Adoption,Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder,Traumatic brain injury

8 Families Open Up About What Adoption Really Means: “She Is Ours, and We Are Hers”

November 16, 2016

I love November for a few big reasons. One … Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite like the smell of turkey and the sounds of family filling our old-fashioned Indiana farm house. Second … Christmas. Yes, I know Christmas is in December but Thanksgiving is like the awesome movie trailers they show just before the feature film. I love both. I love both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Third … National Adoption Awareness Month. As you’ve probably figured out by now, if you’ve read anything else I’ve written, I’m a big believer, and advocate, for adoption. Together with my wife, we write about it, speak about it, and travel around the country sharing the powerful story of adoption (and foster care) at retreats, conferences, and training events. Bottom line: I LOVE adoption. I believe it is love in action. I also believe it’s one of the greatest forms of servanthood a human being can do for another human being. But, for as well-known as adoption is, thanks to well-publicized celebrity adoptions, and depictions in movies and television, it’s still widely misunderstood. We’ve even heard the famous question quite often, “Why would someone choose to bring children into their home who weren’t biologically theirs?” I understand where this question comes from. Once upon a time, more than 25 years ago, I asked a very similar question. But my heart burst wide open for adoption just 15 years ago and I couldn’t be more thankful for that moment. So I thought I’d take the opportunity, in this month where we shine a spotlight on adoption, to tell you what adoption really is, through the stories of real-life adoptive families across the United States. These are amazing, beautiful people my wife and I have had the pleasure of befriending and walking with on this amazing, sometimes difficult, but ever-beautiful journey we call adoption. Adoption is love in motion, with no fear or apprehensions. Image Source: Michelle McKinney Mark and Michelle McKinney live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their story is powerful because they willingly and knowingly adopted children who were HIV positive. Many eyebrows were raised when they made this decision. They were even rejected by some in their church community for their decision to love children some would consider outcast because of a disease that is widely misunderstood. Michelle says it best: “We have two amazing and healthy children who are living with HIV. When children have access to life-saving medication they can live a normal, healthy, and happy life. And no one is at risk of getting the disease.” Adoption is adventure, with no boundaries or limitations. Image Source: Brent Almond Last winter I was in Los Angeles at a leadership summit when I met Brent Almond. We hit it off instantly over writing, adoption, and Marvel comics. His adoption story is one of cross-country adventure. He and his husband, Nick, adopted their son Jon from Oregon. According to Brent, after establishing a relationship with Jon’s birth parents, they had planned on visiting one more time before Jon’s birth, but Jon had other plans. He made his grand entrance a month early. They had to scramble to change tickets and fly across the country from Washington, D.C. He was born in the morning and Brent and Nick arrived that night. They were able to spend Jon’s first night together as a family. Brent shared: “Love is love, family is family, and life is life. I find...

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