Supporting You from the Back Room

So, it is official: there will be no dedication, no blessing.

I kinda knew this was coming, but hearing it, especially after the week I’ve had…ugh.

Hope and I crashing a baby dedication wouldn’t fit the precious motif they’ve constructed.

Having a separate adoption blessing for families like ours isn’t really the direction they want to go in, because well, won’t all those other families with their biological children want their kids/families blessed?  I mean, you can’t expect them to just bless EVERYONE, do you? #sarcasm

Yes, we know it is so disappointing when you don’t get what you want. #yeahpastorsaidthatwhileIsobbed

They would be happy to do something privately after church, when no one is around to witness it and ask all kinds of questions they don’t want to answer; I can even invite anyone I want. My handler family pastor would even be happy to do it.  #heywhydontwejustdoitatsizzler

And that would be something else for me to plan and coordinate; like I don’t have enough to do.

“It’s just not on our grid.”

“We can’t change our motif.”

No, I replied, you’re actively choosing not to.

“We’re still supporting you.”

How’s that?

It’s odd to reject a blessing and to do it standing on a principle.  But I can’t do it, not in a backroom so that the blessing of me and Hope doesn’t offend some fellow churchgoers’ sensibilities or makes them wonder why we’re being blessed and they aren’t.  Or even worse because me and my 13 year old just aren’t as cute and precious as the babies being blessed every 4th Sunday and we just don’t fit the “motif.” I don’t feel supported in doing that, and I don’t want to co-sign on that marginalization.

It’s not that I’m hunting for attention, standing on stage getting blessed, but I just don’t understand the need to hide my family. I suppose I’m somehow grateful that any offer was made, but it’s hard for me to not grasp how *they* didn’t see how it might be…offensive. And hurtful, deeply hurtful. I loved my church before all this, now I can barely stand driving by it.

Saying that my church did something offensive to me is weird, but I’ve left a church before because I found raging bigotry offensive, so I guess it happens. I guess in my privileged mind, I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of the offense. #thatsprivilegeforya #blindedbyprivilege

The family pastor hopes I’ll turn the other cheek. #WWJD #imnotJesus

Sadly, I am not sure I can.  And it’s not even like it’s a crisis of faith or anything. I just totally disagree with the whole deal.

I’m grateful to finally have this mess resolved.  I’m not sure how to explain to Hope that we will be moving churches.  She enjoys the services there. But we’ll be visiting other churches.  I don’t want my daughter to see me just not go because of this; we need to be in fellowship somewhere.  My current church no longer feels fellowshippy.

I’ve been doing diversity work for a long time now.  It is an odd feeling to have a new identity that somehow isn’t welcomed.  It’s also an odd juxtaposition of being held up to adoption-sainthood, but being asked to be blessed in the back room.  It’s odd after enduring all the metaphors about Christ adopting us and how God loves adoption…to hear that we don’t fit…I just can’t.

Despite the sadness, I’m glad this chapter is now closed.

Well, the beat goes on.  Special thanks to the kind folks at DC127 for reaching out to me through FB with leads to churches where Hope and I will be welcome and supported in ways that will help us grow and be a healthy, successful family. I’m going to turn my attention to pursuing some of those leads and finding us a new church home.

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About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted tween a few years ago, and this blog chronicles our journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2017. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

21 responses to “Supporting You from the Back Room

  • thefamilyof5

    That ‘church’ is a disgrace!

  • TAO

    I’m so sorry – I wish it had turned out differently…

  • lyra211

    I really, really don’t get it. Is the point to bless babies because they’re cute? Or is it to bless new family additions? You are a new family that deserves to be blessed, and I don’t see what difference it makes if your new child is 13 weeks or 13 years old. The addition of a child to a family is a joyous (if complicated) occasion for ANY family, and while I’m not religious I always understood the purpose of a church community to be to celebrate and support each other in times of joy, despair, and need — if this doesn’t count (in at least two of those categories), then what does?!?!

    If it helps to have the righteous indignation of a random person on the internet on your side, you’ve got it, in spades.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Apparently at my church, the cute factor is a factor–it’s a part of the “motif.” I honestly couldn’t believe that that word kept being uttered in the conversation.

      Righteous indignation from random people on the internet can be very validating. Thank you .

  • Belladonna Took

    I am so, so sorry. Also gobsmacked. I have been hurt by church (leadership and members) and it really bites. Sometimes you have to put your head down and just carry on loving them … but sometimes the difference runs so deep you need to move. I think you’re making the right choice. I cannot understand a church that refuses a blessing because it doesn’t “fit” their program and because “What if other people also want blessings?” When I got saved my daughter was already 3 years old, and a year later I wanted to dedicate her. Dedications are usually for babies, but as a single mom I really felt I needed to stand up for that. It never crossed my mind – or anyone else’s – that it might be a strange thing to do – and honey, I was UNWED and VISIBLY NOT A VIRGIN in a very conservative church. So this? Makes no sense, no sense at all.

