November is Adoption Awareness Month. To highlight this important topic, we hear wise advice from a mom who’s gone through the adoption process a remarkable six times.

Mary Ostyn is a former obstetric nurse, speaker, and the writer of several books including  and . She shares practical answers for couples and families who are considering or, who are even in the midst of, the adoption process.

With her husband John, Mary adopted four girls from Ehiopia and two boys from South Korea. Add that to their four biological children and you arrive at their impressive total of ten kids! Here’s where our conversation takes us:

Within the adoption process, doors open and doors close. The financial cost of adoption can seem prohibitive. Mary explains that hers was a one income family, and that they took multiple avenues to raise the money they needed. God providentially arranged the financial situation.

Once the challenges of the adoption process have been surmounted and you welcome this wonderful addition to your family, there will come some tough moments alongside many joys. One of the most difficult questions an adopted child will almost certainly grapple with is, “Why didn’t my family keep me?”

We look at statistics from a study on adoptive children by Dr. Karyn Purvis that show a third of them adjust very well, a third have moderate challenges, and a third have major challenges. Fully two-thirds deal with some issues related to a sense of loss. Knowing the issues our kids will be dealing with can really equip us to help them.

Mary advises prospective adoptive parents to do their homework on adoption agencies. There are great resources to learn all you can about an agency and look for responsive and ethical organizations. She suggests some questions to ask in that process.

Highlight: How to help

Considering adoption?

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