Last night was a truly eye-opening experience. My co-leader, Lee Karcher, and I set out for Sulligent, Alabama, in response to an invitation to present “Decisions, Choices & Options” (a pro-abstinence/pro-adoption program for teens) at Sulligent United Methodist Church. We were treated with such hospitality by the adults but didn’t know what to expect from the 20 or so teens who sat staring at us from the pews of the sanctuary. Honestly, I sometimes assume as a trainer that my audience will know all the answers before I speak; and the group last night knew a lot, but what was most revealing were their responses on a confidential survey taken before and after the presentation. As we were driving back to the office following our time with the youth, Lee read aloud some of their responses, and I felt a renewed sense of motivation for doing these trainings.
According to the survey, 60% of the teens present last night had some change in thinking after sitting through the presentation. Prior to the presentation, 40% of the kids felt that adoption means abandoning your child; following the presentation, all 40% had experienced a change of heart, or at least a change of mind. Pre-presentation, 50% of the kids stated they felt adoption is not a good option for a pregnant teen; post-presentation, 85% of those in attendance decided that adoption is a good option for a teen facing pregnancy. Both before and after the training, 100% stated their belief that abortion is not a good option.
After last night, I have learned to squash my assumptions and trust that the Lord may very well reveal something new to a teenager or adult who hasn’t considered adoption as a viable option for the unborn child and his birth parents. We still have much to do, but I stand amazed at how God seems to be working through adoption education.