Probably the most difficult challenge for a husband and wife parenting adopted children is finding time alone as a couple.  Whether you have one or a brood, needy kids are draining and exasperating.  At the end of the day all you can think about is getting in bed to sleep.  The idea of meeting the needs of another person is enough to make you run away!

The enemy wants you in a place of complete overwhelming frustration with your spouse.  He wants your marriage to fail.   A happily married Christian couple is just who God wants to parent His orphans.  In such a home, adopted children will not only find their forever family, but they will live every day with the concept of family that God wants them to experience now as a child, and to see what life can be as they become adults and consider marriage to start their own family.

It is imperative that married Christian couples work on their marriage every day, as much or even more so as they work on being parents.  Without a happily married dad and mom, the adopted child will not get what he or she needs most.  Orphans, except in very rare circumstances, were not born into a family with a happily married dad and mom.  Most likely they were not around happily married couples as relatives, neighbors, or teachers.  Where else does a child learn about God’s plan for a covenant, joyfilled marriage than by living with one?

Without an understanding of God’s Biblical plan for marriage, a child cannot begin to understand the concept of Christ and the Church being groom and bride.  Without the understanding of two becoming one, leading and shepherding and training and raising their family for the Lord, a child can not fully grasp what marriage can mean.

With divorce rates in the church higher than in the world, marriage seems to be the number one target of the enemy.  In MHO, it also is the number one foundation block for successfully raising adopted kids in the Christian home.

My husband and I try to:

  • give each other a wide berth, overlooking and quickly forgetting little mistakes and offenses 
  • apologize and forgive each other fully for larger mistakes and offenses
  • continue to work through difficulties in our marriage relationship
  • let time heal wounds that can’t be healed quickly
  • defer to the other and remain in agreement when kids try to divide us or pit us against each other
  • speak respectfully to each other, even if the other doesn’t
  • begin and end our day together, without kids 
  • enjoy a date night alone as a couple once a week, the same day every week, even if we just stay home
  • scrimp and save for a weekend getaway as a couple several times a year, even if at our local motel
  • dream together about what we will do when the kids are grown and gone
  • do chores or hobbies together throughout the week, like cutting firewood in the shop
  • ask each other questions about work, activities, politics, and other non-kid things
  • maintain a fun and frequent romantic relationship with each other

We don’t always get it right, but we try hard.  We are mindful that our family started with just us, and endeavor to enjoy each other more and more as time marches on.  He’s more grey, I’m more plump, but we still find each other attractive and exciting.  We laugh at the ups and downs of life, hanging on tight to each other, putting the Lord first in all things.  As a married couple, I hope we have enough energy and money left to enjoy those post-kid years as much as we think we will!