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a ministry of America World Adoption
“…taking hold of the hope set before us…” Hebrews 6:18
Memorial Day: In Our Nation and In Our Family
Memorial Day solemnly honors those who died while serving our country, who number 1.8 million since 1775. This holiday has also expanded into a nationwide celebration as we kick off summer and enjoy parties of red, white, and blue. America World honors both facets of this special day, as we are so very grateful for the sacrifices made by those who fought to assure our freedom, and we feel blessed as we rejoice together. Recognizing the complexity of these divergent perspectives on this special day, we find a metaphor akin to the intricacy of our adopted children’s feelings towards their memories and history, their past and their future.
Our children by adoption come to us with memories. Whether they are cognitively aware of them or not, and regardless of their story, they have memories of hard times, loss, hurt, and sacrifice, because adoption is born out of loss, and there is no way around that. They have lost biological connections, culture, and family history, among other things. These losses are a very real part of their lives that come up more frequently than we may be aware. Random things may trigger these memories of loss, like school projects on genetics, doctor office visits when asked about family medical history, the smell of a particular food, celebration days like “gotcha” day, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and more.
Our job as parents and America World staff is to help our children understand their feelings, grieve in a healthy way, and grow into happy and healed adults. Memorial Day traditions give us many ideas about “good grieving” such as decorating graves, wearing red poppies, and flying flags at half-staff. For our adopted children, memorial rituals can be incredibly healing as well. Life-books, photos, stories, open conversations, cultural connections, and remembrance days are examples of how you can help your child. These, like Memorial Day, can provide solemn remembrance of the past as well as a celebration of the present and the future.
Ronald Reagan, in his Memorial Day remarks in 1982 stated, “Our goal is peace. We can gain that peace by strengthening our alliances, by speaking candidly of the dangers before us…” These words are exactly true for adoptive families and children as well, as we strive for peace through building our connections and honestly and earnestly dealing with any struggles that come our way. We at America World are here to stand beside you in this endeavor. We pray daily for your strength and wisdom, and are glad to help you in any way we can.
ACT (Adoption Coaching and Training) is a ministry of America World Adoption designed to support families through training, support groups, and individualized coaching. Explore ACT services on our website here, and reach out to us today for a free consultation to make a plan to meet your needs.