Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adoption ABCs Post-script #4: Continuing the Celebration

Obviously, adoption awareness is not just something that happens over the course of one month. It's something you can learn about all year long!

The National Adoption Awareness Month website provides lots of ideas for things you can do to continue the celebration, including:
  • Support adoption foundations
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper about the blessing of adoption
  • Read an adoption story as a family
  • Ask your local library to display adoption-related books.
  • Learn more about positive adoption language

Monday, November 29, 2010

Adoption ABCs Post-script #3: Special Needs Adoption

Special needs adoption is another important topic. The designation "special needs" encompasses a wide array of children's characteristics that present unique challenges to their development. According to the Michigan Adoption Resources Exchange (MARE), children with special needs waiting to be adopted may include any of the following:
  • Children who may have emotional, learning, physical or mental impairments
  • Children who must be placed in the same home along with their brothers and/or sisters
  • Minority children of all ages
  • Older children over the age of five years old
As mentioned yesterday, MARE "is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children with 'special needs,' and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website provides a photolisting of waiting Michigan children and of Michigan families interested in adopting children with special needs."

Other states provide similar listings for families interested in opening their homes to children with special needs.

Adoption.com has a section dedicated to adopting children with special needs and provides other important resources relating to helping children with special needs find a permanent loving home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmastime is Here

This year we're spending Christmastime at home, and Landon is learning all about Jesus's birthday and Santa Claus and lights and decorations. He and the missionaries did a great job putting ornaments and tinsel on the tree.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
Hanging tinsel
The (currently) finished product. Paper snowflakes still need to be added.
We actually managed to light the outside of the house.
Books on the sideboard, and stockings hung at the dining room window with care

Adoption ABCs Post-script #2: Foster Care

Foster care is a route to adoption we have considered with varying degrees of commitment over the past few years. We are currently actively involved in getting approved to foster to adopt. For those not familiar with the connection/differences between adoption and foster care, here is some information from AdoptUsKids.org:

"Children in foster care live with their relatives, foster parents or, if neither of these is available, in group facilities. Children are removed from their families due to neglect (such as not providing enough food for a child or leaving a child who is unable to care for herself alone) and/or physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In almost all cases, when children are removed from their parents, parents must be provided help so that they can safely parent their children. Slightly more than half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families. When parents are provided with help and they are still unable to parent safely and their children remain in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the state files with the courts to legally terminate the parents’ rights. The children then become available for adoption. Most children are adopted by their foster parents or relatives. However, if this is not possible, states try and find other adoptive parents."

As we have gone through our classes for foster care, one of the messages that the case workers have tried to convey is that, unlike conventional adoption placement, the primary goal of foster care is reunification of families. Thus, foster parents frequently play a temporary role in the lives of the children they care for. However, as noted above, only about half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families. There is a significant need for foster parents who can transition from caring for children in foster care to becoming their permanent parents.

Here are some foster-to-adopt links of interest:
  • AdoptUsKids.org. We mentioned this group above. You may have heard the ads from this group with the tag line "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." They have links to several resources.
  • The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. For the past few years, the foundation has put on a program called "A Home for the Holidays" on CBS (this year it airs on Tuesday, December 21st).
  • The Child Welfare Information Gateway "connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families. We feature the latest on topics from prevention to permanency, including child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption."
  • The Michigan Adoption Resources Exchange "is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children with 'special needs,' and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website provides a photolisting of waiting Michigan children and of Michigan families interested in adopting children with special needs. The child listings are updated bimonthly, typically at the beginning and end of each month."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adoption ABCs Post-script #1: Transracial Adoption

Great! We have four more days to fill as part of our pledge to talk up adoption as part of Adoption Awareness Month.

We have lots of topics we could cover: International adoptions, transracial adoption, kinship adoption, and so on. While you wouldn't know it to look at him, Landon is bi-racial (1/4 Asian, 3/4 Caucasian). When we were first matched with him, we thought he would look like his biological sister and birth mother, who both look Asian and have dark hair and olive complexions. In fact, we had intended to name him Rhys at one point, and decided against it after considering the possibility that playground bullies might pronounce his name "rice" instead of "reece" (to say nothing of the potential jibes over certain peanut butter cups). However, it turned out that he took after his European roots, at least in terms of complexion and eye and hair color. He does carry an Asian blood trait, and who knows how many other characteristics comprise his mixed heritage. Because he passes White, people routinely assume he is our biological son. For most parents who adopt transracially, however, the children whom they adopt clearly do not look like them.

