31 Days of Hope for Adoptive Moms

Today I want to introduce you to Shelly. Shelly is a dedicated wife and mother of five blessings from around the globe.  She is known for being an encourager, prayer warrior and advocate for the Fatherless. While serving with the ABBA Fund, Shelly strives not only to see children be placed in families, but for those families to thrive.  She blogs at reachingheartsblog.com and is also a women’s speaker and enjoys traveling all over the US, bringing inspiring insight to impact and encourage all who hear.

Shelly’s new book, 31 Nuggets of Hope, is now available at www.31nuggetsofhope.com. Today we’re giving away one of her books!  If you’re an adoptive mom, leave a comment about one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced in your adoption journey.  If you’re not an adoptive mom but would like to win the book for a friend, leave a comment about how you’ve been impacted by watching her adoption journey, or how adoption has touched your life in some way.  (If you’re reading this in your email, you can leave a comment here.)

Now let’s hear a bit from Shelly’s heart:

You obviously have a heart for adoption. Why is that?
During our years as church planting missionaries, God taught us about His heart for the Fatherless.  We already had three young sons with a very meager income.  I loved being a mom and to know there were millions of children both in the US and around the world that didn’t have a momma anymore who could comfort and shepherd them – well, I couldn’t keep from stepping forward.  Adoption for our family was extremely impractical, yet with our eyes fixed on eternal values, we knew there was no obstacle too big to keep us from the children God had for us to care for.  I am radically blessed to be called Momma by all five of our kiddos.

What prompted you to write the book?
Over the years as I have helped encourage and equip adoptive families, I sought out resources to point them to.  I was seeing families struggle, marriages being strained and adoptive mommas hurting with nowhere to turn.  These moms needed HOPE.  They needed to know they are not alone.  My search for resources with these precious moms in mind came up empty.  A few years later, 31 Nuggets of Hope was birthed.  There is SO much HOPE awaiting these moms!

If you could tell adoptive moms one thing, what would it be?
No matter how bleak your current circumstances are, there is HOPE!  You never have to walk this journey alone.

If you could tell moms who haven’t adopted one thing that would help them know how to encourage a friend who is or has adopted, what would it be?
Adoption isn’t a fairy-tale.  There are real people with deep needs involved.  The amazing part though is that the One who created each of us knows every need, every loss, every hurt.  If you see your adoptive mom friend struggling – remind her there is HOPE, take her some chocolate and let her know you care.  Celebrate the milestones with her!

What about you?  We’d love to hear how adoption has touched your life in some way!

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32 Responses to 31 Days of Hope for Adoptive Moms

  1. Rebecca says:

    My toughest challenge as an adoptive mom has been waiting on God’s timing. Falling in love with a child waiting across the globe, was a powerful lesson in releasing my child into the Lord’s care.

    Would love to win!

  2. Amy says:

    There have been many challenges on our adoption journey, but I think the toughest one for me has been learning to love the unlovable. My daughter raged when we first came home for a good 6 months, at least. It’s hard to love someone who constantly abuses you. We’re getting there though.

  3. Kris McClelland says:

    How timely this blog is…I would say my toughest challenge thus far with my adoptive children is advocating for their medical needs. We are in the midst of it right now with our second adopted child from Russia as he really needs to have surgery and the medical “system” is delaying this process. I know that God is sovereign in all things and He is the one who will break through these barriers. Thankful today for Shelly who God has placed in a position to encourage adoptive moms. 🙂

  4. Jennifer DeBeltz says:

    My husband and I adopted 3 children from the foster care system. Oldest two are 1/2 biological brothers and 3rd is a beautiful girl. Our boys suffered so much in the womb and were born high risk. Their birthmother was HIV positive, a prostitute, drug addict and alcoholic. We knew God called us to adoption but wasnt at all sure about jumping into a special needs situation. The boys were brought to us at 1 month and birth, so we have had them since the beginning, so attachment wasnt a big deal but waiting patiently for HIV test results every 3 months for 2 years, seeing them suffer from withdrawl from drugs and praying while the year process of adoption was very tough. Our father took us through these great trials but he was faithful through it all! We discovered so much about ourselves and learned that God, no matter what the circumstance will be with us. Our middle son has FAS and alot of other secondary diagnoses, but we are learning as we go and praying we are doing what the Lord called us to do!

