“I’m adopted,” my daughter blurted out to her friend. Tears welled in my eyes. It took everything I had not to turn from what I was working on, scoop her up and dance with her across the living room. She’s 10, after all. I have to respect the tween-ness.
Why was this such a big deal? As a child adopted from foster care, my girl has struggled to engage and pursue friends—to trust anyone, really. It’s taken years of counseling and consistent intervention to get her to this moment, a simple phone call with someone else her age.
Adoption is a crazy-amazing process. A family grown together from two. But it’s also, at it’s core, built on grief and loss. Something I don’t see enough people talking about… and that leaves families feeling like they’re the only ones grappling in the dark. Which is why today I’m so excited to introduce you to an author who gets it. Please welcome Shelly Roberts, author of the adoption devotional, 31 Nuggets of Hope.
Thanks for being with us today, Shelly! Please share a little about you and your family.
My husband David and I have 5 kids ranging from college age down to Kindergarten. We have 3 bio sons and 2 little girls who joined our family through adoption. Naomi, our 7 yr came home as a newborn and she’s proud Texan through and through. Our youngest, Maleah, age 5, was born in Ethiopia and came home at 14 months old.
What inspired 31 Nuggets of Hope? What do you hope the book will do for readers?
It was born out of years of walking with adoptive and fostering families. As I would support and encourage these families, I would search for resources for the moms, and couldn’t find anything. They needed someone to remind them they don’t walk the journey alone. They needed to know that there is always HOPE, no matter what we or our children are facing. My hope is that every adoptive and fostering mom will realize that they are loved very deeply by their Heavenly Father. He knows exactly what they are going through and promises to always be there.
What’s been the toughest part of the adoptive journey for you and your family?
It’s a two-way tie! Finances was the first. God led our family into our adoptions during the years that we were church-planting missionaries living on an extremely limited income. As we began the process, we were so excited to find the ABBA Fund, which provides help and resources for adoptive families. The second challenge? The WAIT. Oh the wait! In adoption, you have NO control over so much. Through it though, God taught us so many lessons on really trusting Him and leaving all the details of our future in His hands.
What’s been one of the best aspects of your adoption journey?
Truly we never grasped just how deeply God loves His children, until we went through our adoptions. We were stretched in every area of our lives. Meeting each of our daughters was both painful and miraculous. There is such pain and loss in adoption. But God really does redeem. Our family has been so radically blessed by getting to share our lives with these precious girls.
If you could give one bit of advice to current (or future) adoptive parents, what would it be?
Let Him change you in this journey of adoption. We were already seasoned parents when we adopted our two daughters, yet God has definitely changed us as parents. The changes have been good! So, trust God. You will have little control in the adoption process and there are no guarantees in the outcome. No matter what you are facing, you can be confident that the Lord goes before you and He has every detail covered.
Where can people find you and your book online?
You can find out all the info for “31 Nuggets” at my website. Tune in also to my blog, Reaching Hearts. Currently I’m doing a series of “31 Families of HOPE.” You’ll get to meet up with some amazing families who are in their own adoption journey!
Thanks so much for sharing your story and being here with us today, Shelly!
P.S. If you’re an adoptive parent facing ongoing challenges with your child, I’ve got some resources here to help, too. Check out the Adoptive & Parenting resources page, and my new coaching group, Get Your Joy Back, which starts Nov 15th!