Not Necessarily

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! I’m adding this as my ABCs of Adoption -part 6!

If you think you know what Adoption is all about, you may want to remind yourself and others to keep an open mind. After all, you might be 100% right in your opinions, but not necessarily!

Stephanie Rodda

The thing about adoption is that every story is it’s own story that is just as unique as the people involved. People seem have this uncontrollable urge to box people up and categorize them. For some folks it’s a simple method of skin color. Further divisions include gender or education or economics. It’s really quite amazing the methods people can develop to separate and judge and criticize other human beings.

I never realized how much I detested this common practice until I became a mother. “Do NOT try to fit my child into a box!” I wanted to shout to the world! Do not attempt to determine who they are now nor who they will be in the future by your definitions and limitations.

This applies to adoption as well. I’m constantly seeing opinions concerning the people in what is referred to as the adoption triad. This would be birth…

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ABCs of Adoption- Part 5

Relationships are so very complicated. People can have personality clashes, old wounds that haven’t healed, memories that haunt or resentment and unforgiveness. And then sometimes people just don’t care or won’t even try. 

On the other hand relationships are so basically simple. People who are willing to tolerate differences, who have forgiven, grown, healed. People who care a lot and won’t stop trying no matter what. 

Whether it is marriage or adoption or siblings or in-laws, relationships can be complicated at their worst and as simple as ABC at their best. 

Two of my sons are marrying this fall season. One of my new daughter-in-laws uses the hashtag #tistheseasontobemarried and I believe she must be right! These young couples are committing to love each other and prefer each other and to be in a binding, legally and spiritually, relationship. 

Adoption is that same sort of commitment. We commit to love and protect and provide and prefer our children. It is a binding, both legally and spiritually, relationship. So what if it doesn’t work out?

It is a terrible tragedy when relationships fail, marriages end in divorce or adoptions are disrupted. There is sure to be plenty of pain and hurt. But we all know that these things do happen. Love is risky. People are people. Relationships can be complicated. 

So why in the world would we even try? Why would we marry, adopt, love or commit when there is such a great risk involved?

Because there is also such great hope! So many great possibilities! So much potential!  Relationships, people, marriage, family, adoption and love are all worth every ounce of any risk involved. 

Family is a relationship of commitment, both legally and spiritually. Family begins with two people, who are not related by blood or biology, committing to one another, both spiritually and legally. And sometimes it grows by the birth of children, and sometimes it grows by the adoption of children and sometimes it grows because we choose to open our hearts to people we love and cherish, just because we want to. 

Many times people hesitate when considering adoption, wondering if they can love a child that is not biologically theirs. What if it doesn’t work out? What if the relationship fails? What if there are personality clashes? What if a million things?

If you are going to focus on the ‘what ifs’ you’re going to live a life full of fear and that’s no way to live. If you are going to avoid any emotional risks, you’re going to live a life of loneliness and that’s no way to live. If you refuse to see the possibilities, the potential, you’re going to live a limited life and that’s no way to live. 

Whatever you do? Whatever you choose? Whatever you decide? Don’t let fear, regret, past experiences or failed relationships cause you to give up on love. Love has never and will never, give up on you. 

ABCs of Adoption part 4

Today my little corner of the world was very hectic. A tire puncture on the way to church which caused us to be very late and then after church being locked out of my husband’s vehicle that he had loaned me  after rescuing us from the tire debacle. 

I could feel my temperature rising. I don’t know how you handle interruptions and delays, but well, I can fuss and fume a little bit. I often say, let’s just stick to the plan. 

As I sat waiting for my hero (husband) to rescue me again, I watched some of my kiddos in their hip hop small group. It was both entertaining and distracting. And that was a good thing. 

When it come to adoption, you may have to do a bit of waiting yourself, possibly even have some doors closed in your face and maybe at times, feel as if you are taking two steps backwards for every one step forward. That’s just how life can go sometimes and adoption is no exception. 

Oh how I struggled with the loss of two pregnancies (a boy and a girl), the roller coaster of infertility (testing and charts), a failed private adoption (that left us in debt) and the delay of my dream (to be a mother). 

I’ve been writing blog entries this month about the ABC’s of Adoption because November is National Adoption Month. Adoption was the way God filled my empty arms, brought me my children, created our family and fulfilled my heart’s desire to be a mother. 

Almost without exception, little girls plan to grow up and be mommies. Unfortunately plans don’t always work out like we expect them to. I read that 12% of women experience infertility issues. That’s twelve out of every hundred.

Chances are those twelve are also struggling with shame, depression, discouragement, confusion and brokenness. I wrote once in a journal that my own body had betrayed me and was sabotaging my efforts to have a child. I honestly felt forgotten and betrayed by God. Infertility is a cruel task master. 

Here’s what I want you to know about infertility and adoption. One often leads to the other, that is true. But I can assure you that when those hopes are fulfilled and that judge declares legally what your heart has already declared, you will not in any way feel that you’re getting your second choice. 

Try, take the tests, rule out the possibilities. Mourn the loss of a Dream, but then if your plans don’t work out just as you hoped, take hope because hope can be found through adoption. It’s true! And once you choose hope, anything truly is possible. 