  5. Lori says:

    My toughest challenge as an adoptive mom has been bonding and attachment….and ignorance. Once I figured out that the behavior issues I was dealing with stemmed from an attachment disorder, I was able to deal with my daughter properly. Once I started noticing my new approach working to change her behavior and heart, I found a new hope in my journey. God knew I needed that!

  6. Melissa P says:

    Traveling the road to adoption has been full of challenges…and blessings! Learning to TRUST that God is good, His plan and timing are best (even when I think they STINK!), and that He loves my boy even more than I do was the greatest challenge for me- to let go of what I wanted and surrender to His way brought our sweet son home a month ago from Russia. Adoption has made me a mom, and my boy a SON! So thankful for His plan!

  7. Janelle says:

    My hardest challenge as an adoptive mom is loving my adoptive child for who he is and not trying to change him to make him like my other kids.

  8. Kari says:

    The looooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggg journey. We will be in this for five yrs soon and we are still in the process. Finally after much time and near matches and plenty of disappointments and frustrations, we are logged in with China and hope to bring home our son who is going to be 9 years old soon. We have four kids and hope to adopt our son soon and a little girl in the future. This has not been the comfy, easier route. We just feel that we should be open and available to what God wants for us and here we are. Two songs I personally love with adoption are Third Day’s Children of God and Steven Curtis Chapman’s Long Way Home.

  9. Susan says:

    Waiting on God’s timing and not trying to push things that were not HIS plan. It is hard when your hearts desire is so strong, but He knows!

  10. Kristin says:

    The hardest part of my adoption journey (which has involved adopting domestically two newborn babies two years apart) was getting to the decision to adopt. I assumed when we were ready, we’d get pregnant and start our family. I had a rude awaking to what I assumed when I could get pregnant for various reasons. The moment my husband and I officially stopped trying to get pregnant and turned our focus to adoption, I understood the peace that passes understanding that can only come from God. Our first adoption was sweet relief to what had been an exhausting, emotional couple of years. Our second adoption was continuing something God had already begun.

  11. Amy Hudson says:

    We have two biological children and then adopted our youngest. My biggest challenge is to remind myself daily that she is her own person and accepting her strong personality! I try so hard to guide and teach her without crushing her spirit because I know God has given her this super independence for reasons we yet to understand. I also struggle with explaining her story to her in ways a three year old can understand. I know she only gets a little bit now but I want to honor her birth family while being realistic and truthful as well. What a journey it has been already!!

  12. Holly Spencer-Trueman says:

    It is tempting to make a laundry list of the things that our adoptive son struggles with and cite his verbal and physical abuses….however what has been the toughest really is the pure exhaustion as a parent and the feeling that my friends with more typical kids are judging me (us). They simply do not have anything to relate our struggle to and so don’t get it. As friends for both us and my son, fall away, we feel more and more isolated with our pain and struggles.

  13. Theresa says:

    Right now we are foster parents who are dual licensed to adopt. We may have one adoption coming up but this is till up in the air. My best piece of advice for prospective adoptive parents is to watch the series from Family Life called “If You Were Mine”. It really gets to the heart of our own intentions for adoption and once we realize the force that is driving us (usually it is some of God and some of flesh) we can ask the Lord to purify the flesh so that the adoption becomes more of His plan rather than filling a selfish void. Adoption means you are not getting someone who was loved and cared for. Many times you are getting someone who has battle scars and war wounds. This can be hard to manage when reality hits and this child is nothing like you thought they would be. It is at this time when we really need the Lord’s perspective so that we can promote healing rather than do more damage through just not knowing any better!

