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There are millions of children globally who are without a home, a family, or the love and support of a mother and father. They desperately want to be loved. They desperately want to feel they belong. Some are able to express it, some are in capable, some don’t even know it. Every child needs and deserves a forever family, but not every child is ready. There are well meaning families who want to give those children a home. Their compassion moves them towards a heart for adoption in hopes to give those children a better life. Most of the time, the intentions are pure, but families move blindly unaware and uneducated toward a decision that will forever impact their lives in ways they quite possibly would have never imagined. What fuels them is compassion, but compassion isn’t enough.

A child is placed in to a family, completely unprepared for the transitions that will take place, the emotions they will feel, the fear, grief, disconnect, confusion, guilt, and the other million and one emotions that consume them. This innocent, yet traumatized child, who more than likely never received the appropriate therapy, counseling, and treatment they needed to heal from their trauma now must learn to cope in a new atmosphere, with strangers. Add trauma on top of trauma.

“Well meaning family” can’t understand why once “orphaned” child isn’t grateful for this new life and receptive towards all this love they want to pour out. Weeks, months, years now pass and once compassionate family becomes bitter, emotionally drained, frustrated, and angry. The child, well, you can only imagine.

I don’t want to read any more blogs about these scenarios. I don’t want to feel the heart break of listening to families talk about their lives being destroyed by this very scenario. I don’t want to see the look in an adopted child’s eyes who is so lost and so very angry. I don’t want to read about another parent looking for a way to un-do an adoption that should have never happened in the first place. It’s heart wrenching. It’s unnecessary.

My husband and I are adoptive parents to three internationally adopted children. Our door remains open, and hopeful to more children in the future. Our three incredible children will be the first to tell you that their transitions weren’t easy. It wasn’t always pretty and it certainly wasn’t always a fairy tale. It took patience. A LOT of PATIENCE. It still takes a lot of patience. We are huge adoption advocates. But we are also big time advocates for the preparation of children and families PRIOR and AFTER adoption. It is imperative. It isn’t pleasant for a family and it certainly isn’t fair to an already traumatized child to throw them in to another terrifying situation that could potentially destroy what little hope is left for their life.

When parents decide to adopt a child all traditional parenting should be thrown out the window! Everything becomes about that child and what it will take to bring healing to their lives. Rebuilding the pieces that perhaps another careless person broke. Forget yourself, because you’ll have to dig deeper and give more than you’ve ever given. The most sacrificial adoption ever known to man was when Jesus Christ gave himself for His children and we had the perfect gift to be adopted in to His family. God’s heart is for adoption. Loving a child that wasn’t born of your womb so sacrificially, so profound, so unexplainable IS possible. Some may not understand that kind of love, but I’m living it every day. Our hope is to provide children and families with the kind of support they need so that every desire of their heart can be fulfilled to live a life of love, peace, and happiness. We are here to do all that we can do to make that happen by providing support, resources, and training to families and children as well as to orphanage workers / administrators and government agencies overseeing child welfare and adoption

Check this page often for frequent updates, new information, seminars, and other opportunities to enter the gift of adoption with eyes wide open so you and your child can live in harmony. 

Karissa Washburn, Co-Founder Bless An Orphan


Dr. Karyn Purvis: Expert in post adoption support & resources for at risk and traumatized children.

TCU Institute of Child Development: Support for children who have suffered the effects of early trauma, abuse, or neglect.