Forever Families; Forever Grateful

Julaine Appling

2021 | Week of November 1 | Radio Transcript #1436

Visiting the nursery when she was in the hospital was routine for Mary.  Never able to have children of her own, she enjoyed seeing the newborns all lined up with their pink and blue name cards on her frequent hospital stays. No doubt every nursery visit was bittersweet since she so wanted to have a child of her own.  On this particular visit, Mary noticed in a special way a baby girl with a distinctive blonde curl right down the middle of her head.

Five months later, when the adoption agency she and her husband Bob had been dealing with called to tell her that they had a baby girl for them, Mary was ecstatic.  It had been a long and tedious adoption road.  She and Bob jumped into the car and tore off for the agency in downtown Atlanta.

As the agency worker handed Bob and Mary their new daughter, Mary stared down at her. This baby had a distinctive blonde curl right down the middle of her head.  “I’ve seen this baby before,” Mary said.  “When was she born?” “February sixth,” replied the worker.  “And what hospital was she born in?” Mary asked. “Emory University,” was the reply. And, yes, that was the hospital and the date that Mary Appling had first seen me, her new daughter. In Mom’s words, “No one can ever tell me that God didn’t have you picked out just for me.”

Four years later, Mom and Dad adopted a brother for me, and our family was complete. Both Jack, who ultimately preferred John, and I knew from the beginning that we were adopted. It wasn’t hidden; it wasn’t something of which we were ashamed. We were told how special it was that God gave us a forever family in His own way—and later we learned that we were actually twice adopted—once by Bob and Mary Appling and once by God the Father into His family, when we each accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Savior.

November is National Adoption Month. It’s a time when a special emphasis is put on giving children forever earthly families through adoption. National Adoption Day this year is Saturday, November 20. This observance began on November 18, 2000, when a coalition of pro-adoption organizations and a funding foundation encouraged nine cities to open their courts on or around the Saturday before Thanksgiving to finalize and celebrate adoptions from foster care.

On any given day, there are approximately 7,000 children in Wisconsin living with foster families, many of whom await placement with a loving, adoptive family to protect and care for them. Many of these are sibling groups, teens, or special-needs children who for one reason or another are without a forever family of their own. And we know that children in that situation are much more likely to suffer all kinds of problems because they lack the love, concern, safety, care, and involvement of a mother and father.

Adopting from foster care isn ‘t the only way to adopt, of course, but it foster care adoption certainly highlights the need we have. I believe the church should be a major part of the answer to the adoption issue. If we can’t find married men and women in the Christian churches of our state who will step up and adopt, who will see that these children get forever families? Who is better suited than Christian families to add to their number and to invest in the life of a child?  I am praying that God will begin working on the hearts of families all across this state to become, as He leads, adoptive parents for a child who desperately needs a loving and lasting home.

Certainly, adoption is an incredible option when compared with abortion.  I am grateful for organizations in our state—our pregnancy care centers—that make sure young women who show up at their facilities hear that abortion is not the only answer, contrary to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin whose adoption referrals are virtually non-existent.

My adoption story ended beautifully, as did my brother’s. It is true that not everyone’s does, but I know overall adoption is well worth the risk for all concerned.

Adoption is designed to be a truly life-changing option. Why not celebrate adoption this month? Talk about it in your church. Share the need with people you think would be great adoptive parents. Be part of giving a child a forever family—and I can assure you from personal experience, they’ll be forever grateful.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Julaine Appling has taught on the junior high, high school, and college levels, and for five years was the administrator of a private school. In 1998 she was asked to become the Executive Director of Wisconsin Family Council, where her mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty. In addition to regularly being interviewed for Wisconsin television, radio, and newspapers, she is the host of "Wisconsin Family Connection," aired weekly on almost 50 radio stations in Wisconsin including the VCY America radio network.

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