, behavioral, or physical difficulties. We are blessed to work with these exceptional children and the incredible families who welcome them home.
As an agency, we work with families who have expressed an interest in adopting and have been referred to our program to get assistance. Many families who choose to adopt do not have birth children, but others do and have simply decided to continue expanding their family by adopting. The children we work with come from all over Georgia, and oftentimes prospective parents will travel all the way across the state to meet with them.
Once families and children meet, a wonderful, unmistakable bond begins to form. These children, many who have overcome unimaginably difficult situations, become part of their new families, and are welcomed as though they have been in the family all along. Even the extended family members and support systems start calling the children their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. Most of the children who are adopted have experienced some form of abuse and have experienced more in their young lives than any adult can begin to imagine, but when they become part of a family, they begin to understand that they are safe, loved, and supported—forever.
Oftentimes a loving, permanent home is the difference between a child who is depressed, agitated, and destructive, and a child who is just the opposite. The families we work with take the time to get to understand the needs of each child individually, and though they know that it will not always be easy, do not give up despite challenges. These families know that children need love and to know that someone is there for them regardless of what they’ve been through.
Sometimes when parents learn about the difficulties that their adoptive children have faced, it can seem like a risk to make the commitment to welcome them as a permanent part of their family. However, the parents that we work with are truly exceptional, compassionate, and empathetic people who see these children for what they really are and truly want to give them the love and support that every child deserves.
This month, we have been able to finalize seven adoptions. Each of these families took the time to understand that these children are more than what they read about them on paper. Adoption is a lifelong commitment to a child as if the child was one’s birth child. The child and adoptive family need ongoing support to process the impact of adoption, and Lutheran Services of Georgia is that support for both the family and the child, and we are here even when the ink has dried on the final adoption court order!