While browsing through my social media feeds, I ran across this hashtag #NationalAdoptionMonth. Due to nature of my story, I follow any hashtags that have to do with the Family Court System, adoption being one of them.
When I started writing my book, I didn’t want to come across as resentful, or angry about what happened. I wanted to make sure my heart was healed, and that my emotions were in check. This particular subject, however, is one I still have a very hard time talking about. I have a newfound perspective about adoption, one in which I can never unsee or “unlive.” I am not here to judge adoptive families. I have known many throughout my life that have adopted. I know without a doubt they love these children as if they were their own. There are absolutely times/situations when a child needs to be placed in a safe, loving environment when their parents, for whatever reason, are not able to provide one. But when does it constitute the termination of parental rights?
I never knew about the unethical adoption practices in the nation’s child welfare system ie FosterCare like the financial incentives given to agencies when the children are successfully “placed.” My children were going to be next. Most people today do not realize that Family Court is not a real court in the sense we picture it. You know, the movie set “true crime” courtroom where there’s a bench for the Judge, a box for the jury, a panel of lawyers cross examining witnesses and presenting evidence with the assumption the defendant is “innocent until proven guilty.”
In Family Court, it’s the exact opposite. Parents are guilty until proven innocent. Birth parents have their backs to the wall. Time is their enemy, and the system knows it. There is a very real possibility your children will be forcefully taken away from you. And it’s all done is secret to “protect” the minors. Some parents simply don’t have the financial means, or emotional will to fight. It’s a heart wrenching, emotionally draining, process.
I found myself in this position in a little over 1 month after our case opened. Yes, you read that right, 1 month. I had yet to see any police reports regarding the investigation of the nanny, I had yet to even speak in that courtroom. No one, not the Judge, not the children’s lawyers, not the caseworkers, no one EVER asked me “what happened?” in that courtroom, “true crime” style. And yet, here I was, waiting to see if we would proceed to trial, in which case a judge would then decide if my children would be placed for adoption.
In my book Fractured Hope you will clearly see what a miraculous outcome our family had that day, and how God covers his children in grace. But to this day, I still think about that scenario. Where would my boys be? Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, psychologically? It breaks my heart for the children in Foster Care that have been forcefully adopted, the lies they have been told, and how the devil will prey upon their little minds and vulnerable hearts. My heart breaks for mothers, and fathers, that were falsely accused and had no recourse. The birth families who will grieve the loss of their child who is still alive, but will most likely never see again.
If you know me by now, you know music is my language. This particular stance in this song resonated with me:
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love
Like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am
For Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
[Hosanna, Hillsong United]
My heart was broken, but He picked up all the pieces restoring it, and making it clean without bitterness, resentment, or anger. My eyes were definitely opened to things unseen; I still cry about it as I pray for the families to this day. He has shown me how to love, He has given me an indescribable love for families I don’t even know, but I love each and every one of them as if they were mine. Break my heart for what breaks Yours, oh… my heart has been shattered over and over at every story I read, I can only imagine how God’s heart must break daily as He sees, truly everything, that is occurring in the world. Everything I am for His kingdom’s cause, even if it meant losing my children, only to see them in eternity.
That was my only hope. And it is only found in Jesus.
Please pray with me:
I pray for all the families today, by blood or not, in the end we are all your children. Lord, you established the family. It was Your Creation, and it is under attack today as it was back when the snake spoke to Eve. Lord, I ask for protection, discernment, and restoration for those whose hearts have been broken. I know that what you did for my family can be done for anyone else’s. In Jesus’ name, amen.