National Adoption Awareness Week in Australia kicks off today, November 11. Recent discussions surrounding adoption often centre on the struggle of adoptive parents to start or extend their family. However, much more needs to be done to invest with empathy and care for all parties involved in an adoption, particularly the birth parents (especially the mum) and child. This week I’ll post some blog articles dealing with these aspects of adoption.
All children need time and maturity to process and reflect upon the experiences that contribute to their character. How a child of 6 answers a question differs greatly to when they are 26 or 46. Investing in our children, adopted, biological, fostered or wards of the state, with the tools to build and own their identity as confident, fulfilled adults is a prime concern of any parent or guardian. A commitment to the best and highest interests of the child is a commitment to the future of our culture and society. We debate the best way to go about that. Often those debates are charged with intense anger and grief, much of which remains to be addressed justly and compassionately. In this post, I want to introduce you to an adult adoptee and let you hear his side of the story.
Troy Matthews, or Dr. Matthews as he is better known today, was Dean of Students at my Bible College and was also Associate Pastor at my church in 1989/90. Troy was adopted at birth and always spoke openly, positively and generously about his experience. Although I was only 17 years old when I was one of his students and not really thinking about my future family too much at the time, his example influenced me significantly when the time came that my wife and I were considering adopting. His story continues to influence how I talk to my daughter about her adoption.
There are some heart-breaking stories of cases where adoption hasn’t been approached sensitively or lovingly (towards both the child and the birth parents). Unfortunately, some of those stories get a little more air time than the great majority of ones where children and families flourish through their experience with adoption. Troy is a fantastic example of a man who not only flourished, but is now helping others flourish also.
Together for Adoption recently published Troy’s story:
Troy was born to a young mother in Snyder, Texas, and because of the closed adoption he doesn’t know much more than that about his fraternal parents. Simultaneously to this woman’s pregnancy, a young couple had battled several miscarriages and were urged by a local pastor in Snyder to consider adoption – particularly the adoption of Troy. They quickly realized that this was their “gift from God.”
Today, Troy puts it in his own words, “They were his gift from God.” …
Dr. Matthews is now a professor of “Contemporary Issues”, a course required by all majors at Liberty. The subject matter directly approaches one’s world view – affirming a Biblical world view and also applying it. Topics such as adoption, abortion, and a Christian’s moral responsibility to such topics and understanding of absolute truth’s found in Scripture. These courses are designed to affirm a believers responsibility to the world around them.
If you’re in Australia and considering investing in adoption, National Adoption Awareness Week can give you the starting point. Click on the link for your state to find out more. If you have already been involved with Adoption there are many opportunities for networking and support with other families and adoptees.
USA readers can check out the links on the Together for Adoption site and Karen’s Adoption Links has information for other countries.
Troy is “a champion, … reinvesting in others to be young champions as well. – just as (he) was invested in.” How are you investing in children and their families?