As a Mom to eight children, six who are adopted and two who are birthed, I learned early on that children love to hear stories especially their birth story! Telling our children stories has been one amazing tool to reach the heart of our children that we adopted and birthed. My husband and I parent with the goal of striving to reach the heart of our children. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” As stated in Strong’s Concordance, our heart denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life; our soul and our mind. Our heart is the fountain and seat of our thoughts, passions, desires, affections, purposes and endeavors. It is where our will and character begin. It is the very place in which we store up our treasures; where good and precious things are collected, and kept.
One of the first stories our children heard from us while growing up is their birth story. Children love to hear their birth story; the way we cried tears of joy when we first saw them, the joy we felt when we held them close to us; however, in our situation with adopting some of our children at different ages, 2, 9, 13, and 15 years old, not all our children’s “birth” stories we tell start when they were born. Some of our children came from hard places. Some of our children’s original birth story is one of rejection, abuse and abandonment. They came to us insecure and with hardened hearts. As parents who adopt children from hard places, we cannot change what others have done to them, however, we can draw from God’s word that He takes what the enemy meant for bad and turns it to good. Adoption is one way God turns bad into good. In Ephesians 1:5, His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family through Jesus Christ and it goes on to say that it gave Him great pleasure. Adoption was created by God. It is a way that God takes a child out of a bad or hard situation and places them in the arms of a loving family with the intention of nurturing and loving that child the way He nurtures and loves us.
For our children that came from hard places, their “birth” story is about how we prayed for them, the first time we met them and how we felt. One of our children got sick from a bag of candy we gave him the first time we met him in an orphanage in Peru when he was 8 years old. He loves to hear this story. We may not have experienced the first time he talked or walked but we did experience the first time he ate ice, the first time he rode on an escalator, and the first time he went ice skating when we went to Peru to adopt him. This is his “birth” story. Every time we tell our son his story he smiles real big. This story reaches his heart. It is a story of love and how we, his Mom and Dad, pursued him and wanted him. Our children that were older when we adopted them love to hear their “birth” story as much as our children we received at birth love to hear their actual birth story.
When we reach the heart of our children with their “birth” story, we begin the attachment and bonding process our children need. We provide a way for our children to feel secure and develop intimacy. Positive life-giving stories reach the heart of our children.
Aimee and her husband, Tommy, have eight children God blessed by adoption and birth. She and her husband lead His Heart for Orphans adoption ministry at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Aimee is the Director and Coordinator of a statewide initiative Louisiana Heart Gallery where she advocates for children in the foster care system that are available for adoption. You can read more of their adoption and birth story here.
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Wife, Mother, Christian woman who loves God's word and teaching others what God teaches me, Adoption Advocate, Writer, Illustrator.
Who am I? Galatians 2:20 does a great job of summing up who I am. My life is His, the One who loves me and gave Himself for me . In return, I want to be all He wants me to be and do all He wants me to do on this side of Heaven.
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Recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award 2016. A program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C.