Parenting and Commitment

How do adoption and The Biggest Loser intersect? In Season 12 Winner, John Rhodes.

John does something that we talk about in MLJ adoption preparation education classes: he commits to being in the best mindset to parent. When questioning John about his role of parent, he is humble. He is open about his and Jill’s decision to adopt after battling infertility issues. His voice is laced with emotion as he speaks about his love for and accountability to wife Jill and their sons Daniel and Dmitri, how he wants to be regarded as a man and a father, and what he wants to provide for his wife and sons. The motivation behind John’s success is family.

John’s memories of weeks spent in Ukraine, single-parenting Dmitri, who is autistic, waiting to bring him home, gave him a profound appreciation for what Jill was dealing with at home while he spent four months at The Biggest Loser Ranch. John shared with me that he went on the show pledging he couldn’t and wouldn’t do less than 100%. Thoughts of Jill, at home and single-parenting their sons for four months were ever present while John poured everything he had into shedding the pounds, becoming healthy and gaining a deeper perspective about life.

Parenting is the most difficult, most important “job” you will ever have. This is even truer when you parent the child who has been adopted. The challenges of adoptive parenting—fallout stemming from inherent issues that are frequently woven into adoption (loss, rejection, grief, shame and guilt, identity, control, and intimacy)—require you be in the best mindset possible, and this includes taking care of your emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things, and that is what Season 12 Biggest Loser Winner and adoptive parent John Rhodes exemplifies. John’s love and respect for and commitment to his family helped him persevere, achieve his goal and win. What can you do to help you be in the best mindset to parent the child you are adopting or have adopted? Put your child’s needs first and then decide what you can and will do to take care of those needs. Some of that may fall back on you—to take care of yourself, like John did.

(John shared with me that even if he hadn’t won he would have considered himself a winner. He viewed all of the Biggest Loser Season 12 competitors as winners).

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.