ABC’s of Adoption – part 3

November is National Awareness Day for both Adoption and Prematurity. It seems only right that I spotlight our son who was born prematurely and also became our first adopted child. 

We had only been foster parents about six months when we received a call just days before Christmas that would forever change our lives. I’ll never forget that phone call. I was so excited, I literally jumped for joy. 

The social worker explained the situation. A premature baby boy, now weighing five pounds was ready to come home from the hospital. I fairly flew to the hospital that very day. Oh how my heart rejoiced. 

Everyone loved Jesse. How could we not. He was a delight right from the beginning and brought us so much joy. Of course, he was our foster child and although we loved him with all our hearts, we knew the day might come when he would leave. 

Two and a half years later, we had the great privilege of adopting him. Our first adoption of seven, we truly thought he would be our one and only. We were so thrilled to stand before the judge and know that Jesse was our forever son. 

I hear so often the concern that foster-care adoption is risky. While it is true that we didn’t know exactly what tomorrow would hold, may I remind you, that neither do you. Regardless if a child is fostered, birthed, or adopted, there are no guarantees. Love is risky business. 

Love is also worth the risk. Jesse was worth the risk. Each child that is waiting in the foster care system this very day, is worth the risk. Are you willing to take the risk? I’m so very glad we did. 

ABCs of Adoption – part 2

Continuing my ABCs of Adoption in honor of November being National Adoption Month! Celebrate with me. 

Today is the day we go the Dream Center downtown and minister to those who are there for food and fellowship. It’s always a blessing, but today was even more so. 

One of our sons, Jeremiah, has a birthday coming up this weekend and one of the ways he wanted to celebrate was to give the message today in my stead. He worked so diligently and prayed and prepared all week. He normally does the music and worship with my two daughters. Today he was to do both the music and the message. 

His message was about the Good Samaritan, being one and finding one. He shared from his heart as well and referred to a number of scriptures. I could tell he was a bit nervous, but he was also so happy to have the honor of speaking to the precious Café family. 

To say he has come a long way in his young life, is hardly appropriate. He has conquered mountains. He recounted this true story from his childhood and I’d like to share it with you. 

Jeremiah had some learning differences and one of the biggest hurdles was reading. He just could not get the hang of it and it was years later that he was diagnosed as having dyslexia. 

We often had (and still have) family devotions. He could not read, but I was determined he would be included. So, he would hold his Bible and point to the words as I read and he repeated them. This went in for some time and one day I encouraged him to try and read a few words on his own. 

That was the day we made a discovery. Jeremiah could read the Bible before he could read other books. We were astounded and he was so proud to be able to do so. I can not explain it, but it is the truth. 

So what does this have to do with adoption? In his message today, Jeremiah said God puts people in our lives to help shape and form us. He said these people are Good Samaritans and they take action when they see a need. Then he pointed to me and said, my mom is a Good Samaritan, she never sat back and looked away from a person who needed help. 

That was such a beautiful thing for him to say, and it made me want to declare on the hill tops, that adoptive parents aren’t rescuing someone else’s children, they are discovering their very own children in a unique way. Jeremiah is such a blessing in our lives and I can not imagine our life if had not had the great honor of being his parents. Adoption made that possible. 

The ABCs of Adoption

November is National Adoption Month and I want to recognize it by sharing some of our personal adoption experiences. It’s really as easy as ABC.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? 

A stands for, well it naturally stands for adoption itself and rightly so. Adoption is in its own right, the beginning of a whole new life, a whole new way of living and experiencing and some days, breathing. It certainly was for us. 

Adoption altered the way we viewed the world. Once adoption became a stepping stone of possibilities rather than a stumbling block of impossibilities, everything changed. 

There are all types of adoptions, but there is one thing all adoptions have in common. Purpose. Every Adoption is done on purpose. Never ever had parents accidentally adopted. Adoption is pursued and planned. Adoption is on purpose!

When we adopted our children I had a new understanding of the profound love that God has for us. Adoption is a spiritual concept that is life-changing and powerful.

Several years ago I had an article published, my very first, and I was able to write about adoption. Oh how honored I felt to write on this important subject. How hopeful I was that someone who read my words might find their courage and then find their child. 

Here is the link to my newest article on adoption that spotlights Alabama Heart Gallery and Children’s Aid Society. 

I’ll be back tomorrow and each day of November to share more about the ABC’s of Adoption. If you’re curious or confused, I hope you’ll find the courage you need to consider or reconsider the possibilities of adoption.  


I’m talking about us, you and me, and how we respond to those who have stumbled.

Stephanie Rodda

My editor recently requested a backstory on a character in a part of my soon to be released book. It was a good suggestion on her part and the additional info I added would be sure help a reader understand the character better.

I started thinking about how differently we would view people if we knew their backstory. How might we react if we understood a little bit about what another person had faced? Had survived? Had lost?

So many times we judge a person by their actions. They act arrogantly therefore they must be arrogant through and through without an ounce of humility in them. They appear aloof so they obviously must not care. They seem so negative, always expecting the worst and need an attitude adjustment.

Oh, we are so quick to draw our conclusions and the truth is, no matter how convinced we are that we have…

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