“Adoption is a Virtuous Act”

Adopted parents are virtuous by nature. They exhibit a genuine sense of compassion and a natural love of others. The adopted parent understands and validates the profound, and has the skill to encourage love to grow. They love someone else’s child, but call him or her their own. Sharing their home with an orphaned, fostered, abused and neglected child is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded. Their parental instincts help them understand and appreciate the situation that brought an abandoned child into their lives making them parents. Being an adopted parent is who they are, and what they do. It is their calling.

Adopted parents have the habit of goodness. They do not seek immortal glory. They possess a common grace and willingly achieve results through human effort with the knowledge that virtue is its own reward. They concede the agony, mourning, and the grieving sense of loss and self-inflicted wounds the birth parents may experience later in life. They grasp the numbing sense of grief and mourning for the birth mother and father not there, and with heartfelt emotions they comprehend the deep sense of loss the adopted child endures. They allow the tears to fall, and sooth the primal wound as best they can. They are virtuous because they seek only goodness and what is best for their adopted child.

The Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance (Restraint), and Courage (Fortitude) were identified by the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato, who regarded them as desirable character traits. The Theological virtues, from the letters of St. Paul are Faith, Hope and Charity (Love). The enormous popularity of the Seven Virtues In Catholic catechism in the Middle Ages helped to spread the concept of holy virtue throughout Europe.

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | St. Francis of Assisi

The majority of tourists who visit the town of Assisi in the province of Perugia, Italy, are on a religious pilgrimage to visit the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order in 1208. His ideals and example exercised a profound influence upon medieval European culture. Plain speech and simple parables were the hallmarks of his teachings. Throughout his life, he espoused the virtues of being Christlike, while seeking to instill a heartfelt love of God and a pragmatic approach to morality.

The Seven Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, Faith, Hope and Charity (Love) have generally fallen out of common use. The virtues were once universally accepted, and widely taught as admirable human qualities. Life was viewed as the battleground of character formation, and the seven virtues gave civilized individuals a vocabulary to provide a unique dialogue about human history, character and human behavior. By training in virtue, individuals were taught how to prepare to live in a world of suffering, temptation and imbalance. They were taught to seek a virtuous life with all their sensory and spiritual being as an habitual and firm disposition to do good for others. The goal was to be Christlike. The aim was to develop a generous spirit leading to positive concrete actions and a selfless disposition that allows individuals to give the best of themselves and perform good deeds. It was taught that virtue is who we are, as well as what we do. It was believed that the virtuous individual acts with generosity and integrity to give the best of themselves to others. A virtuous character was considered to be at the foundation from which our lives grow. Adopted parents and others who perform good acts and give the best of themselves to others being considered the most virtuous.

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Adoption Story | Saint Francis of Assisi


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in Adoption, Books, Faith, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “Adoption is a Virtuous Act”

  1. TaraBara says:

    Thank you for sharing this on my blog Judith. As an unintentional adoptive parent, I wouldn’t classify myself as having the habit of goodness. Sometimes I have to work really hard at finding goodness in myself. It wasn’t my intention to adopt my Caleb, it was not part of the plan for his birth mom to get drugged out & abandon him. But I give thanks everyday that she did, because this boy has opened my heart to love I never knew I was capable of. I hope when he is grown and learns the circumstances that he feels the same.

    • Judith Land says:

      Harry Harlow’s experiments had powerful implications for any and all separations of mothers and infants, including adoption, as well as childrearing in general. His research confirmed the well known psychoanalytic emphasis on the mother-child relationship at the dawn of life. The permanence associated with adoption was considered far superior to other arrangements when it came to safeguarding the future mental and emotional well being of children in need of parents.

    • drbrown16 says:

      Your son has every right to know who his genetic family, Wow judgment “birth mom to get drugged out & abandon him.” I hope it’s not a part of your plan to demonize her. I am all for family preservation, but your plan was to dump her in a trash can. Something to keep in, environment, and genetics determine who he will become, and it’s not your right to sever those connections.

  2. Pingback: What is National Adoption Day? | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  3. missouriflower says:

    Do you think you could lay it on any thicker Hun? This has not been my experience at all, but hey, whatever floats your boat!

    • Judith Land says:

      Missouriflower, I am sorry. Unfortunately, it is true that many situations turn out poorly for for nefarious reasons. No situation is ideal (mine wasn’t and yours wasn’t) but adoption is generally considered to be a better alternative than institutional care. Almost all children without parental care in the United States were in orphanages or foster arrangements until President Theodore Roosevelt declared the nuclear family was best able to serve as primary caretaker for the abandoned and orphaned. Inspired by his leadership, forces against institutionalization gathered momentum, and the practice of formal adoption gained popularity. Eventually, adoption became a quintessential American institution, embodying faith in social engineering and mobility. Judith

  4. I worries me when we anyone speaks in generalities or assumptions.
    I would love to, I really would love to, be able to agree with the above.
    Sadly my personal experience and the experience of the many transracial adoptees that I have encountered, the experience is a very different one. It is far from virtuous and goodly. It is dark, painful and full of selfishness.

    • Judith Land says:

      Dear Lucy, I feel badly for you. Unfortunately, not all parents are equal and many situations are not ideal. Harry Harlow, an American psychologist best known for his maternal separation and isolation experiments, demonstrated the importance of caregiving and companionship. Along with child analysts and researchers, including Anna Freud and René Spitz, Harlow’s experiments added scientific legitimacy to two powerful arguments: against institutional child care and in favor of psychological parenthood. The permanence associated with adoption was far superior to other arrangements when it came to safeguarding the future mental and emotional well being of children in need of parents. Beyond childhood, having a secure and positive sense of self-identity is important to feeling well in an age of illness and anxiety. Most adoptees have an emotional need for a curative and breakthrough reality that would finally make sense out of their disrupted life stories and this is difficult to achieve when they are separated from their genetic heritage, place of origin, native language and culture. Some countries and cultures, including native Americans, strongly prefer to keep orphaned children within their ancestral group for the very reasons you speak and intuitively comprehend. Unfortunately, many adoptees who experience the grief of separation from kith and kin can never understand the reason for this lifelong punishment. Albeit, from a positive standpoint, many of whom when fully grown, think of their life’s trajectory with growing wisdom and in the spirit of forgiveness. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Judith

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.