Seminar focuses on the many ‘Faces of Adoption’

| Sharon Wilson for The Catholic Spirit | November 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

A childless couple longs for a baby. A young teenage girl finds herself pregnant and chooses to place her child for adoption. The girl meets the couple, hands over the child, and instantly a family is created.

Though this can be one face of adoption, the many faces of adoption go much deeper.

Our faith calls us to care for orphans. Exodus 22:21 says, “You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.”

But what does that mean for families today?

Cathy and Nate Clyde discussed adoption when they were engaged. “All couples should talk about adoption during their courtship,” Cathy said.

For them, adopting children wasn’t only an option if they couldn’t have children. “No one should ever be someone’s second choice,” she said.

Their adoption story started shortly after their first child was born. Their daughter, Teresa, had a short life and died nine months after her birth.

It was at that time a friend of a friend came to them with a story and a bundle of joy named Mary, a child arranged through an open adoption.

Since then, the Clydes have expanded their family to include two more birth children and two more adopted children. They thought that their family was complete at five, but God had other plans.

Cathy is pregnant, due in December, and they are preparing to adopt a half-sibling of one of their adopted children.

“This is what it means to be open to life,” Cathy said.

Want to go?Faces of Adoption Seminar

When: 7 to 9 p.m., Nov. 18
Where: St. John Neumann, Eagan
Speakers: From God’s Children Adoption Agency: Anita Ruthenbeck and Kristin Goodreau, family case managers and adoptive parents. And from Minnesota’s Adoption Resource Network, Chris Tiedeman and Mary Mason

Archdiocesan Mass in Celebration of Adoption

When: All Masses are Nov. 23
Where: 4 p.m. Divine Mercy, Faribault and St. Peter Claver, St. Paul.
5 p.m. St. John Neumann, Eagan.

Information about adoption will be available at a reception following Mass.

This celebration of life is what prompted Cathy to connect with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to start the annual Mass in Celebration of Adoption more than eight years ago.

Another face of adoption is the story of Tina and Dave Draves. They were facing an empty nest and a cushy retirement in the short future.

Their adoption story starts with their pesky daughter Lauren. “She {Lauren} just kept reminding us that we had so much. We always tried to teach compassion and giving to others and here we were with a chance to live it out.”

The Draves looked to a foreign adoption of an older child. Four years ago they adopted Eli, then 8 years old, from Ethiopia. In hopes of encouraging more families to consider adoption, Tina spearheaded the Adoption Ministry at her parish, St. John Neumann in Eagan.

The ministry helps guide people through the adoption process and supports families after adopting a child. The ministry sponsored an Adoption 101 seminar last year. This year’s presentation is called “Faces of Adoption.”

The focus of the seminar is on older children waiting to be adopted. Domestically, we have children in foster care looking at aging out of the system and being left on their own at 18, and older orphans from other countries are often the hardest to place.

Wilson is the Respect Life coordinator of the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

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Category: Faith and Culture