Several resources are available to parents who choose to adopt transracially. Here are a few:

Transracial adoption is a controversial issue. Some ascribe to the "love makes a family" school, asserting that race should not matter. Others feel strongly that children should be adopted by adults of their same race and cultural background in order to provide them with tools to cope with the racism that still exists in society. We feel that there can be a middle ground: We believe that parents who choose to adopt need to respect and understand their children's racial and cultural roots, celebrating and providing role models who come from their children's race and/or culture. We also believe that parents who adopt transracially generally do desire to understand and support their children's heritage. As with adoption generally, the burden lies upon the parents to determine what they can handle when making the choice to adopt transracially. Their children are not afforded that choice (unless, perhaps, if you consider things from the perspective that as premortal spirits they understood where they would be going), so their parents must take special care to develop their own awareness so they can provide their children with the social and emotional support they will need to navigate multiple cultural worlds.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Z is for Zzzz

What we used to get before Landon came into our lives. Losing them was totally worth having him in return. We look forward to losing more ZZZs as we add to our family through adoption or foster care, hopefully soon!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Landon has been learning "For health and strength and daily food, we praise thy name, O Lord." Singing this song with him has served as a simple reminder that we have so much to be grateful for this year and always: our family and friends and their generally good health, our relative material abundance, and our faith. Who could ask for anything more?

Y is for Yearning

Happy Thanksgiving!

I did a Google search for the word "yearn" and got the following contrasting definitions:

1. Have an intense feeling of loss or lack and longing for something.
2. Be filled with compassion or warm feeling.

Both of these definitions are so apt when talking about adoption. Parents who adopt yearn to hold a child in their arms. Children who were adopted yearn for a sense of home and to understand their place in the world. Extended families of those families built by adoption yearn for their loved ones to be safe and happy. We yearn over our son, the apple of our eyes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

X is for Xavier

This is the name Landon was given by his birth mother and which he holds as his middle name. It means "bright; splendid; new house." All of these meanings are apt for our little boy. We honor his birth mother for not only this namesake, but for the heritage she has given our son.

Our son and other children who were adopted receive an important legacy from their birth families. This legacy may be physical, mental, and emotional characteristics that distinguish them from their parents, photos and mementos, a special interest in the part of the country or world where their birth parents came from, and so on. This legacy forms part of the child's identity and should be honored as a beautiful part of who he or she is.

Whenever we think of the name Xavier, we remember with deep gratitude all that Natalie and Cody have given to our son.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

W is for Waiting

This is not an option for couples hoping to adopt. Yes, time goes by (see T is for Timing), but we’re never just sitting around waiting.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a talk called "Continue in Patience" in the April 2010 General Conference in which he spoke at length about what it means to wait patiently on the Lord's timing:

The Lord’s Way and Time

The children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they could enter the promised land. Jacob waited 7 long years for Rachel. The Jews waited 70 years in Babylon before they could return to rebuild the temple. The Nephites waited for a sign of Christ’s birth, even knowing that if the sign did not come, they would perish. Joseph Smith’s trials in Liberty Jail caused even the prophet of God to wonder, “How long?”

In each case, Heavenly Father had a purpose in requiring that His children wait.

Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer.

I remember when I was preparing to be trained as a fighter pilot. We spent a great deal of our preliminary military training in physical exercise. I’m still not exactly sure why endless running was considered such an essential preparatory part of becoming a pilot. Nevertheless, we ran and we ran and we ran some more.

As I was running I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom.

I remember thinking, “Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?” But I was weary, and I was overtaken by people who were definitely not following the Word of Wisdom. I confess, it troubled me at the time. I asked myself, was the promise true or was it not?

The answer didn’t come immediately. But eventually I learned that God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. Years later I could see clear evidence of the temporal blessings that come to those who obey the Word of Wisdom—in addition to the spiritual blessings that come immediately from obedience to any of God’s laws. Looking back, I know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain.

We recognize that the Lord has a purpose in requiring us to wait, and as we are called on to wait in this way, we hope for the promises He has in store for us and those spirits still waiting to come into this life to be fulfilled in His time and in His way.

Michigan Adoption Day

We found out today as we were at the gym that today is Michigan Adoption Day! Woohoo! Let's party!

Families Across MI Celebrate Adoption Day

Article from the Detroit Free Press

Article and sound file from Michigan Radio

Report from WWJ Newsradio 950

To those families who finalized their adoptions today, CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, November 22, 2010

V is for Validation

Families built through adoption are as valid as those built by other means. Yes, these family members may not share genetic material, but neither do married couples. The following quotation conveys this elegant truth:

“I wish couples who desperately take every means to conceive a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative. A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters a family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart.” ~ Michele Johnson

Every day, people make choices about who they include, who they love, and who they accept into their lives. The criteria for whether a family is valid are things like commitment and love. These can exist whether or not you are related by blood.