  14. Melissa Salyards says:

    My sister has 2 children that she has had since they were babies. My niece was 2 days old and I think my nephew was about a week or so old. He has special needs that I know have been SO challenging for her at times but she has always been a fantastic advocate for him and his needs. She fostered then adopted them when she was allowed. I think one of her biggest challenges was seeing that their needs were met with so many people involved in their care at first. Biological moms, Foster care agency, herself, school, daycare, etc. They are both doing very well and thriving in her and God’s care. 🙂

  15. Stacie says:

    Best friend from high school… We always thought that everything would work out like it did in high school… easy and always good. After a difficult marriage and a divorce, she decided to adopt after going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. I said goodbye to a FRIEND in August and anxiously awaited a MOM to return home in less than a month. When it was time to bring her home… the country stopped all outside adoptions. Instead of leaving her precious little girl there and coming back when she could bring her home… she stayed 6 months, like any MOM would do for their child. She is an amazing Mom and business woman. She has taught her life here, but teaches her the heritage from her country because she believes this to be important. She is a foster parent now. Over the course of a year… she has kept several children for short periods of time. Currently, she is the foster Mom to a precious 4 month old baby girl. She has had her since the day she was born. She is fighting to keep this little baby and I know the LORD put these two together. She is a single Mom, but has come to realize the joys of being a Mother and how important our roles are to the children. She loves them so! I pray every day that the baby girl that was left in her care will be able to stay with my friend and her daughter as they have become a beautiful family.

  16. Brenda says:

    This post is so timely for us as we earnestly await a referral from Russia. Already blessed to have two little Russians calling us Mom and Dad, the process this time has been a much longer one. One of my hardest challenges has been not to ask God “why?”. I pray daily for patience and peace, knowing HE is in control of everything, and HIS timing is best for us. I give it to you Lord!!

  17. Sasha says:

    In 3 days we will finally finalize the adoption of our son. We have had him for almost 2 years. Dealing with the foster care system has been an up hill battle all the way! We had the ideal scenario of what kind of family we wanted but thankfully God rearranged that perfectly. My son was only suppose to be with us a few days, and was suppose to be a healthy child. Well he’s not, and he never left, and he’s perfect for us in every way! One thing that is difficult for me is when I want to vent, or make a comment like, “he’s driving me crazy today” Or “I’m so sick of DR appointments!” I’m met with a lot of sarcasm. Well you wanted him! Or you knew what you were getting into! When what I really need is just one one to listen. Like every mom does.

  18. Lindsay Brackett says:

    Thank you for featuring 31 Days of Hope for Adoptive Moms. My husband and I were called to become first-time parents to our then 3-year-old son, whom we adopted from foster care. He is turning 10 in October, and is thriving!

    One of the biggest challenges that we faced with our adoption was the critisicm we heard, which sadly came from our closest family members. Our son had severe developmental delay. We knew without a doubt that this was God’s plan for all of our lives, but the comments were still so hurtful. Thankfully we serve a God of restoration, and these relationships are now stronger than they were before (and I believe ever could have been) without our little guy. He is a true blessing, a true miracle, and we are so thankful that he is with us.

  19. Mary says:

    We are so incredibly blessed to be the parents of two daughters who are biological sisters from Ukraine. After four failed domestic adoptions and a three-year emotion-filled roller coaster ride … we finally arrived in Ukraine to adopt God’s chosen ones for us!! Had we been there any earlier … they wouldn’t have been available for adoption … HE KNOWS!!! We have been a family for nearly five years and I’m still amazed every day that God would choose to bless us with our daughters!
    This journey has not been without it’s major trials … that’s for sure. One of our daughters suffers daily from the effects of her life before adoption and it is a full-time job navigating all of that! God is faithful and we have seen Him work MANY miracles … for which we are thankful!!!

  20. Cara McMorris says:

    Parenting is hard, parenting adoptive children is HARD. Not harder, just very different kinds of hard. The issues are different, the perspective is different, the worries and fears that I have are different. I need to constantly hear that there is hope and to remember that I am not doing this alone. God is holding each of my children in His protective hands.

