13 Feb Adoption: A Beautiful Mess
We were friends. We were both Guardian Ad Litems, helping to advocate for abused and neglected children. We met one day and caught up since we last saw each other. I was about to leave when she pulled out a picture of a beautiful, little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl and simply said, “We are fostering her; she is available for adoption.”
That was the day my world changed forever.
Adoption is a gift from God, but there are many layers. It does not always start out beautiful and wonderful. It is complicated and complex and scary. The beauty and the wonder do not come right away. They are tucked away like a beautifully wrapped package for just the right time.
My husband and I added that little girl to our family ten years ago through adoption. Our then 6 and a half year old daughter, came to us with an invisible suitcase. One that we had no idea how to unpack. And neither did she, for that matter.
As the biological mother of two sons, I was pretty sure I “had this.” I remember thinking, How different could this be? I was in for the test of my life, which I had no way of knowing at the time. I believe God brings things and people into our lives to teach us, to mold us, and to draw us closer to Him.
As the biological mother of two sons, I was pretty sure I “had this.” I remember thinking, How different could this be?
The year was 2006. I remember it as if it were yesterday. That was the day my daughter came to live with our family. We had already been through the process of meeting her and getting to know her. We had been through all the training DSS requires, and our family was chosen. Our story was a bit unique in that we were applying to adopt a specific child being fostered by a friend of mine.
That night, we picked her up- my husband, myself, and my two sons. We loaded up the car with her belongings, headed out to get pizza and celebrate, then home to a pillow fight amongst the kids before bed. I remember tucking her in and telling her if she got scared in the night she could come and get me. She put her arms around me and whispered, “I love you mommy.”
Really? You love me… already? I did not say that of course, but it was what I was thinking. I went into my bedroom and had a meltdown of sorts. Looking back, I believe it was an anxiety attack, although I had never had one before.
She was adorable and sweet and so loving. What was my problem? The next several months, each day started out the same. I would get up before anyone else, go downstairs, read my Bible and ask God for forgiveness for not bonding with her the way I thought I should.
She was adorable and sweet and so loving. What was my problem?
Every morning, she would come down soon after and ask me the same question. “Mommy, how do you know FOR SURE that you are not going to give me back?” It makes me cry even now thinking about it. I would whisper, “Because God told me so.” This was HIS plan, sweet girl.
During those crucial years, as difficult as it was, I put my hope and trust in the only One who could help me. I had to learn that the hard way, too. Even though I had been a believer for years, I found myself looking to outside sources for comfort: friends, family, and anyone else we knew that had adopted children as well. I do believe God used all of that in our journey but, ultimately, our only real hope comes from a deep relationship with Him and a true dependence on Him.
At that particular time, Grace was doing a study about loving our neighbor as ourselves. Another “God thing” in its timing. I was learning how to love the neighbor that was not leaving. The neighbor who was different than the rest of the family, partly because she was a little girl and partly because she wasn’t born into this family.
I was learning how to love the neighbor that was not leaving. The neighbor who was different than the rest of the family, partly because she was a little girl and partly because she wasn’t born into this family.
I loved telling my daughter how God knew on the day she was born that she would be part of our family. That is hard for a little one to wrap their head around. Why? Why would God allow me to leave my family and go live with another one? Why wouldn’t he just let me stay with my family and my brother and sister? Why are judges so mean? Those questions and many more to come would be another level with God that I would soon take, trusting that he would give me the answers for her… and for me.
There have been many many layers to our journey, and there were times I did not think I was equipped to be the mother of this child God gave to me- this child He created for a purpose that was bigger than both of us. I realized God created me to be exactly who I am, a woman chasing after His heart and a mother to a child that I needed in my life as much as she needed me.
I do not have all the answers for her, and that is okay. I am broken, she is broken, and we live in a broken world. Through many trials along the way, we both have come to realize that God NEVER make mistakes. He created us for one reason and one reason only. To glorify Him.
We are not here to be comfortable or even to be happy. We can experience joy in ways we never imagined when we submit our own will to His. God turns our ashes into beauty. Every. Single. Time.
We are not here to be comfortable or even to be happy.
He uses our stories to help others and bring glory to His name. He holds every tear in His hands. He takes away the pain, but leaves the scars as a reminder of who He is and who we were before we put our trust in Him.
Our journey is not over yet, but it is lightyears from the day we met over ten years ago. She is growing, I am growing, and we are learning together to trust each other and to trust the One who brought us together. No part of my flesh could ever do what He has done in our relationship. In the beginning, I did not feel equipped, and I have come to realize I am not equipped in my flesh. He equips those He calls.
I am a woman who strives to be more like Jesus everyday, and I live for His approval. He created me, He created my daughter, and He made us a family. He does some pretty amazing things when we trust Him, even in the scary times.
Adoption… a beautiful, messy, scary thing, sometimes unpredictable, but always worth it. Sound familiar? That is how God thinks of us. We are His children, brought into His family.
Whether you have adopted or you’re fostering, this process of bringing a child into your home is not easy or simple. The children we are caring for have faced challenges and experiences that have shaped them, and this reality should influence the way we raise them.
Join us as we discuss the challenges of parenting in this context and learn methods and approaches for caring for children who have been fostered or adopted.
Saturday, March 11 | 9:00AM-3:00PM
Childcare options available.