Adoption is a continual learning experience. It is different for every family, but one common thread is the need for a strong support system. In adoption, the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is very true. I feel it is very important that families surround themselves with people who “get” adoption and share what they have experienced. It is important to familiarize yourself with outside groups or organizations, and the stellar volunteers who make things happen in these programs. I have the privilege of knowing and interviewing Dawn Michal. She is a mother of four, adopted her daughter from China in 2015, and is active in her church’s adoption/orphan care ministry.
Dawn is the oldest of four girls. As a teenager she learned that before she was born, her mother had given birth to a daughter that she placed for adoption. Dawn was able to connect with her older sister and now has a wonderful relationship with her. That is what led Dawn to want to adopt someday. She got married and had three biological children when they started praying about the adoption. They started the adoption process in 2009. They went through many ups and downs, but Kate joined their family in 2015.
“Adoption is not for the faint at heart, but God’s heart is for the fatherless, and He will strengthen you for the task and give you wisdom.”
Their church has an incredible orphan care ministry. At one point in the church’s growth, 10% of the children had been adopted. They have monthly events for families involved in adoption, foster care, and safe families. These events include everything from dinners and adoption seminars to attending conferences together.
Her advice regarding adoption is to remember that each story is as unique as each human being. One cannot compare one’s own stories with the same level of expectations that another holds. Also, that the process can get frustrating with the red tape and long waits, knowing how many orphans are in the world.
To this advice, she adds: “Adoption is not for the faint at heart, but God’s heart is for the fatherless, and He will strengthen you for the task and give you wisdom. If God is not calling your family to directly adopt or foster care, do support someone who is. You will not regret serving in this way, and again you will be connecting to the very heart of God.”
Make it count and commit to volunteering for an adoption agency or agency of your choosing. Where do you fit as a volunteer?