Memphis Family Connection Center
Adoption is a beautiful thing, so much so that our salvation is described this way:
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. - Galatians 4:4-7 (NIV)
We are not just saved, we are adopted as sons; this makes us heirs of God’s blessings today, tomorrow, and for eternity. Out of gratefulness for such undeserved favor, we who follow Christ seek to live our lives the way He taught us and exemplified for us – we do what He does. This desire has led many of us to foster or adopt children. In an ideal world, no child would need to be fostered or adopted, but our world is fallen, far from ideal. Every adoption starts with a tragedy and some degree of trauma. But a family is forged out of that fallen place. Even on strictly human terms, adoption is a redemptive act. We who call Jesus our Lord should take adoption seriously, whether we bring children into our families or support those who do. In so doing, we will experience the beauty of adoption first hand, but we will also come to learn that adoption is complicated. Consider the following:
A married couple adopted a child at birth 6 years ago, and the child has begun to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems at home and at school.
A single mom, recently divorced, is having difficulty with her teenage son as he struggles with the loss of his family the way he has always known it.
An older married couple has recently gained custody of their grandchild, and their daughter, the child’s mother, is trying to maintain a relationship with them and her child.
A young adult adoptee with a wife and baby is starting to process his relationship with his birthparents at a deeper level.
These are just a few examples of the many individuals and families who have received counseling and support at Memphis Family Connection Center, located on the Harding Academy Cordova campus. The center officially opened its doors over two years ago and continues to add services and staff. Living Hope supports the center financially, and this support has allowed me to join the MFCC staff full time as of September 1. In addition to counseling, MFCC also offers psychological evaluation services, speech therapy, and occupational therapy (for children with sensory motor problems). Parenting classes and in-home parent mentoring are also available. The center seeks to apply cutting-edge research on attachment and trauma to all of its operations, including relationships between staff members. For more information visit, www.memphisfamilycc.org or call 901-614-1902.
Matt Smith is a psychologist, adoptive parent, and member of Living Hope.