Adoption is Biblical
by Mary Ann Kuharski
Growing up as an adopted kid, I was often told by my parents that I was "twice loved" - once by the mother who carried me and gave me life, and again by my adopted mom and dad.
I believed them.
Being raised in a good northeast Minneapolis household with strong Catholic and ethnic/Italian roots, neither I nor my two adopted brothers - nor any other kid I hung around with - ever knew there was such a thing as an "unwanted child." Nuisance yes, but "unwanted" never!
Adopting to us was God's way of bringing parents and kids together!
Today I am the mother of many - nearly half of whom came to us, not through my womb, but by adoption. And what a blessing it has been to all of us. We are a family in every sense. Even in a household of varied skin colors and cultures, it's hard to remember we are not "blood related." Yet, even with a multiracial flair, adoption can become status quo and "ho-hum." I can still remember the chuckles at the Sunday breakfast table when our newly adopted son, Charlie, blurted out, "Gosh, did you guys ever notice that all the Makowskes look alike?" Charlie thought all families were mixed-race!
Another time 5-year-old Kari, our natural child, asked, "Tell me about my adoption," and we broke the news: "Honey, you came from Mom and Dad."
The day we moved to our newer and larger home located down the street from our church and grade school, our daughter, Tina, ran home to announce, "Hey good news! We're not the only ones on the block with a big family. The people down the street have eight kids. But guess what - not one of them is adopted!"
My mother always told me that my adoption was "part of God's Plan" and as I grew in maturity and faith, I came to know that it was the courage and grace of my birthmother's action in making an adoption decision that really fulfilled His Plan. The rest is up to me.
I also believe that the children place in our hearts and homes, whether by adoption or birth, are only ours temporarily. It then becomes our primary goal to help them know their Heavenly Father and to aim them toward heaven. Easier said than done, I might add!
In my biased view, adoption should be promoted, portrayed, and praised for the life-saving and loving act that it is.
Most pro-life counselors who see women in crisis pregnancy situations are saddened by the anti-adoption mind-set that controls decision making. Many say, "I have two choices: Keep it or abortion. I could never give up my own flesh and blood."
When did America change its attitude toward adoption? With over 1.6 million women having abortions each year - over half of them repeats - we know that each time adoption is rejected and abortion chosen, a baby is killed.
Worse yet, according to the National Council for Adoption, two million couples are waiting to adopt -that's 40 couples for every available baby, including infants of all races and those with special needs.
Last year, Prolife Minnesota, a state-wide educational organization which offers information and alternatives through TV, billboard and news messages, carried the news: "2,000,000 couples are waiting to adopt."
The results of this campaign were both surprising and heartwarming: Pro-life crisis pregnancy counselors called, urging Prolife Minnesota to "keep the ads coming." One clinic director reported an upsurge of clients seeking adoption counseling.
Many who called the Prolife Minnesota 800 hotline asked about adoption. As one young man said, "Where can we go to arrange an adoption with one of these couples? We had scheduled an abortion but the ad made us stop and think." They felt heartened and encouraged to know about the waiting couples and the agencies that stand ready to help.
Most abortions are made in haste because of panic, fear or pressure. As one woman said, "I never thought of adoption until I saw your ad." In effect, this means many women are not choosing abortion, but are resorting to it.
It takes more than billboards and TV messages to counteract a negative mind-set or misinformation regarding adoption. But this educational outreach proved to be more than informational. Babies' lives were saved!<p.
According to a recent survey by the National Women's Coalition for Life, as reported by the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), one of the primary reasons that clients choose abortion over adoption, according to pregnancy counselors, is because "adoption appears too difficult (practically or emotionally).
"In the media climate of the past 15 years, where a vocal group of birthmothers have positioned themselves on television talk shows discussing the regrets they have about their adoption decision, it is not surprising," reports NCFA, "that adoption appears too difficult."
Added to that are the counselors who admit their own discomfort in discussing adoption - due perhaps to anti-adoption propaganda or misinformation. Remember, too, abortion relatively quick, final and over by comparison.
NCFA states that "women who could benefit from adoption are being denied the opportunity to discuss it fully. Or, in many cases, simply to be offered full and adequate information about adoption."
Adding to the frailty of adoption are the lawyers and judges who overturn legally binding contracts, convincing the American public that adoption is risky, debatable and may not be forever. The results are heartrending stories such as the Baby Jessica DeBoer, Baby Richard cases and others, which seek the return of legally adopted children on the "changed mind" or discovery of a birthparent.
Christians know that adoption is biblical. Scripture reminds us continually that we are all adopted children of God. "God sent His Son, born of a woman...to redeem us...to enable us to be His adopted children" (Gal. 4:4-5).
In fact, we are children of destiny. God has a mission and a purpose for each of us. Therefore, we must never allow negative talk regarding adoption. Such negativity denigrates God's Plan. Worse, it can actually result in a pregnant and frightened woman choosing abortion.
Moses is perhaps one of the most outstanding biblical examples of adoption. It was his birthmother, acting for fear of his life and trusting God's intervention, who placed him in the basket in the river. And it was Pharaoh's sister, after discovering the abandoned child afloat on the water, who brought him to her brother where he was raised as Pharaoh's own son. It was in this adoptive environment that Moses learned the leadership skills necessary to lead the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
Psalm 139 reminds us, "Truly you have formed my inmost being; I give you thanks that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. My soul also you knew full well."
Those of us who know personally the blessings of adoption cherish those words. We also hope you will join us in portraying the goodness of adoption and its message of life and love.
Mary Ann Kuharski is a homemaker and mother of 13, ages 6 to 26, six of whom came by adoption and are of mixed races, some with special needs. She is the author of Raising Catholic Children and Parenting With Prayer . (OSV Press).
For more information on adoption and closed-adoption resources, please contact Bethany Christian Services and The National Council for Adoption.
The National Council for Adoption can also be reached at:
1930 17th St., NW Washington, DC 20009-6207 (202) 328-1200