When the five of us are sitting at the dining table is when our communal prayer most often happens. When I lead I usually seize the opportunity to sweep up the entire planet in a
subliminal prayerful lesson to my kids on current events. But whoever is at the helm at a given meal, the most frequently prayed-for subject aside from the food is our child. It is a sweet thing to hear it come out of my children's mouths, even when it sounds a bit by rote. It tells me that this is a reality for them despite the wait.
But this deal has so many more players in it that I try hard not to forget when I talk to God about it all.
Birth Mom/Dad - what does it take to be in a position where you must decide to relinquish your legal rights as the parent of a child? Stop reading for a sec and let that sink in. What pains predate your parenting story? What illnesses or addictions do you suffer from? What pressures are you facing from the other parent, family, other, more dangerous influences in your life? What regrets or self-esteem issues or fears are you facing? My love for my as-yet-unknown fellow-mom is deep with mercy and hope for a wholeness that her active, healthy presence in our family will provide for both her and our little one.
Siblings - one of the first things we were advised in the early days of this process was that this doesn't work without the buy-in of our biological children. Me and Ben answering this call is placing the three of them on the front lines, at times in front of us. Siblings' interactions can easily be more frequent, more real and more raw than those between child and parent. My prayer is for their hearts to open wide to allow God's sovereignty over our family and His faithfulness make them brave and patient.
Social Workers - my prayer is always for the Holy Spirit to bathe the case workers in wisdom. Their jobs hold so much consequence for every family they connect with and weave.
Educators/Staff - every foster child will have special needs - but please detach that from any stigma that pops into your head when I say that. Even newborn infants will have attachment issues that could manifest later in life. Whether it's an actual medical issue or emotional trauma, every teacher or counsellor or therapist or doctor that deals with our little one needs our prayers for understanding and hearts that desire wholeness that's beyond textbook and is appropriate for him and his story.
Foster Parents - these people have stepped into the trench to come together with our little one, possibly with only hours' notice, likely with the prospect of sure loss. The calling to foster is an anointed one, where by definition there is rarely permanency in the plan. I have had a light brush with the world of foster care and will definitely speak on it later this month.
Our Support System - our parents, brothers and sisters, their families, and our closest extended family and dearest friends. These are the people who will have much contact with him and the new us. I pray for them to be compassionate with him, patient with us and to be able to identify Jesus' hand in all of this.
His Siblings - there is a chance that he has brothers or sisters but their situation necessitates adoption as singles. Much of the fire I walked through as a child, I walked through with my sisters and brother, and to fathom a disconnection from them at such a young age breaks my heart. I ask God to stay close to them and lead them to healing and wholeness.
It's a whole web we are forming here, this network that God is building, and as I continually learn to pray effectively for all things, I must be mindful of every moving part in our adoption story and ensure that I offer them all to God's crafting and goodness.