These ideas are especially important when considering the feelings of a child who has been adopted. Children who have been adopted may experience a wide range of emotions as they mature and come to an understanding of the role adoption has played in their lives. Validating those feelings is important, especially when those feelings present a challenge to the family. It helps when loved ones consistently reassure the child that he or she really belongs to his or her family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

U is for Understanding

One of our favorite musicians is Cherie Call. She wrote a song a few years back that conveys so beautifully the idea we want to express with our adoption U word. So many complexities are involved in the adoption process that we don't understand, from what motivates people, to the different biases and assumptions we hold, to the mysterious ways in which the Lord works. In spite of everything we don't understand, He offers us His peace.

"It Passes All My Understanding" by Cherie Call

I was sitting on a southbound plane,
I was buried in a magazine
When the man in the next seat over
Wanted to talk to me.
He talked about the universe,
He talked about Saturn's rings.
He said, "I might be an atheist,
Except for just one thing:

It passes all my understanding
How it all worked out just right:
The distance that we live from the sun,
The stars that shine at night.
We may prove that it was just an accident,
But how did it begin?
It passes all my understanding."

I told him, "You are a scholar;
You know things that I don't know.
But I believe a God in heaven
Made everything below,
And I know we are his children;
I've known it since I was two,
But when it comes to being struck with awe,
I'm just like you.

It passes all my understanding,
All the beauty we have here
From the majesty of the canyons
To a tiny baby's ear,
And even when I can't believe it,
He still believes in me.
It passes all my understanding."

We watched the sun set through the clouds
In a tiny little airplane window
With people sleeping all around,
And I thought of how we just expect this world to be.
And when the flight attendant passed me by,
I threw away my magazine.

It passes all my understanding,
That the Lord knows both our names,
And that He made this world for everyone
That was sitting on that plane,
And in spite of all of man's distractions
He offers us His peace
That passes all my understanding.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

T is for Terminology

It is not always easy to know what to say when you are learning about a new subject. At times we have all stuck our foot in our mouths. As we began the adoption process, we learned a whole new set of terms to talk about adoption. Here are some helpful resources for those seeking to use terminology that conveys a positive message about adoption:

Classic Articles from the Adoptive Families website.

“Positive Adoption Language” from Adoptive Families.

Excerpt: “The way we talk—and the words we choose—say a lot about what we think and value. When we use positive adoption language, we say that adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other.”

"Positive Adoption Language" from the LDS Family Services website.

Excerpt: “The words we use while talking about adoption can send unintended messages. When writing about or discussing adoption, please consider using language from the right-hand column.”

One of the best ways to learn appropriate adoption terminology is to ask a parent of a child who was adopted.

Friday, November 19, 2010

S is for Stereotypes

We heard a tragic news story the other day, where a teenager and two of her friends attacked the girl's parents in the middle of the night in the parents’ bedroom. The father fought off the attackers, saving his wife's life, but losing his own in the process. The reporter on the story noted that the girl was the parents' adopted daughter.

So, here comes the question: Why is it relevant that the girl was adopted?

Stereotypes about adoption permeate our society, from tales of wicked stepmothers to urban legends based on tragedies like the one described above. When people seek to understand their feelings about adoption, it is vital that they examine the stereotypes they hold about the adopted child and adoptive families.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

R is for Real

When does your child become your real child? Is he your real child because of the act that led to his conception, because he carries a portion of your genetic sequence? Is he real because he was carried in your or your spouse's womb? Is he your real child because you treaded that fine line between life and death that women do when giving birth? All of those events matter. A lot. If in your heart they make the difference between a child being your real child or not, then adoption may not be for you, and that's OK.

On the other hand, if you are in a position where you must face the harsh reality that you and your spouse will not conceive a child together, the above notions of a child being your real child cease to be criteria for defining whether your child is really yours. Instead, with adoption, other life events forge the sense of what is real about the relationship between members of the adoption triad (birth parents, child, and adoptive parents). Birth parents face a fundamentally life-altering choice when deciding to place. Adoptive parents make the deliberate choice to become parents to that child as opposed to treading another life path without children. A child who is adopted lives with those adults' choices for his or her entire life.

Several significant life events provide a foundational context for adoptive families. The agency interviews, home inspections, background checks, setting up the nursery, placement at the hospital, 2 AM feedings, check up visits from the agency, baby firsts, finalization in the family court, and temple sealing become defining events that forge and reinforce the bond that makes a family built by adoption a real family, that makes children brought into a family through adoption their parents' real children.

