Guest Author: The Power of a Praying (Adoptive) Parent

This post is written by my friend, Neely. Neely and her family live five minutes from our therapist and have graciously hosted us overnight many, many times. We have grown to love them and their super fun kids. They are even going to come visit us at the end of the month! You can find her blog at One Mom.

I think it’s safe to say that motherhood and adoption have rocked my world. I have felt every emotion known, and I have felt them at the deepest level. It’s been wonderful… and miserable.

I have learned so much from the limitless resources available to adoptive families, and I would say that 99% of the time they have been just what I needed. Yet, a small percentage of the time these resources have filled me with fear and anxiety. Instead of finding solutions or tips, I find limitless reasons to fear.

Here’s what I mean:

When we first got home with our daughter, I discovered that she loved people, and that people loved her. My insecurity and, to some degree, my knowledge filled me with an anxiety that my daughter was struggling with attachment issues. Any research I did only caused greater concern, to the point I was afraid to let her be around other people. The fear was paralyzing.

This is just one example. Again and again, issues and worries have filled my mind and my heart. Most of the time, I don’t know what else to do but pray…for wisdom…for healthy attachment…and for peace.

The following entry from my blog/journal speaks to this:

Last night when Betty was crying in her sleep, I picked her up and decided to pray for her, for myself and for our family. And you could say I had a moment…

I began praying for the healing of her wounded heart. Which led to me praying that I would be healed and available to help bring about the healing that she deeply needs in her heart.

I started praying for her future and all that God has in store for her. Which led to me praying for myself- that I would encourage her to honor God with all of her gifts and with her story.

At this point, I started praying for all of my kids and their gifts, stories and futures.

And once again I was rocked by the redemptive power of adoption. Mine to my heavenly Father and Betty’s to our family.

And then for some odd reason…I started singing a song in my head. Not a spiritual song…

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly again…”

It was awesome.

In retrospect that was a much needed moment for me. Another great reminder that as much as I work at being a great mom, what I need more than anything is God’s grace and truth in my life and in the lives of my kids. Because in all reality, my trying and my working will never measure up to what God can do…in my life and in the lives of my kids. And that truth provides the greatest resource available anywhere…peace.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

Sometimes in this beautiful journey of adoption AFTER we have read ourselves silly, and sought help from others the best thing we can do is pray that the God who adopted us would bind our families together and heal our brokenness.

And, sometimes in this beautiful journey of adoption BEFORE we have read ourselves silly, and sought help from others the best thing we can do is pray that the God who adopted us would bind our families together and heal our brokenness.

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Gayla
    December 21, 2009

    Really beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Sandie
    December 21, 2009

    Oh Wow Neely, sometimes someone just hits the nail on the head so to speak! I really needed that reminder right now to hand over my worries. Thank you so much for your words. You have a beautiful family! Blessings. Sandie – Australia

  3. Stonefox
    December 21, 2009

    WOW! Incredible, Neely! This so resonated with my cords 🙂 I have been there, am there every day in this mystery of adoption unfolding in our home and lives. So glad to read this!!

  4. Staci
    December 22, 2009

    I love your stream-of-conscious prayer. When we actually let ourselves be still and undistracted long enough, our minds really open up to conversation wtih God, yes? Thanks for the reminder I need some more prayer time in my life.

  5. Jillian and Crew
    December 28, 2009

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been so humbled by watching our children's healing process and the active role my husband and I play in it…it is such a 'in your face' reminder of our Heavenly Father adopting us…forgiving us, healing us.


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