Here's a new section we're hoping to add to as we go through this adoption process. This section, like the Adoption Q&A was borrowed from "Cross-Cultural Adoption" by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz. When quoted from the book, it'll be in quotation marks.
Adoption Do's and Don'ts
DO treat him like any other kid.
Although it breaks our heart to think that there are probably people in this world who may struggle with our choice to adopt (for some strange reason I cannot wrap my brain around), we are committed to surrounding our son and family with people who love and treat him just like any other kid. In our son's case, he will be adopted at such a young age that our family will be all he has ever known, so he won't necessarily feel any different (outside the obvious), unless he is made to feel different. He is a precious baby, made in the image of God, who if it weren't for adoption would most likely starve before adolescence or die of treatable illness. In the Bible, James tells us that "Pure and undefiled religion is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress." God has a very special place in his heart for children. Jesus celebrated them on several occasions throughout the Gospels. The color of their skin, their ethnicity, where they born, who they were born to, does not matter. Each and every one of us bears the equal image of God and should be treated as such. So one of the most important things for an adopted child is to know they are loved and cared for, just like every other child in the family. It's the most valuable gift we can give!
DON'T introduce him as adopted.
When introducing children, don't distinguish between adopted and non-adopted children. The pain and continual damage this inflicts is obvious. Although many who might make this mistake do it completely innocently, it makes the adopted child feel inferior, like he falls into a different category and will never be considered a real part of the family. Constantly referring to a child as adopted, as inadvertent as it may be, repeatedly drives home the false message that people who were adopted must always be differentiated from those who were not, and that children who were adopted are somehow less genuine than those who were not.