Surviving Adoption One Moment at a Time

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Most agencies do a great job of connecting families with children who need a forever family. Not many prepare you for the unexpected issues—an adopted child fighting with new siblings or not wanting to be touched or showing signs of an attachment disorder. Shannon Litton, mother of five children (including two adopted from Ethiopia), talks about the importance of preparing for adoption and shares practical ways of helping your family transition well. 

Practical things families can do to transition well into adoption:
1. Stay flexible despite all your preparation.
2. Clear your schedules and your lives for awhile.

Shannon talked about fulfilling all the required counseling sessions and reading to prepare for adoption. She said that even then, her family still had to find their own way to deal with the hardships that come with adoption. What has surprised you about the adoption process? What has proved difficult? How is your family adjusting? What concerns are you struggling with?
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One of the things Shannon said that really helped her family transition well was clearing their schedules so that they could spend time bonding as a family. Think about your family's activities. What can you clear off of your schedules to give your family time to bond? What can you do to rally your kids together so that they can grow in their relationships at home?
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Although adoption is rewarding and miraculous, nothing impacts your family more than bringing an adopted child into your home. In this next video, Shannon explains the messiness and the disruption that comes with adoption and encourages those who find themselves in the midst of transition and chaos to remember God’s faithfulness.

Shannon's principles of encouragement to remember as you help your family transition into adoption:
1. Give yourself and your family some space.
2. You will see progression.
3. God will not leave you or forsake you.

During the difficult days of transition, Shannon encouraged us to remember that some days will not be perfect, but they will get better. Think back to the first days after your brought your child(ren) home. How has it gotten better? What do you see that has progressed?
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As you reflect on your first days as a family with an adopted child, how has God shown you His faithfulness? How has "He been enough for you" and how has "He seen you through" the good and the bad?
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Take a moment to write a prayer. Give God all of your concerns, worries and the things that have proven to be difficult and joyful for you and your family. Pray for all of the members of your family. Thank God for the everyday reminder of how He has adopted you into His family (Ephesians 1:3–8) and how He understands your hardships and struggles and will continue to remain faithful to you.
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The chaos and busyness that adoption brings can take its toll on a marriage. In this video, Shannon gives practical advice on how to safeguard your marriage as your family deals with the impact adoption makes in your home.

Shannon's principles to remember for couples dealing with the transition that comes with adoption:
1. Check in with each other regularly.
2. Keep the lines open for communication.
3. Share the difficult things that come with adoption that you can't share with anyone else.
4.  Listen and be the safe place for your spouse.

Did Shannon give you any new ideas on how to safeguard your marriage as your family transitions into adoption? What can you do to start implementing her principles?
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Shannon talked about being the safe place for your spouse as they deal with the struggles with having a new adopted child. How are you a safe place for your spouse? How is your spouse a safe place for you? What can you do to safeguard this important aspect of your marriage as you continue to deal with this new chapter of your life?
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Shannon said, "…in the difficult days of transition, after bringing kids home, I can’t tell you how many times I just reminded myself we’re doing this because God called us to and God is enough—in this day, in this moment, in this temper tantrum, in this toddler that won’t stay in his bed, in these children that I truly believe really don’t like us and would rather be back in their home country—He is enough for all of us and He will see us through."