Exodus begins with extraordinary examples of care for children: midwives Shiphrah and Puah refuse Pharoah’s order to kill newborn males; then, Moses is adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and nursed by his birth-mother. This week’s Torah prayer praises adoption. It’s the second in a new series on adoption that will appear in my forthcoming book Prayers for Healing the World. Optional language is shown in [brackets] and word choices are identified with a slash (/). Here’s my prayer “To Adopt a Child.”
In Praise of Adoption
G-d of Mercy,
Source of love and shelter,
Bless those who have taken children as their own,
Into their lives, into their homes,
With compassion and care,
Healing the world one small soul at a time.
Bless their lives with wisdom and strength,
Kindness and care,
So their children will be nurtured,
Protected and educated,
With joy and wonder.
Bless these families with health and safety,
Happiness and well-being.
Source of Life,
Bless those who hope to adopt,
Those who have waited
With anticipation [and with disappointment]
As the adoption process moves slowly, step-by-step.
Let the loving hand of adoption bring their lives
The richness of [family/a growing family],
The joys and challenges of parenting.
Bless, too, those who work and advocate
For children and for adoption.
May their energy and effort
Be a source of healing.
Father of the fatherless,
Mother of the motherless,
We are all Your children.
Watch over children and youth still waiting for families,
Still in need of hope and shelter,
And bring them speedily to a home of love and care.
Let Your light shine upon them.
Let Your mercy heal them.
Look with special favor on the children who
Are often left behind: orphans of war,
Children with special needs,
Youths and teens, children of color.
Bring the day when all children will know
The love of parents and the joy of family.
© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here’s a link to the prayer I posted for Shemot 5773, “Finding G-d.” Nine pregnancy and fertility prayers appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, including: “For Pregnancy,” “Loss of Pregnancy” and “Loss of Pregnancy (Husband/Partner).” Other prayers about family include: “On the Birth of a Child” and “On the Birth of Grandchildren.” For more prayers about family, click here.
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Photo Source: Adoptive Families Circle