Laura Christianson File:
Reviewed by Darcie Gudger
The Adoption Network by Laura
"...a practical step-by-step manual on how to minister to people who've been affected by adoption and/or abortion."
It’s only fair to you the reader that I make the following disclosure: I’m an adoptive parent. The review you’re about to read is laced with my own personal convictions about adoption and abortion. Laura Christenson has written a much needed book. I go to some lengths atypical of a review to convince readers of the need for such a resource.
No apologies for my rabid promotion.
I urge all people who hold some sort of leadership position in their churches to drop everything and take a careful look at this resource then implement immediately.
No issue in America is more emotionally charged than the issue of abortion. Tens of thousands march on their respective capital hills carrying pro-life signs. Despite the demonstration, millions of babies continue to be butchered. What do the people do? Carry more signs.
Consider this. What if more people were actively involved in adoption on all levels? The scenarios are endless: Ministering to women who were raped or made an honest mistake. Ministering to women who find themselves in the bathroom staring at a little white stick in disbelief. Positive. Supporting couples who, despite great financial sacrifice, take a child into their home – forever. Offering community to children and adults who were adopted.
Laura Christianson’s book The Adoption Network offers an endless buffet of ideas on how pro-lifers can do much, much more than carry the signs. The Adoption Network is a practical step-by-step manual on how to minister to people who’ve been affected by adoption and/or abortion.
Christianson’s book couldn’t have been more timely. Several weeks ago, an adoptive couple approached my husband and I, inviting us to their home for lunch. They needed to talk. A year ago, they adopted an orphan from Korea. Knowing adoption was God’s way of providing a child, this family of teachers wrote letters to churches and Christian foundations appealing for financial help. “It’s not a mission. We only give to missions or other foundations,” was a common response on the rejection letters.
Near tears, the father, who now works two jobs to pay off the adoption debt, said, “Churches will fund mission trips to rock babies in a Korean orphanage. They [the churches] recognize that as a ‘mission trip’. I’m flying to Korea to rock an orphan, then take him home to care for him, introduce him to Jesus, and love him forever. They tell me that’s not a mission work? Don’t these people understand what adoption is?”
A young woman unable to bear children was overheard talking about the adoption process she and her husband started. An older woman stepped in and said, “Why would you want to do something like that? You can’t love someone else’s baby. Just have your own.”
Experiences of adoptive families are very different. Even in the church, it’s hard to find people who understand. The Adoption Network exposes the deep heart needs of adoptive families for building community and being understood. Network lays out instructions on how to create mission statements, gain non-profit status, educate church and community leaders, find speakers, build a member base and more.
Christianson’s writing style is clear and concise. She presents details in an easy-to-follow sequential manner so the most inexperienced organizer can successfully pull together their own adoption network.
The information doesn’t stop with organizing. Laura offers ideas on network meeting content, group types and managing a baby item exchange. When my husband and I received a call in the middle of the night, we had nothing. Kyle’s arrival was unexpected. No nine months of creating the dream nursery. It would have been nice to have had a network in place to call at 1 AM saying – “We’re having a baby and need a crib, diapers, clothing, formula – by tomorrow evening when we bring him home.”
Mentoring relationships are encouraged and explained. Mentors can be adoptive parent to adoptive parent, or former birth-mom to future birth-mom and adoptee to adoptee. Again, the pairings are limitless and adaptable to a group’s demographics.
I’m shocked at how ignorant the Christian community is in regard to adoption. If churches are serious about their pro-life position, then leaders MUST buy this book and act on its content. No one can say, “I don’t know how.” Laura lays it out pure and simple.
Darcie Gudger is a freelance writer currently working on a young adult novel while trying to solve all the mysteries of motherhood with her adopted son, Kyle. In her spare time, she coaches the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School colorguard, judged equipment for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association and sings for the Bear Valley church choir and worship team. An adventure-seeker who lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky mountains, Darcie loves hiking, camping, cycling, photography and keeping her husband guessing. Visit Darcie online at her blog, Joy in the Litterbox.