The “Our Father” — the most basic prayer Jesus taught His followers — is an prayer that is especially appropriate for prospective adoptive parents. After all, we became God’s children through adoption … He understands a heart that yearns to connect, arms that ache to embrace.
I once heard a priest/professor at Sacred Heart Seminary talk about the “Prayer of Abandonment” that St. Charles de Foucauld wrote, a prayer based on the Lord’s Prayer.
Father,I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
One line strikes me as particularly brave: “I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.” These words sum up the poignancy that is the journey of adoption. We do our best, hope for the best, pray like there is no tomorrow. But at the end of the day, we have no real control except how we will respond to the circumstances that present themselves to us.
Then I found this little sweetie, and it clinched it. So… without further ado …
The “Prayer of Abandonment” for Adoptive Parents
Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
to send a child … or not … as you see fit.
You by whom the Word was made flesh,
send us a miracle, if this is what you desire.
Or lead us to her, if that be your will.
We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
Only light enough for the very next step.
We do not ask for a perfect child,
nor can we promise to be perfect parents.
Whatever you choose for us, whatever you desire
we abandon ourselves to your perfect will.
We are ready to offer our daily “yes,”
until that perfect will be revealed in us.
And until, at last perfected, we bear witness
to the work of redemption you began in Eden.
We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
wholly and without reservation.
We surrender ourselves, moment by moment,
knowing that this is only the first small step
Of a lifetime of surrender,
so that we may be made more perfect in love.
That we might imitate, on earth as in heaven,
the redemptive love
the adoptive love
the selfless love
with which you first loved us.