Some mothers describe the fierce mother love that floods them as they meet their child for the first time after they have given birth. They know that the child is theirs. I relate to that feeling. I look in my son's eyes, and I know the same thing. He is mine, and I am his. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Q is for Quiet

So many times, the pressures of the world can get overwhelming. Having family as a safe refuge is a blessing beyond price. Whether it is the comfort of a spouse, encouragement from a parent, or watching a child asleep in his bed, quiet moments of together time with a loved one can make all the difference between despair and hope.

Lyrics from the Dixie Chicks song "Easy Silence" come to mind:
The easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

This isn't really an adoption letter, but more a universal reality about family life that we hope everyone can experience. We are grateful to our families for the peaceful quiet ways they keep the world at bay for us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

P is for Patient Persistence

Patient - steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.

Persistent - to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose,course of action

When you’re looking to add a child to your home through adoption, these two words say it all. You just keep plugging away each day, holding on to the idea that there is a child or children out there who need you to be Mom and Dad. We have been approved to adopt for 18 months now and started the foster care process this past June. We see all kinds of adoption miracles around us. We are so happy for our friends and acquaintances. We pray for adoption opportunities with patience and persistence everyday. Each day as Landon talks about having a sister it melts your heart to see him grown and change and to have what all of his friends at church have. We know it will happen when we least expect it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

O is for Opportunities

When we got married, we expected that children would bless our home as part of the natural order of things. This did not happen, so we were afforded an opportunity to make some of our own decisions about whether and how we would bring children into our home. We see adoption as an opportunity to partner with the Lord in helping others make course corrections in their own lives even as we bring children into our home. The birthparents who choose to place make a decision that gives them the opportunity to reset their lives while having the assurance that the human being that came about as the result of their choices receives the opportunity to be raised in a loving home. The opportunity to build a family through adoption clearly is not for everyone, but it has afforded us the chance to raise Landon and (hopefully soon) his siblings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

N is for Networking (that can be Never-ending)

Simply defined, “adoption networking” is the activities employed by prospective adopting couples to reach adoption-minded birth parents.

Many networking ideas exist for families seeking to adopt. Here are just a few we have used or considered:

  • Letters to EVERYONE telling them that you are adopting and how they can get in touch with you
  • Pass Along cards to leave EVERYWHERE and with EVERYONE
  • Flyers to post at EVERY cork board in town
  • Advertise on social networking sites
  • Open your mouth always
  • Speak with your church leaders let them know your desires
  • Become proactive in the community with some activities found here to celebrate National Adoption Month (November).

We know you can think of more and if you have great ideas send them our way. We can always use new ones.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

M is for Money

Unfortunately, adoption is not the cheapest way to have a baby, especially compared to the conventional method. J However, several resources are available for those seeking to raise funds

  • 2nd job
  • Set up a small business
  • Hold a raffle
  • Yard Sale/Sell items on the Internet
  • Ask others for money
  • Grants/Loans
  • Tax Credit
  • Employer Benefits
  • Cut costs

Friday, November 12, 2010

L is for Love

OK, this one is obvious. LDS Family Services’ tag line is “Adoption. It’s about love!”

Tender selfless Love brings a birth mother the ability to place her child into another's arms.

Hearts changed by Love give parents who adopt and their extended families the ability to have that child placed in their arms.

A family's consistent, nurturing Love allows a child who is adopted to know everything will be alright.

The Love of God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ heals wounded hearts, provides assurance, and nurtures sacred bonds across generations.

When the needs of a child outweigh the needs of the grown ups, true Love emerges to wrap that child in its protective embrace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

K is for Kindness

How do you approach a couple who is facing infertility or a child who is adopted? With kindness, of course! This would seem like common sense, but we have found that well-meaning people have made some pretty insensitive remarks to or about us or Landon and to our friends who have adopted and to their children. Adoption is a sensitive issue, and many adoptive couples and children grieve about a life they might have had if everything were "normal." It isn't, and we're never going to fix that. We live with that reality every day.