  21. Tawnda Andrews says:

    My sister is in the process of adopting my niece and it has been a long process with challenges along the way. But B (my nickname for Brooklyn) is pure joy to her parents and to my family, who’ve waited for my sister and BIL to have a child for years. She is their miracle. I know that their journey is just starting. I also have a friend adopting from Ethiopia, I am daily amazed by their endurance and joy even with every hurdle.

  22. Amy Oxley says:

    We are over a year and a half into the journey from adopting a daughter from Ethiopia. The most challenging part so far is learning to trust in God’s perfect timing, and in His perfect provision. When we started the process, it looked like we would’ve been bringing her home about now. However, we are still most likely years away. I had to give up all my desires (of spacing between my kiddos, not wanting to be too ‘old’ of a mom, etc.) and realize it is so not about me, but about the child who needs us.

  23. Our toughest part in the adoption journey has been waiting on God’s timing… cuz nothing has ever happened according to ours! 😉 It’s a roller coaster, but we’re getting better at enjoying ourselves during the ride!

  24. Donna says:

    Adoption has been such a blessing to us, but not without challenges. My two adopted children are now teenagers and the greatest challenge has not been that they are adopted, or that they are of a different ethnicity or color than us, or that they are teens – although that last one is a BIGGIE! (Teens can be tough!) The toughest part has been watching my oldest struggle with feelings of rejection, or watch as one birth parent sends gifts to my son (who could care less it seems) while my daughter’s birth mom has no contact at all since she was about 5. Watching her heart break and wonder why is the hardest part of being an adopted parent.
    It’s watching hurts that, as a mom, I cannot possibly heal…wanting to shield them and realizing that only God can change it all.
    Donna
    http://www.anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com

  25. Christene says:

    The hardest part now of being a mother of an adopted child are the questions he faces after I finally conceived (not trying mind you) and gave birth to a child. there is jealousy because the his brother came from inside my belly and he questions where he came from. My heart is not the answer he is looking for. 🙁

    • Michelle says:

      This is tough…I have both children of my heart and my tummy as well. Just tell them the truth and the story of how they became yours. My daughter hangs on every word of her story, in fact I think in our house my tummy kids are jealous their story is so boring! LOL Blessings…it’s never easy when your kiddos are in distress about anything! xo

  26. Just wanted to say that is has been an absolute JOY to hear from your hearts today moms! BLESSINGS to you and each of your families!! May you be encouraged as you momma the children that God has entrusted to your care.

  27. Karen Rivers says:

    Watching my best friend navigate the adoption process has been educational, stressful, scary and exciting. Being with her through pregnancy loss, infertility, and now adoption has brought us so close, and watching her trust in God and his timing has helped me grow in my faith.

  28. Michelle says:

    The most difficult part was knowing God had it all perfectly planned out and yet having to WAIT, WAIT AND WAIT…for the plan to unfold! Can’t wait to read the new book!

  29. Lori says:

    All of these comments have been very interesting to read as we are looking forward to hopefully getting to adopt two little boys that we’ve fostered for 13 months now. Hoping that our family of 5 will eventually become a family of 7, yet trying to make sure that it’s God’s will and that we don’t neglect or make a wrong decision for our 3 biological daughters, ages 15, 13, and 10. We must wait patiently as the system runs its course–not a very easy thing to do. Praying for wisdom. In so many ways the boys are already “ours,” but what an exciting day it will be when they actually officially and legally become ours!!!

  30. Barb says:

    Unfortunately, I would have to say that the hardest part of our adoption journey has been the comments/questions that people have posed to us in front of our children. We are visibly an adoptive family as my husband and I are caucasian, our 6-year old son is Guatemalan and our three-3 three year old girls are Haitian. I always try to respond with grace and love, but sometimes the questions are just inappropriate, especially when they ask how much it costs:)

  31. Allie says:

    The hardest part about our first adoption, and the part I find myself in currently in our second adoption, has been the waiting…

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