What Adoption Means To Me: Doug Linville, Miriam Project Director
Doug Linville was hired to be the Director of the Miriam Project in 1997 and he has been pouring his life and love into the adoption agency ever since. We sat down with him recently to ask him about what adoption means to him and what his heart and vision is for the Miriam Project. We think you’ll be encouraged and inspired by what he has to say.
If you had to describe what adoption means to you in one word, what word would you choose, and why?
How can I protect children who can’t protect themselves? How do we protect expectant/birth moms from the system? How do we protect birth fathers’ rights? How do we protect the adoptive families’ hearts?
Share some of your thoughts about the Miriam Project?
I always go back to the story of Miriam and Moses. I love the philosophy that every child has a purpose placed on his or her life by God. We help them find a forever family who will help them fulfill that purpose. We pray over every child. No placement happens by accident; it happens by God’s direction.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work with adoption?
When the birth mom’s come back for their first visit with the child and the adoptive family. They can’t stop thanking the adoptive family for caring for their child; they have such a sense of peace. Also, those times when it has been just me caring for a child right after they have been born before the adoptive family can get there and I am protecting that child.
How about the most challenging?
There are three things. One is making sure the expectant/birth families know that we don’t sit in a place of judgment. Another is being with a birth mother as she grieves that loss. The third is being in the hospital and switching back and forth between two extremes: the joy of the adoptive family and the grief of the birth family.
Has adoption taught you any life lessons?
Adoption is such complete acceptance of another person that it helps me understand what it means when we are adopted into God’s family. Everything changes. Adoption has opened my eyes to see how everything changes, nothing is the same, and it’s a good change.
What misconceptions about adoption would you like to clear up?
Some people think we are only concerned about the baby and not the birth family; this is a major misconception. Another major misconception people have is thinking that a birth mom must not love her child and is making a selfish decision. That’s not true. Placing a child for adoption is a selfless decision made with the child’s best interest at heart. It takes a lot of maturity to make that kind of decision.
What is your vision for the future for Miriam Project.
I’d like to see us become more of a support community for those who have placed. I’d also like more people to know that there is a place where they can find help without judgment.
Do you have any advice for expectant/birth families and adoptive families?
For adoptive families, protect your heart as you step into the process.
For birth families, don’t walk alone. We will walk with you. We are here to help you make the best decision for you and your child, not to tell you what to do or make your decision for you.