The kind acts of our friends and family who wholeheartedly embrace our decisions regarding adoption and (most importantly) show our little boy how much they love, respect, and accept him as OUR son--as THEIR kin--do more good than any words could say. Families who adopt and children who are adopted need to know that they belong as full members of their extended families and friendship networks, and you can give them that reassurance by kindly treating them as your own. We are so grateful for our family and friends for their kindness to us, our son, and anyone who belongs to the adoption triad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

J is for Joy

When we met Landon for the first time, we were overwhelmed with joy. When we were sealed to him in the Salt Lake Temple, our joy expanded many times over! Just as we took joy in our past life as a couple, we take present joy in our family as it is presently constituted with our precious little boy, and we look forward to future joys we will have with whatever children we will have in the coming months and years. Joy is rejoicing with the other couples who are still looking to grow their families through adoption. We feel joy as we watch their sorrow turn to joy as they are matched with that special someone.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I is for Inventive

There are many resources available for families wishing to grow through adoption. You may find your child through a private adoption, an agency adoption, a group on the Internet, Craigs List, or Networking. No matter how you find your child remember to think outside of the box and when you are least expecting it that is where that child will be.

Monday, November 08, 2010

H is for Hope

Hope has become a word full of meaning and inspiration in our home since we began the adoption journey. As we hope for good things to come, our lives become filled with optimism and a positive drive to do the things that will qualify us to bring children into our home through adoption.

H - Hardwork - Hope is a doing word. American Heritage Dictionary sites the word as a verb and uses it in the context: To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
O - Optimism - I know that good will prevail, that Heavenly Father is going to make things happen. I need to remember that, and most of all believe that. Every time I share our desire to adopt that optimism is brought to the forefront again.
P - Perserverance - The spiritual side of perseverance for us has been praying daily for a woman and baby we have yet met. We pray also for their safety, health, and overall well being. We read the scriptures and Ensign to draw closer to the Lord. We attend the temple and put a faceless name on the prayer roll. We have had family fasts for something, anything to happen to bring us closer to the day we will be placed with a child.
E - Eternal Perspective - Vicki F. Matsumori in an article titled Believe, once said, “When we encounter the loss of loved ones or experience trials and adversity, it is our faith, belief, and understanding of the Atonement and the Resurrection that give us perspective and hope.”

Emily Dickinson once said,
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

G is for Gratitude

It's November, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Gratitude for the miracle of adoption, for Landon, for Natalie, for our families and friends, and for our Savior all rank high when we think about adoption.

Another great G word: grace. We are so grateful for the grace of Christ in our lives, the unmerited favor, mercy, kindness and benevolence He bestows on each of us in the adoption triad. Through His grace hearts are healed and made whole again. We are truly grateful.

Yet another: Give-away. There's a give-away at the r house by Spaces for Faces. Spaces for Faces does personalized business cards. They made some great pass-along cards for us, and we'd love to get some more! Heck, you might find they make great Christmas or other cards for you, too!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

F is for Focus

. . . or faith, or family, or friends. So many good words. Focus is an important adoption word because it's so easy to lose it and get distracted by life. We have to remember each day to do something to keep our fire of optimism burning bright.

Another good adoption word that starts with F is finding, and you can help! Just link to our profile or tell others about our adoption story and availability. You never know if you could be the one person who makes the difference, the one we will look to with tears of gratitude because you remembered us and spread the word.

Our LDS Family Services adoption profile: https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/22837869/ourMessage.jsf

Send us your address, and we'll send you some pass along business cards with our information.

Friday, November 05, 2010

E is for Excitement

Every day with Landon is an adventure. Adopting him has filled our lives with an excitement we never would have expected!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

D is for Dream

We all have dreams for the future, and sometimes what we think will happen in our lives does not go exactly the way we anticipate. We have learned through the adoption process that, while they may not be what we expect, dreams can come true.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

C is for Christ

On November 1, we mentioned that adoption touches us all. As Christians, we believe that through the atonement of Christ, we become His children and eligible to become heirs to His Kingdom. More to our personal story, it was through the love of Jesus Christ that our and Natalie's hearts were softened so that we could move beyond our selfish desires and open our hearts to fulfilling the needs of our special little man.
"What's up, doc?"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

B is for Birthmother

So many B words to choose from: brave, bottles, bloodshot eyes, and books. But birthmother is the one we hold most dear. A friend of ours is honoring these brave women by seeking resources to offer them scholarships. Perhaps you might consider donating to http://scholarships4birthmothers.info.

Monday, November 01, 2010

ABCs for National Adoption Month: A is for Adoption

This is National Adoption Month, so in the spirit of the occasion, we're responding to the r house's challenge to post something each day about adoption. We chose to do an Adoption ABC (plus 4) to celebrate!

A is for Adoption

Every one of us is touched by adoption, whether we know someone who is or has adopted, are a child of adopted parents, are a parent of an adopted child or children, or are a disciple of Jesus Christ. As members of the Church, through adoption we become eligible to become the children of Christ and the seed of Abraham as children of the covenant. Jesus Himself was adopted by Joseph, and Joseph and Emma Smith were adoptive parents. Adoption is a blessing that affects us all!