  • TheChroniclesofaNonBellyMama

    That is such BS! GOod thing you had some people reach out to you about the prospect of finding a new home church. We searched for the better part of a year for the church that we attend now. It’s a methodist church (i was raised catholic and my wife lutheran), but it’s amazing! We are having the boys baptized in June and when we went to speak to the pastor about it, and asked if it would be a private ceremony, she said, “NO ma’am it will not! This church will welcome you, these beautiful children, and your gorgeous family to this congregation!” There is a place out there for you and your family. One that will lift you up and place you in God’s light and love. Find it girl….

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I’m almost fearful of asking again. This was such a horrible, miserable experience. I suppose the upside is that I still want to go; I credit that to having Hope, otherwise I probably would just skip the church thing for a while. I’m so excited about your upcoming dedication. 🙂 Will be with you in spirit. 😉

  • My Perfect Breakdown

    I am saddened to hear about your church’s final decision, I think its unfortunate for you and hope, and I have to question how their decision will help a young and impressionable youth feel accepted in the church? My decision to end my relationship with church was made as a youth who didn’t feel welcomed and part of a community when my parents changed church’s and denominations. I find it sad that people in charge at so many church’s don’t seem to see the bigger picture and how these decisions have the potential to influence the next generation. I wish there were more church’s like the Chronicles of a Non Belly Mama.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      I am Christian, but I think a lot of churches are full of it. The ease with which we cast out what we don’t like or what doesn’t fit is shock and counter to what I believe. It’s not the model that was left for us.

      I wished I lived closer to Non-Belly Mama, I’d be making an appointment today. 🙂

  • thebeautifulopportunity

    Outrageous, ABM! I can’t believe they wouldn’t do a public blessing. Thank you for fighting for it, letting them know why it’s important to you and Hope… and for the congregation at large. While they didn’t change their minds, hopefully God will work on their hearts even if you leave that particularly church.

    If you find a good, truly pro-adoption church, please let me know. I’m in the DC area, too, and we may have three boys next week.

  • Valarie Johnson

    Is it adoption that’s the problem? Would they bless a baby who had been adopted straight from the hospital? If so, what is the cutoff date for babies who are no longer bless-able? They should probably put these rules in writing so parents can get their kids in the ceremony before they “age out” of being eligible for blessings!

    I know you’re Christian, but the Unitarians would never do this to you! And they welcome Christians as well. Many of them believe in Jesus in some capacity.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Yeah, a program flyer articulating the rules would be nice. I’m struggling with moving from hurt and bypassing anger. It’s a special irony that my handler/family pastor used to work with adoptive and foster families–he and his wife actually used to foster; I don’t understand his delivery of a message so counter-intuitive to what he knows our families need.

      I’m exploring a lot of different churches; I’d prefer to stay in a Christian church, but we’ll see. I don’t want to feel like I also have to leave places of worship central to my belief system because of this, but I’m open, so we’ll see. I haven’t decided if/how/where we will worship this week. I might just be at bedside baptist this week.

  • polwygle

    I am aghast that they would use the word “motif.” And I hope you will find a church that will welcome you and your daughter and shower you with blessings!

  • momto3sugars

    Disgusting! I’m so sorry! I am! I’m shocked! I guess I shouldn’t really be shocked, but I am… Please please know that MANY people stand beside you in this and would never ask you to be “blessed” in a back room! You are a strong woman and have a strong family! You will get through this, but I wish you didn’t have to!!!

  • onewomanschoice

    That is disappointing. I too found issues while trying to have my son baptized in the Catholic church (my religious upbringing). It’s a long story but in short, no one should be required to be a member of a specific church, or married, or whatever restrictions they decide to put on a denial or refusal. When one is serving and working for God, all should be welcome.

    We attend Unity now. Unity churches (from Silent Unity out of Missouri) is worldwide and is very open and inclusive. We have women ministers, gay ministers, and while the philosophy is based on the teachings of Jesus, we embrace all religions. Check them out and see if they have one in your area. The larger ones (in the cities) have great youth programs. My son loves it! He is now 17 years. I know God will lead you to the place that fits you and Hope best. That’s what matters most.

  • It’s Been A Year | AdoptiveBlackMom

    […] Supporting You from the Back Room […]

  • HerdingChickens

    What???? WHAT?!?!!!!!!! Pardon me, I’m sort of binge-reading your blog backwards (my iPhone is loading slowly, I’m stuck under a sleeping kid, it’s a long story) but seriously WHAT THE HECK?! Just FYI I had an “adoption shower” when we brought home our sibling group. We registered for bedding, towels, toys and clothes at Target. Our church doesn’t do blessings but they baptized our chickens just like any baby, except they got to speak up and agree to pledge themselves to God. Children are children. Parents are parents. If Jesus can wash someone’s feet? Then a church can bless a darn child!!!!! Whew. Rant over.

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